reformerpilates

HQ-er of The Month - Kim Sharp

Our HQ-er of the Month is Kim who started Pilates just over a year ago. Since she has started doing classes at Pilates HQ, the flexibility through her body has improved so much. With consistently doing two classes a week, her improvement has been evident in her balance and control over her body and muscles.

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Read on and get to know Kim on a more personal level:

What's your favourite thing to do in your spare time or what hobbies do you enjoy?

Running is my main hobby but I also love hanging out with my dogs.

We know that you are a superstar runner and have been participating in some half marathons lately - how many have you run this year?

So far I have completed two marathons and 10 half marathons. So far this year though 1 marathon and 3 half marathons. I have two more half marathons coming up in the next month.

What is your main aim/goal for your marathon runs?

My ultimate goal is to finish, but my main goal is always to enjoy it.

What enticed you to come to a Pilates class?

I had done mat Pilates before and hated it but a friend was loving her Pilates HQ classes so I decided to give it a go. It was local and the class times suited me. That was nearly 18 months ago and I haven't looked back.

How do you structure your training week with running and Pilates?

I do two Pilates classes a week and run five times a week. A run straight after Pilates is always tough, particularly when Jess has worked our legs hard, so that only happens once a week.

What is your favourite Pilates exercise and why?

I'm not sure to be honest. I really don't know them by name. I enjoy leg work using the straps and 'elephant' stretch(??) and maybe the pike to planks??

How has your Pilates routine affected your running?

Core strength and posture are really important for running and Pilates has certainly helped me with this. It also helps with joint mobility and flexibility all of which help reduce overall injury risk.

What has kept you interested in Pilates and why do you keep coming back to class each week?

The fact that I feel like I've had a good workout without being totally exhausted. There is so much variety in the exercises and the instructors are all amazing. I love the small class sizes and the welcoming and friendly vibe of HQ.

What changes have you noticed in your body and in your Running training/technique, since starting regular Pilates classes?

I think I am definitely stronger overall and perhaps a little more coordinated than before.

What is your favourite track or spot to run in and around Buninyong?

There is so many beautiful areas around Buninyong that are perfect for running. Living here though runs always involve hills!

What advice would you give to a fellow runner out there, who is considering starting Pilates but isn't really sure about it?

Try it! Pilates complements running perfectly. It stretches and strengthens so many key muscles and therefore reduces your overall injury risk. The classes are so much fun and the instructors really make the effort to get to know you so that together you can work to achieve your goals.

Kim, you have been so great to watch and your attitude towards Pilates is admirable! We will definitely get you doing a back-bend one day - even though you think it would be nearly impossible! You are stronger than you realise. We are cheering you on!

Steph & The Pilates HQ Team

xx

Why you CAN do Pilates!

3 TIPS TO HELP YOU TRY A NEW CLASS OR EXERCISE TODAY!

Before I went on holidays, my Pilates clients kept asking me the same question.
"When you're in France will you eat frogs legs?”
And each time I thought, "hell no I ain't eating no frogs legs".
I'd never tried frogs legs before but it was a frog and I decided I wouldn't like it and I didn't want to eat it.

But when we actually ordered frogs legs I thought ”I can't go to France and not eat frogs legs.”
So I did it, and despite what my mind was telling me, it actually tasted pretty good (sorry Kermit).

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Do you ever do this with anything?
Tell yourself you can't.
Convince yourself there's no way that you could do something or that you would like something?

I think maybe you do!

Do any of these sound familiar?

I can't do Pilates.
I'm not fit enough.
I'm not strong enough.
I'm not flexible enough.
There's no way I can do that!
OR
Hell no I ain't doing that! That looks way too hard for me!

When we tell ourselves these things, they feel like such truths. BUT in actual fact they are just a belief - something we believe to be true.

When this holds us back from doing something, learning something, or achieving something, it becomes a limiting belief.

So the next time your sentence starts with something like... I can't…. I'm not….. enough. Remind yourself that this isn't a truth and that you can do these things that scare you.

Here's how you can turn things around:

1. Start small

Break the task down and take little steps that are less daunting.

Want to start Pilates but you are telling yourself you can't?

Why not start with 1on1? Learn the basics to help realise that you can!

Want to try a new class level or a challenging exercise?

Start small by adding in little parts of the exercise, or by starting with just one class at a more difficult level.


2. Remind yourself of your success

Remember the little things you did well and find real evidence that you CAN!

