Q&A with Lisa
I really enjoy treating upper back, shoulder and neck issues. Even though these can be challenging areas at time to treat and work on.
Particular the shoulder as it’s such a complex and highly mobile area.
In relation to your area of expertise, what are 5 exercises or stretches would you recommend a client does at home in between coming to classes to get the most out of their Studio class. (for strength, flexibility, recovery or maintenance).
Often, I feel like a lot of pain in these areas are related to postural issues. So depending on what you’re coming in with, I’m likely to give most people something along these lines to work on a home:
Upper and mid spine (thoracic spine) mobility exercises. Mostly into extension (backwards) and side bending. Either using a foam roller, against a wall or a simple cat stretch.
Pec stretching – I like to do both at the same time in the corner of the wall. Pecs are often very tight and pull the whole shoulder complex forward predisposing it injury.
Shoulder blade (scapular) mobility exercises. Being able to move and control you shoulder blade is so important for the shoulder complex to function correctly.
Swan dive – great for the back extensor strength and
improves neck alignment.
Breathing exercises – I find a lot of people breath into
their upper rib cage. This can lead to overuse of neck muscle that attach to the rib cage. Learning to breath into the back and sides of your rib cage is important. I’ll often use a thera- band or towel to wrap around your rib cage for feedback.
What is your favourite pilates stretch and why?
I love the mermaid. I tend to get stiff and tight though the upper back and spine. It feels great to stretch through the side of my body and work on staying lengthen through my spine. I also find a lot people have the same issues as me and find it a great one for movement
What is your favourite pilates repertoire and why?
Tricky one because there are so many that I love. Most people know that I love a scooter on reformer. It’s such a great exercise to build strength and stability though the core, pelvis and hip extensors. It can also be a tricky one to master in the beginning and I love when people start to see progress.
What is your background/education? What else do you do?
I have completed 5 year osteopathic degree along with my pilates training. I have also done some extra training in dry needling and cupping.
How would you persuade someone who is in pain that has never done Studio Pilates that it will be beneficial for them?
If you’re in pain and frightened of re-injuring yourself studio is a great choice. It can be very gentle to work on slowly improving you condition safely. There is only up 4 people in a class and you have you own program to work on that is tailored to you specifically. There is always un instructor there to guide you and make sure you are doing thing correcting to get the most benefit out of the exercise.
Studio sessions gives you time to work on body awareness and build those smaller stabilizing muscles that are so important in recovery and functional movement. The equipment is not just there to make an exercise harder but also to support you, making it easier to work the correct area until you build up the strength. Everyone is on their own journey in these classes and you can focus on yourself and your own progress.
How do you explain the difference between main stream Pilates (gym or large group reformer pilates) and Studio Pilates to someone who thinks they are all the same thing?
They are very different.
In gym pilates and large group reformer classes everyone is doing the same exercises regardless of age, level of condition and injury and these classes are not generally specific to you.
Studio pilates classes are small classes and exercises are given to you with a specific purpose and goal in mind. Exercises are tailored to you with your experience, injury history lifestyle and ability in mind. We are looking at what you body needs so that you can get the most out of pilates to live a much more functional and active life.
What are your favourite Pilates principals (precision, breathe, flow etc.) and why? How do you incorporate these in your own workouts?
Alignment – when you’re in the right alignment your able to target
the correct areas more successfully to get the best benefits from the
Breath – if you’re not breathing properly and getting enough
oxygen to your muscles, you can’t do the exercise to the best of your ability.
Why do you love Studio Pilates above barre and reformer?
You can slow down and concentrate on what and where you are feeling something. Its specific to your body so I always feel great afterwards.
What is the best thing about being a studio teacher?
If I can have a positive impact on someone life and health I’m happy. It’s great to see people grow and take charge of their own health. I really enjoy seeing how my clients have progressed, not only with their knowledge, strength and ability but also their confidence!