Tag Archive for: pilates

Standing Desk Break – 1 min to better posture!

Want better posture?

Ever wondered how to achieve better posture? Join me as I guide you through a standing desk break to improve your posture and lengthen your muscles.
Use this practice daily for 1 minute 2-3 times throughout your schedule.

Any questions about this please find me on twitter, instagram or facebook @positivelyslim

To book your team for a fun, effective and engaging corporate wellness workshop with me on improving posture press here.


Standing pilates for posture

Use these moves to start your day or have a desk break at work.
You will work your legs, core (abs & back) and improve your posture.


TRX Training

As originally seen in “Total Sports Nutrition” magazine – June/July 2013 – Vol.2 Issue 1


TRX is a clever bit of kit that allows very functional movement patterns under resistance. lts biggest fan, Charlene Hutsebaut, shares her favourite exercises


Are you looking for an excellent, versatile and fun piece of fitness kit?

The TRX suspension trainer should be your equipment of choice. Before I start gushing about this particular fitness apparatus, let me say that I am not employed by TRX, nor am I directly related to them. So, let the gushing begin!

As a personal trainer of more than twenty years, I have seen equipment of all shapes, sizes and concepts come and go. Some stick, some fade away. Does anyone remember the ab roller? Total waste of space! Or the vibrating belt machines? These may not have been effective pieces of equipment, but perhaps the upside was that they inspired some people to move.

Reasons to use TRX
When buying fitness kit, you will want value for money, durability and of course effectiveness. The TRX easily delivers on all of these. Using one as a personal trainer has opened up my exercise repertoire, especially when outside with clients. Being in a park has always been tricky when wanting to include back, biceps or core exercises, especially if the ground is soaking wet.
The nature of how the TRX functions allows for self-resisted body work. An example of doing this without equipment is a press-up, which can be performed against a bench or on the ground. A backpulling type exercise cannot be done in the same way without equipment: the TRX allows positions where the backpull can be performed because when a TRX is set up, the user simply pulls themselves towards its anchor (a pole, tree or playground equipment). ln this way, the back muscles, arms and core can be engaged.

Use at Home, in the Park or at the Gym
TRX comes with two different attachments. One is a loop with astrong climbing carabiner; the other is a door stoptype pad. The former can be wrapped around a pole, tree, playground structure or anything strong enough to take more than the weight of the participant. lt is always recommended to gently test the structure before doing any major moves. The latter attachment is a clever hard-type pad with a soft, protected outer surface which can be hooked at the top of a closed door: this pad lies on the other side of the door to where the participant is working. lt’s best to work to the outside of the door (the direction to which it closes). TRX also makes a variety of door and ceiling mounts if you have the space and strong walls to accommodate (www.trxtrai ni n g.com/shop/anchoring-accessories).

TRX Working the Myofascial Lines
ln one of my previous IS,N articles about pilates and resistance training (Aug-Sep 2012), I introduced you to the concept of myofascial lines. lf you remember, I explained myofascial lines in this way: “Myofascial lines could be said to have the core area as their foundation, running through the middle of most lines’ They are in fact lines of connective tissue that run through the body. I like to think of them as lines that run across muscle groups, connected by fascia (sticky, web- ike stuff ). The old way of talking about working muscles was to think of them as individual muscles or groups of muscles: this is still the way anatomists will explain muscles and their locations because there does need to be a baseline of understanding. Myofascial lines just bring a new view to how we can utilise our muscles effectively and efficiently. Due to the freedom of movement that TRX allows, it becomes a very functional exercise and the body can be trained according to this new principle of myofascial lines.To read more about myofascial Lines,see Anatomy Trains byThomas W. Myers.

Why Work Functionally?
Many of you will have read some article or definition about functional training. My easy explanation of this is that it is similar to everyday movements. I feel that training in a functional way is much more effective than segmenting out specific muscles or groups of muscles. The functional training more readily allows our bodies to be long, lean and strong.


View the original article here

Ask the Experts – Functional Training with Pilates

As originally seen in “Total Sports Nutrition” magazine – Oct/Nov 2012 – Issue 3 


“Functional Training with Pilates” discusses weight training combined with Pilates. How to get the flat abs without getting big muscles?

Weight training for women has so many advantages. Let me first say that you will not get big by lifting weights. Body builders take years with very structured routines and eating plans to achieve their physiques. As a recreational resistance trainer you will tone your muscles, decrease body fat, strengthen bones and increase your metabolism without gaining huge mass. There are other benefits as well such as healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Visualise a very simplistic picture of the body in layers with the skin being the first, followed by fat cells and then muscle below. As you increase your muscle mass, your fat cells will begin to shrink which means an overall toning and “slimming”effect around the body as these layers re-shape.This, along with the increased metabolism, occurs because muscles burn more energy than fat cells. The article was meant to convey the integration of the body as a unit rather than segments.The combination on of mindfully working the core muscles whilst doing weight training moves plus the overall body benefits of lifting, along with a healthy nutrition plan should achieve the flat abs you are ooking for. And again, I can assure you, as a woman lifting weights, you will not become huge like a body builder.


View the original article here

Bodyfit Magazine reader re-vamp

As originally seen in “Bodyfit” – May 2013


Dilini Ratnayeke asks:

I’m a dancer and also do lots of rowing. During the day I have an office job and sit for long periods of time. But, no matterhow often I train, I continuously have tight hamstrings – how can I improve my flexibility?”

Charlene answers:

The reality is that sitting in a chair forces your hamstrings to shorten. Improving the flexibility of any muscle group takes regular practise and the correct combination of exercises, stabilisations and dynamic and passive stretches. If you are weight training regularly, be sure to have a balance of quad (front of leg) and hamstring (back of leg) movements. I suggest you downplay the hamstring work for a few months. Still working with them, but less and with different moves to your normal routine. Avoid old fashioned machines where you isolate the muscles to a single (such as knee) joint action. Instead perform bridges on the floor and hamstring drags on  a Swiss ball. These bring more core stabilisation (abs and back) into the movement, allowing for more strength through your back. What this means for you, is that your hamstrings won’t be able to pull your pelvis down, but be balanced more by the back muscles that pull your pelvis up. Even strength between these muscles creates a neutral balance where the hamstrings don’t take over.

Include Pilates, yoga and both passive (non-moving) and dynamic (moving) stretches in your repertoire. Another tip is to have regular Thai and/or deep tissue massages. They’ll keep your tissues supple through the stretching and release of pressure points which can cause tightness.


View the original article here