Remind yourself that you did an extra rep of the exercise than usual, or that you didn't tire as quickly as last week doing the hundred.

When you hear those limiting beliefs creep in, remind yourself of this.

3. Surround yourself with positive support

Be around a group of people or a person that helps lift you up gives you confidence that you can do the things that scare you.

You want to be around people who give you praise for any and all of your success and who dust you off, pick you up and encourage you try again when it doesn't quite work the first time.

This is what our instructors do and this is exactly what kind of support you get from the other members in your class at HQ too.


So now that you know YOU CAN, why not challenge your beliefs a little more and book that first class?

Or jump into another reformer class level (intermediate advanced or tempo flow).

Your HQ Tribe and Teacher will be there supporting you every step of the way… Go Eat that Frog Leg!

Steph & The Pilates HQ Team

Xx

What Type of Pilates HQer Are You?

Do you camp outside the studio hours before your class, just to make sure you get “your” reformer?
Do you only use reformers on one side of the room?
Do you forget what class your booked into and turn up just hoping that you have turned up at the right time?
Do you love making noise, you love a good groan when the exercises get tough or maybe you count down out loud when you know your instructor has got distracted?

Which Type of Pilates HQer Are You?

  1. The HQ Groupie

  2. The Loud HQer

  3. The Forgetful HQer

Answer our Quiz here to work out which HQer you are! or maybe you just want to make up your own mind by reading the descriptions below.

HQ Groupie

You like to get to class early so you can get your favourite machine, maybe the shoulder pads are just the right fit, you like the extra padding on your toosh or you like to get the reformer without the light in your eyes!

You have all the latest HQ Merch and newest grippy sock styles!
It depends on the day and the exercise, you try to keep your cool but sometimes you have to grunt and groan or start counting so your teacher stops sooner!


Loud HQer

You love your HQ classes, you like to get your classes in each week but you are not afraid to make some noise!

Scooters/ Lunges, Holds - You'll let your teacher know that you love or hate them and will groan and grunt and carry on, but who cares because you know it's good for you. 

You don't hold back, you give everything a go, but if your teacher forgets to count or misses a beat you'll sure as hell tell them!


Forgetful HQer

You love your HQ classes, but you always forget to book in ahead of time, waitlists are your friend either that or you are reminded to book a class or a new pack because Steph or Jess sent you a reminder text. 

You often forget to pack your gym gear, so you do class in your work clothes, sometimes you forget your socks and you are forced to buy those damn Grippy socks. 
On occasion you turn up to class and are not too sure if you are there at the right time!

Take the Quiz and Let us know what type of HQer you are and if you agree or disagree?

Steph & The Pilates HQ Team

Xx

Am I Too Old To Do Pilates?

I’m doing this thing where I try to be more confident and speak to people about what I do! So the other day whilst having a blood test, I mentioned that I taught Pilates, and I was met with the statement. “I’ve thought about doing Pilates, but I always thought I was too old!”


WHAT? Too Old?!, Never!
I feel like that phrase should be outlawed, you will never be too old for anything! Except maybe schoolies - no one wants to be a toolie!

Anyway, it really got me thinking, I wonder how many other people out there think that about Pilates or about exercise in general.

Reformer Pilates Ballarat


Well if you’ve been thinking this, I’m here to tell you to STOP! You are not too old, and you are definitely not too old for Pilates!

Actually as you get older you should really start paying more attention to your health and activity levels, because quite frankly, “you’re not as young as you used to be”.

Also did you know that as you age, after the age of 30, (I know guys!) we actually start to lose muscle tissue and bone density, which can cause increased risk of falls, and injuries! So if you’re 30 or older you need to get your butt into gear and try to prevent and reduce this!
And the best way to combat this is by doing the one thing we know that helps develop our muscle strength, mass and bone health which is…. Wait for it…. Exercise!

The type of exercise that is best for this is progressive resistance training, which translates to exercise with some form of resistance. This could be your body-weight, dumbbells, cans of beans, small humans or pets!

And it is recommended that you do resistance training at least twice per week working on the larger muscle groups, like your quadriceps, hamstrings, chest, back and abdominals. (Did someone say Pilates?)


At Pilates HQ we have both of these things.. You bring the body we bring the resistance (springs., dumbbells, bands) The added benefit of doing one of our Pilates class is that we tell you what to do!
You don’t have to think about what exercises to do, or worry about if you are doing them correctly, or using the right amount of resistance. We do all of that for you!
You bring your body and we bring the rest!

