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L + L at Home: Modified Front Row

Welcome to the first post in our series of Long + Lean At Home Favorites! To begin the series, all the Long + Lean instructors are sharing their absolute favorite exercises to do at home!

Founder Hayley’s favorite exercise to do at home is a Pilates Reformer exercise modified for the mat that is great for posture and feels amazing. Here’s why Hayley loves doing Modified Front Row at home:

“This exercise gives me everything I need right now (and always): it stretches my back and hamstrings, opens my chest and shoulders, gives me gentle work in my abs and spinal extensors, and feels invigorating.”

Want to try the Modified Front Row for yourself (you totally should)? Here’s how to do it:

Setup
Sit with your legs extended out in front of you. Make sure you are sitting on your sitz bones with a neutral spine (let your knees bend slightly if you cannot sit up straight with your legs extended). Flex the ankles so your toes point up to the ceiling.

Steps

  1. Round your spine one vertebra at a time, starting from your head, as the arms reach forward towards your feet. Feel the back ribs pull back while energy from the fingers and the heels shoots forward. Think of widening the shoulders on the back, but don’t let them sneak up to your ears. Feel the abdominals gently pull the belly button towards the back as your spine rounds.
  2. Stack the spine up one vertebra at a time, returning to neutral, while carrying the arms straight up overhead. Keep those shoulders relaxed down and the ribs relaxed, not popped forward.
  3. Circle your arms down to the starting position. Feel the pinky fingers reach away from you as though your arms could reach the walls. Repeat 3-5 times.

 

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Alignment Socks now Available!

Foot alignment socks
Foot alignment socks

Available in gray in the L + L Boutique.

We are so excited to add the “My Happy Feet” Foot Alignment Socks to the Long + Lean Boutique!!  These socks are the answer to all of your foot pain and alignment issues and will help everyone prevent future issues.

We spend most of our time every day in shoes that are too narrow for our toes. On top of that, common misalignments, like shifting your weight forward of your hips, can put more stress on your toes than is supposed to be there (has your Pilates teacher said ‘back your hips up’ to you lately!?) Because of this, and the under use of the intrinsic muscles of our feet, many people suffer from bunions, poor circulation, hammer toes, and chronic foot pain. Believe it or not, bunions and other foot alignment issues are not inevitable, even if they “run” in your family. There are steps you can take to prevent and alleviate these issues, and Foot Alignment Socks are at the top of the list.

Wanna check out the health of your feet and toes?  Take your shoes and socks off and see if you can separate your toes. Seems easy, right? But for most of us, its actually quite difficult! Wearing Foot Alignment Socks while lounging around at home or sleeping will help stretch the tight muscles around the toes and restore your ability to move your toes and wake up the under used muscles in your foot.

Here are the many benefits of using Foot Alignment Socks:

  • Improved circulation
  • Correct alignment of the toes
  • Foot pain alleviation
  • Prevention of bunions and hammer toes
  • Plantar fasciitis relief
  • Better use of the muscles in the foot
  • Minimization of foot cramps

The socks are available in small, medium, and large in the Long + Lean boutique for $19.95. Give them a try; they are a perfect compliment to the alignment and flexibility work you do in Pilates!

 

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Wellness Resolutions for 2017

‘Tis the season for goals! It may be a cliché, but we think the start of the new year really is a great time to assess how you feel, what successes you’ve had over the past 12 months, and what progress you’d like to make in the future. Giving yourself a moment to set your goals and priorities for the year is, in and of itself, a great way to increase mindfulness, decrease stress, and set yourself up for success.  Try setting both long term and short term goals, and consider reassessing your goals every week or month. You are allowed to be flexible, you are allowed to delay a goal, restart completely, or even decide that one of your resolutions is just all wrong for you.  Remember to consider your wellness and happiness, not just your waistline, to set yourself up for a happy 2017. Read more

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Homework Series: Calf Stretch

If you take classes at our studio, you know we are obsessed with the Calf Stretch.  But we don’t just want you to do it at the studio, we want you to do your Calf Stretch every day, even multiple times a day! The reason this stretch is a L + L favorite, and so important for you to do often, is because of how much our daily lives can lead to shortened muscles in the lower leg. High heels are a main culprit for shortened, tight calf muscles but take a look at your shoes, even if they aren’t “high heels” there’s a pretty good chance there is at least a small elevation at the heel. Even a small lift at the heel means you are constantly standing and walking with a shortened calf muscle. Sitting also shortens the calf muscles, and there’s a pretty good chance you spend a lot of time sitting in a chair throughout your day, right? Pair sitting with shoes with elevated heels, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to have tight, shortened calf muscles. Read more

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Jenn’s 5 Fav Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Long + Lean Pilates instructor JennStart the Day off Right
I like to start the day off with a smoothie filled with spinach, banana, frozen fruit and green tea matcha powder for an early morning boost. If I have time, I’ll normally make a piece of toast with avocado and two poached eggs.

Prioritize Exercise
Exercise is very important to me, which is why I went for my bachelors in Exercise Science and minored in Health and Wellness. Even though Pilates is my core, I also love to spice up my exercise routine from time to time. I absoutly love the outdoors, whenever I can I try to do any kind of activity outside to get the blood pumping and a dose of vitamin D. With winter upon us I try to get to the gym 3-4x a week or a few sessions a week of Pilates Jumpboard for cardio!

Stretch Every Day
Stretching helps increase range of motion, prevent injuries and overall keeps the muscles and joints of the body happy and healthy. In today’s world everyone is so busy that it’s hard to commit to stretching everyday. However, it really only takes 5-7 minutes to stretch all the major muscles of the body. I normally stretch when I first wake up or before I go to bed at night, in order to awaken or prepare my body for the day.

Enjoy Every Moment
In my mind there’s no point going through life without enjoying moments and indulging in cravings from time to time. Cheat days and red wine with dinner are what keep my health kicks going and my mind motivated!

Take Time to be Mindful
I take a few minutes before I fall asleep each night to be mindful of my actions of the day, make a note of what I’m thankful for and just take a minute to connect with my inner thoughts. This helps with stress levels, helps me fall asleep faster and just to be a better person when I wake up.

Long + Lean Pilates instructor Jenn