Tag: group

Top 10 Pilates Questions

I’m new to Pilates. How do I start?
The best way to start if you have never tried Pilates is to begin with an orientation. In an orientation, a certified Pilates instructor will teach you a beginner lesson on the Pilates equipment, and then direct you to the class you would like to take.

How do I make an appointment for my orientation?
Contact Danielle Zack, Pilates Director at dzack@sacdt.com or (206) 443.1111 x246.

What is the difference between mat classes and private instruction sessions?
Pilates is intended to be done one-on-one under an instructor’s supervision and guidance, and mat classes are meant to supplement the work you do with your instructor. Both are valuable, though, and will strengthen your body. Private sessions are tailored to your individual needs so if you have injuries or specific physical concerns this is your best choice. Mat classes are designed for the general population and there is less individual attention.

What are the prices?
The average cost for a single Pilates session in the city of Seattle is $71.70 per hour. The SAC offers the highest quality instruction for nearly 40% less!

  • Private Session – $50
  • Duet Session – $31/client
  • Group Session – $25/client

How long are the lessons?
All sessions are 55-minutes in length.

What should I wear?
Please wear comfortable, fitted workout clothes and clean socks (no shoes needed).

Where do I go for my first Pilates session?
Come downstairs to the Pilates Studio, which is located across the Café next to the cycling room. Please feel free to enter and sit down next to the desk. If this is your first appointment, some paperwork will be on a clipboard with your name on it for you to start filling out. The instructor will be finishing up teaching a client, so feel free to watch. You’ll be next!

What if I make an appointment and I have to cancel?
All cancellations require 24 hours notice. All cancellations must be directly given to your instructor via email or phone messages. All appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours notice will be charged the full session amount.

Where do I go for mat class?
All Pilates mat classes are located in the Mind/Body Studio, which is across the basketball court.

Which Pilates mat class is right for me?
If you are a brand-new beginner, please come to the Introduction to Pilates Mat class on Saturday at 8 a.m. If you have very little experience with Pilates, please come to any Fundamentals Pilates Mat class. If you have some/moderate experience with Pilates, please come to any Fundamentals or Intermediate Pilates Mat class. If you have extensive experience, please feel free to come to any class, including the classes marked Cardio-based mat, magic circle mat, and Saturday’s advanced mat class.

If you have severe injuries or just concerns, please feel free to contact Danielle Zack for a recommendation.

6 Pointers on How to Improve Your Running Form

Getting the running shoes on and out the door is just the first step… Most people don’t realize that running is not just about putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward, there are many small nuances and techniques to running that create better run efficiency, power, and the ability to run injury free. Just sit at Greenlake one Saturday afternoon and you will see it all, the good the bad and the otherwise. Proper run form is the key to increasing your speed as well as to help you from getting injured. Here are a few proper run form technique pointers:

  1. Posture: You should run tall and erect, shoulders level, back straight with a neutral pelvis.
  2. Forward Lean: Lean forward from your ankles. Many times you will see people running hunched over from their waist or their shoulders (I blame it on computers and being hunched over at a desk all day) this can tighten the chest and restrict breathing. The other extreme is the puffed chest runner I like to call a peacock runner. They literally lead with their chest. Proper form: You want to be tall when you run while leaning from your ankles creating a light forward angle to your body.

    Helpful hint: think about looking forward about 20-30 feet on the path you are running, this will naturally give your body a slight forward tilt. Looking directly down will make you hunch and looking way up at the horizon can lead to almost a backwards tilt – you want to lean forward in the direction you are going, let the natural forces help you not fight against you.

  3. Relax! Relax your shoulders relax your hands! Let your body fall into a natural rhythm. Running tense is wasted energy and as you start to run long you will feel the effects whether you realize it or not.
  4. 90degree arms: keep elbows at a 90degree bend. If you are breaking this it means that you are “hammering” with your arm and loosing efficiency. Arm should swing from the shoulder joint not the elbow. Hands should brush by your waist not be tight up by your chest which can cause tiredness and tightness in your shoulders and back.
  5. Midfoot strike: (though this one is often up for debate…) Land with your foot striking directly under your center of mass and roll off the ball of your foot. Heel striking often means that you are over striding which affects run efficiency and means you are “braking” causing you to actually run “slower” and may lead to injury because of the impact on your joints. If you are running all on the balls of your feet, your calves can get tight and fatigue quickly and or you can develop shin pain.
  6. Run cadence: this is the frequency of your foot strike. Ideally run cad is around 90 (or 180 steps per minute) though many elite runners and triathletes will run at a cadence 100 this is very high for most. Running with shorter strides uses less energy and creates less stress on your muscles and impact to your joints. To count your run cadence, during any portion of your run choose one foot and count how many times it strikes down in a minute. If you are much under 90 this could mean that you are either over-striding and or your foot is spending too much time with impact on the ground (anywhere from 88-90 is great). You want to think light and airy when you run not thumping down heavy footed. Run as if you are running on a hot surface: quick, light and with short strides. NO bouncing! Bouncing = wasted energy and too much impact on your muscles and joints.

Next time you put those sneakers on and head out the door for the run think about “how you run” and how you can improve your run efficiency by following the above pointers.

Post-Holiday Pilates

With the holidays under our belts, we perhaps find ourselves having to loosen our belts. Can Pilates be an effective way to combat our indulgence? Absolutely! Many gym-goers will believe that additional cardio hours are required to undo all those unwanted pounds. Just the thought of it seems daunting and disheartening. The truth is that Pilates can actually change your shape more efficiently and help improve your chances of succeeding at weight loss.

For those who are not devotees of Pilates yet, incorporating this form of exercise into your routine will surely help you get back on track. In fact, often it is the monotonous workouts that put our bodies in a weight loss rut. If you need a jumpstart after the holiday season, try a class in the mind-body studio and see what the rage is all about. Also, if you have not yet made it into the Pilates studio, feel free to drop by to arrange your first, complimentary session.

If you have been devoted to Pilates for some time, you understand and see how it helps you to maintain your shape. Feeling a bit bloated after the holidays, though? Let’s change up your routine! If you take mat class once a week, try adding a second. If you only come to the studio, try one of our mat classes to supplement the workout. Also, let your instructor know your goals. Often they can give you quick reminders of how to increase your burn power throughout the workout. Adding some speed to your routine always helps, as does adding a little resistance. Even in a basic class, feel free to do your roll-up with light arm weights. If your teaser feels easy (congratulations to you!), try to add some resistance here as well. The magic circle may just become your new best friend.

In the Pilates studio, ask your instructor about decreasing the resistance. This may sound counter-intuitive, but with less resistance, this actually means more work for you. The springs support you, and without as many you certainly need to do more supporting yourself. Now, imagine both less springs and an increased speed. The beads of sweat are appearing, aren’t they?

Finally, the best way to get more out of your Pilates workout, whether a beginner or a seasoned pro, is to perform each exercise the way Joseph Pilates intended. Fully committing to each exercise means sitting up straighter, working harder at getting the extra lift in your scoop, and being more precise. We can all become a little fatigued in our workouts, especially after the busy holiday season. However, the start of 2012 is the perfect time to reconnect with your Pilates body. Breathe deeply and move with control and grace. Increasing your exertion level will absolutely increase your weight loss potential and help you to achieve results more quickly.

Pilates is supposed to be enthusiastic, and energizing. So, bring your resolutions, and yourself to class. We will be waiting for you, and are ready to help you jump into 2012!