You can see that Pilates fits the bill for the type of exercise that would be good for adults, but maybe you are still thinking that you are too old? Maybe the machines seem a little daunting, or you aren’t really sure if you are capable of performing all of the exercises in class?

Well here are a few things for you consider before rushing ahead and booking your next Pilates class.

  1. Can you get up and down from a low bench? If so then you will be fine to get on and off the Pilates Reformer!.

  2. Are you restricted with what positions you can be in or movements you can do? If you are then Reformer or Mat Pilates Class is probably Not for you. BUT some 1on1s and a tailored program in our Studio Pilates Class might be more up your ally!

  3. Do you have any major health issues or injuries that may prevent you from starting a new exercise routine? If you do, then it’s best that you see your Doctor and make sure they give you the all clear to join a class

So to answer your question! NO!

You are definitely not too old to be doing Pilates. You might actually find that by doing regular Pilates classes will help you feel younger for longer!


Steph & The Pilates HQ Team
XX


P.S Feel like starting out with some Pilates Today but it’s been a while since you exercised? Then check out our NEW Course - Find Your Fit here

HQ-er of The Month - Jocelyn Freeman

Our HQer of the Month, Joce Freeman, has taken over our blog this week to tell you all about her, as well as the what’s, how’s, who’s and why’s of her Pilates HQ Journey!
Take it away Joce…

Pilates HQ Client of the Month

Hi

I’m Jocelyn, aka Tom, Estelle & Hugh’s Mum or Sam’s wife, occasional bookkeeper and nurse.

My favourite hobbies are Pilates and walking my Border Collie, Lexie. Not cooking and cleaning as my children may think.

My Pilates journey started off as curiosity, So I decided to bid on a ‘HQ Beginners Intro Pack’ at a silent auction at Buninyong Primary School, thinking if I win then I will have to book in and use it, no excuses!

I have always enjoyed exercise, but like any Mum it is often difficult to fit it in and not feel even more fatigued afterwards, Pilates does not do this.

I was a complete novice when I started (no need to be afraid) but the beginner class set the tone for repeating and getting the basics correct before I increased to two intermediate classes a week. I can’t wait to start the new ‘Tempo’ Class next week, just for bit more speed.

I feel more toned and definitely more flexible- but I’m still working on conquering “Roll Ups”.

I was made immediately welcome, so lucky to have such a great studio and knowledgeable instructors and the best bit is that I have made some wonderful friends.

Buninyong is a wonderful community, I am often having one of Ballarat’s best coffees at Maggie and Kate, and you will often see me stocking up on groceries at my favourite Buninyong shop, Food works.

Be Warned Pilates is very addictive and great fun!


Joce.


Joce, We have loved having you in our studio each week and are super lucky to get to hang out with you twice, sometimes three times a week, BONUS!
we are so glad that You won the voucher and can’t wait to see all the amazing things you do in and out of the studio in the years to come!


Steph & The Pilates HQ Team

xx

5 Quick & Easy Ways to Get Your Exercise Mojo Back!

You started out on a roll with your exercise but you fell off the wagon, and the longer you went without exercising the harder it was to get started again. Sound familiar?

If you’ve taken a break from exercise, intended or not, you know that the struggle is REAL when it comes to getting back into your routine!

BUT, it’s time to dust off your active wear, climb out of that butt groove you created in the couch and get your exercise mojo back with our 5 simple and actionable tips!

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1.Know Your Why!

It’s easy to forget the reasons why you enjoyed exercising or the benefits you felt when you aren’t doing it!
I’ll bet you can think of heaps of reasons you can’t or don’t want to get back into exercise though!

OUR TIP

Write Down all of the benefits of Pilates that you have experienced in the past!
Here are a few to get you started

  • Reduced Stress

  • More energy,

  • Better sleep

  • More time for yourself,

  • A sense of achievement

  • Feeling strong and fit

  • Less pain

  • Able to chase the kids around

Now stick them where you will see them often, like on your fridge or the toilet door, to remind you of all the awesome benefits you got from your Pilates routine!

Not only will this help you get your mojo back, but it will also keep your WHY front of mind! So,when the inevitable happens and, you’ve had a bad day or the kids are running an absolute muck, instead of cancelling your Pilates class you can look at that list and use it as your motivation!

