ELDOA Classes now at P4P!

ELDOA Classes now at P4P!

We are so excited to offer 3 new classes at Pilates4Pros designed by Liam Springer and taught by Eric Lentz. ELDOA Fit Strength & Stability, ELDOA Fit Cardio & Endurance and ELDOA Fix provide a smart and effective workout that incorporates the ELDOA Method, originally developed by French Osteopath, Guy Voyer. Build strength, increase endurance and boost your metabolism while improving spine and joint health, correcting muscle imbalance and relieving pain. Classes begin July 7th! See our class schedule for days, times and class descriptions. For more information about ELDOA Method, click HERE

Portion Control

Portion Control

See the guilty look on their faces? I bet you feel the same way after polishing off a bag of chips, box of cookies, bottle of wine…

Nutrition tip: Never eat anything straight from the package. Unless it’s a single serving! Serve yourself 1 portion (check the label to see what an actual portion is). Not only will you be mindful of the amount you’re consuming, but you’ll take time to savor it!

It’s a great lesson to teach kids early on. We should be enjoying our food, taking our time eating meals and snacks and listening to our hunger cues. For kids getting their own snacks, or adults who lack discipline, single serve snacks are a great option. Like to buy in bulk? Stock up on snack size bags or containers, and divvy up before the urge to inhale the whole bag hits.

Set yourself up for success. Preparation is key, make it easy and it’ll be easy!

Why “Rescue Your Down Dog”?

Why “Rescue Your Down Dog”?

Why should you rescue your down dog? Or rescue any dog for that matter. We hope you’ll join us for the first ever RESCUE YOUR DOWN DOG event on Thursday, May 28th. And here’s why…

We were dog people. We had two pure bred Boxers, great dogs. Loved them. And then life got crazy. moved homes, career, babies, etc…

Fast forward a few years: Life is (a bit more) settled. We built a home with lots of space and a great yard, and those babies were now kids. Kids that wanted puppies. We were ready.

In the years since we bought our first Boxers, we became friends with the Backes’. I watched Kelly and David take their passion for animal welfare and homeless pets and create an organization that educates the public about making responsible decisions regarding pets. Originally, I supported them because that’s what friends do. Now I support Athletes for Animals because their mission has changed our family’s life.

I used to think rescuing a dog meant taking in a sickly, 7 year old Pit Bull missing a leg. Or something like that. I’m not alone in my misconception about shelter pets, which is why I want to share my experience.  I had no idea that there are all kinds of dogs available for adoption – pure breds, mixes, older dogs and young pups! Kelly taught me about animal shelters and the adoption process. She showed me where to look for a pet that would suit our family. There are great online resources, such as national adoption databases, that make it easy to search for the perfect pet.

I found our pups in Kansas. Yes, plural. I adopted two. They were 8 weeks old and about 10 pounds when we brought them home. Lacey and Lola will turn one May 24th. They are the sweetest, most protective, loyal and affectionate dogs. The Boxer-Great Pyrenees sisters are gentle giants, now over 80 pounds. I’m down a rug or two, a favorite pair of boots and often wear dog hair on my yoga pants, but I can’t imagine our lives without them.

I’ve heard people say rescue dogs make the best pets because they know you rescued them. I believe it.

For more information on pet adoption or how you can help make a difference, visit AthletesforAnimals.org.

9 essentials for a great workout at home

Functional Strength is a fitness buzz word of late and if your goal is to train your body to be stronger in your daily activities (whether it be sport performance or lifting up your kids), get off the heavy, static gym equipment and check out this list of essentials.

Not only are these items affordable (prices range from $12 to $250), they challenge your body in different movement planes, offer varying degrees of intensity, promote balance, improve core strength and increase flexibility. There are an infinite number of exercises one can do with each individual piece, let alone all 9! Check out my favorites and create your very own functional strength training gym at home.

1. TRX – These durable suspension training straps can be anchored in several places including a door jamb. By varying the length of the straps, your body position and angle, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level for tons of traditional and creative body weight exercises.There are less expensive versions out there but I think the original TRX is well made, easy to use and will last you a long time!
2. Jump Rope – An easy way to raise your heart rate, break a sweat and burn calories. Try adding intervals some jump rope intervals to your strength routine to boost your metabolism.
3. Pull up bar– P90x and Crossfit have helped resurrect the pull up bar at home. Pull ups, inverted sit ups, hanging leg raises may be old school (and pretty hard core) but remain a great way to train multiple muscle groups at once. I’d argue that 10 pull ups are more beneficial to building core strength than 100 crunches. A pull up bar also serves as a place to anchor resistance bands and TRX as well as a give yourself some hanging spinal traction. Can’t do a body weight pull up? See the superband below…
4. Superband – This is a giant rubber band that will change your life. I use these for a multitude of corrective exercises (lateral band walks are a fave) and offer a plethora of ways to challenge every muscle group. Loop it from your pull up bar, place your knee in the band and increase your reps on pull ups with less momentum!
5. Stability ball – Who doesn’t love these? Useful for strength training, core work and flexibility, a ball is a multipurpose essential that every home gym needs. Bonus: replacing your desk chair with one is a no-brainer way to improve your posture. Sit up straight (just like mom always said) or fall off.
6. BOSU – The acronym stands for “both sides up” and because you can stand, sit, lay on either the inflatable dome or the flat side, opportunities to challenge your core, balance and stability are endless!
7. Stretch strap – None of us take the time we should to stretch and we’re doing ourselves a disservice. Muscle flexibility is a key component to fitness and without it, you increase the risk of injury and may not be getting all the benefits of strength training if range of motion is limited.
8. Foam roller–Useful both before and after a workout, foam rolling allows for self myofascial release. This helps break up adhesions which can impede proper muscle recruitment leading to overuse injuries and pain. The IT band is one of the most common and beneficial areas to roll and can help reduce knee pain.
9. Glider disk – I’m a little biased here because a glider, like TRX and a stability ball, can be used to recreate Pilates reformer exercises. Slow controlled movements challenge muscles both concentric and eccentrically and can up the ante of even the most basic move.

Check out myworkouts for ideas on incorporating these items into your fitness routine!

The Importance of the Warm Up

The Importance of the Warm Up

Many of the athletes I see have some sort of warm up they do before a game. Less of those athletes do a similar warm up before a workout. And some don’t even have their own warm up routine. An effective warm up should include exercises to activate the muscle groups necessary for the work to follow. A personalized warm up that targets the “weaker” muscles can greatly increase speed, agility and power as well as ward off fatigue and injury.

Incorporating a warm up specific to individual needs, will enhance performance and can help prevent overuse injuries. For example, if an athlete is dominant in their quadriceps, an effective warm up should include exercises such as hip bridges, single leg squats and toe reaches to “wake up” the hamstrings and gluteus medius.

Foam rolling is a self myofascial release technique that has been used for some time in professional sports and is now becoming more main stream. There is some debate about when it’s most effective – before the warm up or after the workout. Foam rolling has benefits either way. Prior to the warm up, longer strokes increases blood flow to the muscles and directed pressure can release knots. Rolling after the workout may help muscles recover and provide some relief from soreness.

A trained professional can help identify muscle imbalances and recruitment deficiencies to design a personalized warm up routine for enhanced performance and injury prevention.

Pictured: Professional hockey players Kyle Kraemer, Brandon Bollig and Pat Maroon with their Pilates circles, a P4P warm up essential.