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L + L at Home: The Hundreds

Before she heads off to Boston for an exercise science internship, Rachel shows us her favorite Pilates exercise to do at home, The Hundreds. This classical exercise is a staple in the Pilates Mat workout. Rachel loves The Hundreds because it develops the foundational core strength necessary for the more advanced exercises. Try them yourself to feel strong, long, and lean at home!


Setup

Lie on your back with a neutral spine (maintain natural curves of your back) and bring your legs to a table top position (knees bent and lined up directly over hips). Float the arms up to the ceiling, being careful to keep the arms plugged in to the shoulder joints.

Steps

  1. Inhale to prepare. Exhale to extend the legs on a diagonal as the head neck and shoulders curl up off the mat and the arms press down next to the hips, hovering an inch or two away from the ground.
  2. Begin pumping the arms in small rhythmic motions next to the hips. As your arms move, inhale for 5 pumps and exhale for the next 5 pumps. Keep your breath rhythmic and dynamic.
  3. Hold the head neck and shoulders up off the mat in the abdominal curl position and continue the series of 5 rhythmic inhales and 5 rhythmic exhales a total of 10 times. That makes 100!

Hint: Lift the legs to extend them straight up to the ceiling or keep them in a table top position if you feel any strain in the lower back. Lower the legs closer to the ground for a greater challenge.

 

 

 

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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.

 

100+ Pilates Class Super Star: Molly

Next time you see Molly at the studio, go ahead and give her a high five because she has far exceed 100 classes at Long + Lean Pilates! Between private sessions and group classes, Molly does a great job making sure she always gets a new challenge. Molly has been coming to Long + Lean Pilates before we were even in our current location! Thank you for your dedication, Molly. You rock!

What do you love about Pilates?
Since I’ve started Pilates I feel stronger and longer and definitely more flexible.  It has become like an addiction to me.  I wish that I had time every day to come to class.

What motivates you to workout?
What motivates me is the fact that my body feels instantly better after every class.  I am stretched and ready to tackle the rest of what the day may bring.  I am more relaxed and feel more centered in both mind and body.

What changes have you noticed since starting Pilates?
My body is toned and I have discovered muscles that I didn’t realize I had.  My body has become more of a source of pride rather than something to hide.  If I go even a week without Pilates I can instantly see and feel that my body is suffering. Pilates is now officially a part of who I am and what I love. My dog walks get longer and  faster after every Pilates class. Not only does that benefit me but it benefits my dog, Winnie, as well.

Other than Pilates, how do you like to stay active?
Being a mom of two young kids, Pilates has helped me to stay very active and to truly be a hands on mom.  Whether its playing soccer at the park with my family, doing Girls on the Run with my daughter or hockey in the house with my son…I am energized, fit and ready to roll.

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Pilates + Wine at Freedom Run Winery

Long + Lean Pilates at Freedom Run WineryJoin us on the Niagara Wine Trail for an amazing event that combines two of our favorite things: Pilates + wine!

Hayley will lead a fun and invigorating Pilates mat class outside on the beautiful Freedom Run Vineyard. We will then head in to the Freedom Run tasting room for a wine tasting including four wines of your choice.  The Pilates class will include classical Pilates mat exercises, Reformer exercises modified for the mat, and standing work that will improve balance and posture.

Freedom Run makes world class, delicious wine. With everything from Pinot Noir to Riesling, and even a dessert wine made from apples, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Freedom Run! Learn more about Freedom Run and their wines here.

Event Details

Date: Sunday September 11th, 2016

Time: 11:45 am

Sign in begins at 11:45, Class begins at 12:15 pm

Location: Freedom Run Winery, 5138 Lower Mountain Road, Lockport

Price: $25 (includes tasting)

You can register online and join the Facebook Event to stay up to date and get any last minute tips before your class! Feel free to contact us with any questions!

 

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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