And on those days especially, once you finish that class, give yourself a freaking reward sister!

2. Stop waiting for the Perfect Time- it doesn’t exist

How often do you tell yourself that you’ll book back into your Pilates Class when you have more time? OR When you aren’t working as much? OR when the kids sports die down?

It’s easy to tell ourselves that we will start again later, when the conditions are just right! But let’s face it, the conditions are never going to be right, there will never be a perfect time for anything.

OUR TIP

Just start!
Book that Class today and don’t let yourself cancel it!


3. Lower your expectations

If it’s been a little while since you’ve been to a class or exercised, then you’ve probably lost some of your strength and fitness.
You probably know this though and I bet you are still worrying that you won’t be as fit or as strong as you used to be.
Well, Stop that thinking, because it’s totally OK if you aren’t where you used to be!

It’s OK if things have changed. You don’t have to be The Best or The Fittest or The Strongest.

You just have to be where you are at this very point in time. Allow your workout to meet you where your fitness level is.

OUR TIP

Maybe attend a beginner class instead of an intermediate class, OR ask your instructor to modify some exercises for you.
Allow yourself to start again and build back up!

4. Motivation comes in waves - no one is motivated all of the time.

Motivation is a tricky one, I think we assume that people who exercise a lot have a never-ending supply of motivation, but that’s NOT true. What they do have is a habit and a routine!

So instead of trying to “find the motivation” to get yourself to class or to,instead, try to create a habit.

OUR TIP

Pre-book and prepay for your class,(you’re already invested this way)

Set an alarm on your phone or pencil your exercise into your diary and train yourself to work on autopilot!

5. Don’t be afraid to change your session!

Doing something is better than nothing! So don’t be afraid to change up your routine on those days when you are feeling extra tired and like you really don’t want to exercise.

You’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel for exercising anyway!

OUR TIP

Instead of doing a really hard class, jump into an easier session.
Tell the instructor that you’re not feeling like your usual self and that you might take it a bit easier.


So when the time comes for you to re-start your routine again (NOW).
Remember! give yourself a break, allow yourself to start again and let your Pilates class meet you at the level you are at instead of the other way around!

Steph & The Pilates HQ Team
Xx

P.S

If it’s been a little while between Pilates classes, then we would love to help you get back into a routine and on the path to feeling happier, healthier and stronger.

You can book your classes here or maybe you need a little more support and guidance to get find your old fit, healthy & happy self, then our new Find Your Fit Course is definitely For you - read more about it here!



HQ-er of The Month - Kate Bond

This Month’s HQer of the month is Kate! Kate is a Primary school teacher and she loves seeing the growth her students make emotionally, academically and socially throughout their school years.
Kate Started out at Pilates HQ around 2 years ago after a suggestion from her Doctor, due to her Hip Dysplasia. When she is not Pilates-ing Kate can be found reading a good book, catching up with friends and family over a lovely meal and glass of wine or maybe even Stand Up Paddle Boarding at Barwon Heads.
Kate brings a beautiful calm energy to Pilates HQ and we look forward to seeing her in class each week. Find out all about Kate and her Pilates Journey below.

Beginner Pilates Classes, Pilates Buninyong

Beginner Pilates Classes, Pilates Buninyong

Kate, I know you are a teacher and that you attend Pilates once a week, but I would love to know what makes you you? What do you love doing when you are not doing these things?

I live in Mount Helen with my husband, Shane. We recently built a new house and moved in at the end of last year. I spend a lot of time with my family and friends, often catching up over a meal or glass of wine. I really enjoy cooking for others and have enjoyed many fun catch ups over the last few months in our new home.

Apart from my weekly Pilates class, I go to the gym three times a week and do a group training session with my sisters and some friends. Although I'm not the greatest at exercise, I find it easier to go with others as I usually find an opportunity to have a laugh (at myself or someone else)

I also love spending time at the beach and feel lucky that we live close enough that we can easily go there for a day. Shane and I have recently found that we enjoy stand up paddle-boarding and we always try to do that a few times over summer.

How long have you been a teacher for? What Year levels do you teach and why do you love what you do?

I started teaching in 2009 and have enjoyed many happy, fun-filled and rewarding days in the classroom. I currently teach a beautiful Grade 1/2 class and I taught Prep for many years prior to this. I have seen many of the children that I taught in Prep graduate from Grade Six and move onto high school. It is so wonderful to see the growth the children make academically, socially and emotionally in their school journey. I feel extremely grateful to be a small part of this journey.

What do you get up to when school holidays come around?

I enjoy travelling both in Australia and overseas and have been lucky enough to visit many interesting countries. If I'm not travelling, I like to spend time relaxing at home and catching up on jobs or projects around the house.

We also enjoy popping down to the beach for the day, no matter what the weather is like. One of my favourite places in the world to spend time at is Barwon Heads and we visit it often.

What lead you to want to start Pilates and why did you choose Pilates HQ?

A few years ago, I discovered I have hip dysplasia. My doctor recommended Pilates to help strengthen my body and I decided I would try it. I chose Pilates HQ as it was close to home and I had heard some great reviews.

Did you have any apprehensions about starting Pilates?

I was nervous about starting Pilates. I did not know if I would be able to do all of the exercises and had no idea how to use the reformer.
I find it's always daunting walking into a new place where others are already familiar, however, I did my first class with Steph one day in the holidays nearly two years ago and have been going to Abby's Wednesday evening class since then.

Initially, I was really impressed by how comfortable Steph and Abby made me feel as a newcomer to Pilates HQ, and I feel exactly the same about all of the instructors now.

What did you think Pilates would be like before you started and has that opinion changed now that you come each week?

I had a very vague idea of what Pilates was going to be like prior to starting. I had heard some friends talk about Pilates and had talked with them about it, but I found it very hard to understand how the exercises on the reformer worked until I tried them. In the beginning, when Steph or Abby showed us a new exercise, I would often wonder if my body was capable of doing it. Now, I feel confident enough to have a go. Depending on the exercise, I might even try the next level. I always appreciate Abby and Steph for correcting my technique, and for their tips and advice.

Have you noticed any changes or improvements since starting Pilates?

My body certainly feels a lot stronger all over. Before I started Pilates, my hip would often give way however, I feel this happens less often now. Another aspect I really appreciate is that I feel relaxed after my weekly class at Pilates HQ.

Do you have any favourite restaurants or cafes to visit in Buninyong or Ballarat?

I do enjoy grabbing a coffee and love to visit many of the different cafes that we have locally. I really like to pop into Fika when I'm in town. Often, on the weekend, Shane and I will head to a small cafe for a relaxing breakfast or brunch. We're also fans of a hot chocolate from the Chocolatto shop in Buninyong.

What are the main things you do as self-care?

I always have a book that I'm reading, although I usually read the most when it's school holidays. At the moment, I'm reading 'Any Ordinary Day' by Leigh Sales. Apart from reading, I have recently discovered that I'm a huge fan of jigsaw puzzles and we always have one in our living room. I find working on a puzzle both relaxing and satisfying at the same time.

What words of advice do you have for someone who is wanting to come to their first Pilates class?

Just try it - all of the instructors at Pilates HQ are amazing and accommodating. I find that they use their expertise to support and guide you through the exercises so that each one is achievable. I appreciate Abby and Steph for their positive encouragement and guidance throughout the class, and I'm sure everyone else does too


Well Done Kate on Your Pilates HQ Journey so far, we can’t wait to see all the amazing things that you do inside and outside of our Studio this year.

Steph & The Pilates HQ Team
xx

HQ-er of The Month - Monika Graham

This Month’s HQer of the Month is Monika Graham!!!!
Monika has been coming to Pilates HQ for almost one year now and what an incredible journey it has been. She originally started because she wanted to improve her mobility after having a Horse Riding accident 3 years ago, and so she found Pilates HQ.
Read on to find out why Monika loves PIlates, how she makes sure she fits Pilates into her busy schedule and her favourite place to ride her horse.

Reformer Pilates, Buninyong, Ballarat

Reformer Pilates, Buninyong, Ballarat

Tell us a little bit about you. What makes you, you? what do you get up to when you are not working and pilates-ing?

Yes, well I work part-time at the hospital as a Medical Workforce officer – desk-bound and google-eyed, looking at the computer all day. I normally get up around 5 am, starting with a coffee to wake me up. Get dressed and walk Shadow my kelpie for half an hour before I generally ride my horses on the arena for 45minutes.

My horsey discipline is dressage and we are working hard to form a partnership and compete. Other pleasures are getting out on my motorbike, to work and to Pilates and travelling with my husband. Oh, we also have a miniature horse and I am helping Geoff competing with him with showing and in hand competition.

Pilates is right up there in my pleasure list – though at times I struggle and don’t feel elegant. Love the movies and catching up with great friends

What are your favourite places in and around Buninyong to go for a walk or to go for a horse ride?

I walk around the uni, union jack, Desoza park, the golf course and surrounds.

I generally ride on my arena at home but go trail riding out Ross Creek/Smythesdale area We love living near Buninyong, it has such a nice village atmosphere.

Why did you decide to try Pilates and what made you choose Pilates HQ?

I have done pilates before and really enjoyed it. It was mat pilates and I felt that I had a lot more mobility and flexibility doing it on a regular basis.

3 years ago, I shattered my leg in a horse riding accident (of course). Getting my mobility back was on top of my list. I felt Pilates would help me with that but was struggling to find the right place to join. I knew there was Pilates HQ in Buninyong and it was only speaking to a couple of ladies I knew found out that you can attend on a casual basis. Both ladies had really good things to say about Pilates HQ and living in Mt Helen, it was perfect to make contact.

You started out doing beginner classes and then stepped it up to an intermediate class as well as a group rehab class! (And killing it by the way)

What have you liked about the intermediate classes?

Reformer Pilates, Buninyong, Ballarat

Reformer Pilates, Buninyong, Ballarat

I like a challenge and intermediate classes certainly do that. I like is the different exercises that work on different parts of the body. No one class is the same and there is a great variety. Everyone is at different levels and no one is made to feel inadequate or awkward. The age group varies and it is really great when you see a male participating in Pilates

Have you noticed any benefits from doing 2 classes a week rather than just 1?

2 classes a week is perfect – If I had more time every second day would be even better. I do 1 reformer and 1 Group Rehab which means, I am pushed at reformer, trying to keep up with the session and working different muscles and then any specific challenges I have can be addressed at the Group Rehab Class.

Were you nervous about coming to your first class at Pilates HQ?

Yes – I was a little nervous coming back to Pilates and joining. Although the email correspondence with the staff was very positive, I was curious what was behind that glass window, as the set up inside had all this equipment which I never used before. However, Jess took my first class and was very encouraging, ensuring that the reformer was friendly and reasonably easy to use. Not having used this type of equipment before was fun and just added to the positive atmosphere and vibe when I came in.

Do you have any advice for anyone for someone that might be wanting to start Pilates but is nervous about coming to their first class?

As Nike’s logo states – Just do it.

Pilates is a great way to use parts of your body individually and together. Pilates HQ is well supported by staff and is a very friendly environment. No matter what your age or your physical abilities are, commencing at the beginners level, lets you start to see what you can do with your body. It is a great workout without the physical requirements of a gym or running and you do build up strength. Everyone is nervous when they start out, but really it is your own journey you should be concerned about.

Have you noticed any benefits or improvements since starting Pilates at Pilates HQ?

Although it has not made me any younger, I believe my benefits are improved in my dressage riding – I am able to isolate parts of my body and use my core better to ride one with my horse. My balance has improved and I believe my flexibility has too. I don’t have to go to the chiropractor any more with stiffness in my neck

What is your favourite part of your Pilates Classes?

Favourite part of Pilates – knowing that I did a great workout to the best of my ability. Having a discussion with my instructors if I have doubts and getting the encouragement to continue. Looking back on when I began and acknowledging that I have improved. Pushing myself to look just as good as everyone else.

You are very busy with your horse riding, and many people in the same situation wouldn't make time for extra activity, like Pilates so What would your advice to these people be?

If you are looking at doing some activity and do not know what you want to do, give Pilates a go. You just need to have the mindset that you can do. Just start at the beginning and gently push yourself. You do not know what you can achieve unless you try. Doing pilates at Pilates HQ, everyone is friendly and encouraging. There are many people that are doing pilates here of various ages, genders and body types. The instructors are encouraging and the members friendly

How do you find/make the time for your pilates and horse riding? What are your secrets to making these activities part of your daily/weekly routine?

I get up at 5 am to walk Shadow my dog and ride before I go to work. I plan my pilates for straight after work before I get home and cook dinner and walk Shadow again before the night ends. It is what I do and what I believe is good for my well being. Let's face it, we are not getting any younger. If we can improve our flexibility, mobility and everything else about us, why not.

Monika you are an absolute hoot, we absolutely love the energy and joy that you bring to studio and the way you always manage to make us laugh. Keep up all of the hard work, we can’t wait to see what amazing things you achieve in Pilates and Life by the end of this year!



Steph & The Pilates HQ Team
Xx

So You Want a Strong Core… BUT Do You Know Why?

Ever headed to “Dr Google” with Questions like…
How do I strengthen my core?
What is the best exercise for my core?
Why should I strengthen my core?
Can a weak core cause back pain?

If so, I am sure that you were bombarded by blog posts and articles ranting and raving about the importance of a “strong core”. And, as is to be expected with an extended amount of “Dr Googling”, you were probably left confused and maybe even convinced that You “have no Core!” or that strengthening your core would be the answer to all of your problems.

So Let's Break This Topic Down, What Is This Core Thing And Does It Even Matter?

Pilates, Plank, Reformer, Buninyong, Ballarat

Pilates, Plank, Reformer, Buninyong, Ballarat

The “Core” Is a term often used by people to describe the centre of their body and most people associate this with their abdominals, back muscles and pelvic floor.

Originally, we taught people to squeeze and contract all of these muscles at once, thinking it would help them be “stable” and would get rid of their back pain.

But more recent research suggests that it isn’t all about your abdominals, and that having weak abdominals doesn’t necessarily mean you will have back pain.

The thought process on how we should engage these muscles has also changed.
Whilst it can be important for certain people to engage and cue their pelvic floor and whilst we know that it is important to be strong throughout our body, we also now know that we don’t have to be squeezing these muscles all of the time.

Why Not?

Well…

Muscles are meant to contract and relax to produce or control a movement or body part.
Our muscles and our bodies adapt and produce more or less force depending on the demands of a task, rather than producing a large force all the time.

If we were to squeeze everything all at once, all of the time or even to perform a task, our body would become rigid; movement would become more difficult to produce and tasks like bending over or twisting, would be much more difficult to perform.

So now you're confused…

If I don’t need to squeeze everything at the same time and having super strong abs isn’t the answer to my problem then what am I meant to do?

You are meant to Move!

Your body is meant to be able to move in all planes of movement.
Your spine is meant to bend, extend and rotate with control and strength!

So, the answer, the key to you being healthy, fit and relatively injury free is to;

  • Find an activity you love, a way of moving your body that makes you happy and do that!

  • Be able to confidently move your body in all directions with control and strength

  • Get yourself and your body strong and resilient, so that you can perform the tasks that you love and need to do daily, with ease.

  • And then include all of the other ingredients to a healthy lifestyle; adequate sleep, healthy diet & minimal stress,

Do all of this and you will be laughing!

“Change happens through movement and movement heals.”
— Joseph Pilates

This is one of the main reasons that I love Pilates - because although Pilates focuses on building strength in your body (all of your body not just your abdominals), it also teaches you
- How to have control over your movements
- How to have confidence in your body
-To move through all planes of movement.


Pilates although often thought of as a method to increase “core strength” always was and still is a method of movement and as Joseph Pilates himself said, “Change happens through movement and movement heals.”


Want to fall in love with moving your body again?
Then get in touch with us today at hello@pilates-hq.com.au


Steph & The Pilates HQ Team

Xx

HQer of the Month - Jo O'Kelly

This month we are shinning the light on the wonderful Jo O’Kelly! Jo is a busy working mum of three gorgeous Children, as well as an incredible Photographer (She actually did all of our staff photos!).

Jo started at HQ just over 1 year ago hitting the ground running with our January Deal and doing 2 Classes a Week. Since this time, Jo has been so incredibly consistent with her Pilates and as a result has showed great improvements in all aspects of her practice.
Read on to find out all the things that Jo loves about Pilates at Pilates HQ, her advice for fitting in exercise to a busy schedule and her tips on where to go in Buninyong.

I don’t ever remember feeling as strong or as flexible as I do at this point in my life.
Reformer Pilates, Long Spine, Pilates Buninyong

Reformer Pilates, Long Spine, Pilates Buninyong

Tell us a little bit about you. (You are a teacher, photographer, mum) what else makes you you! and what do you get up to when you are not doing all of the mum, teacher & Pilates things?

So, where do I begin and what do I choose to share with you all about ME??
I am who I am because of the strong foundation of my extended family. I learnt from a young age that what is most important in life is people and the relationships in which we hold, develop and treasure. So I invest much of my time and effort into the relationships that I am most fortunate exist around me. I have a gorgeous husband and three children whom I adore beyond words could ever adequately express. My children are aged ten, eight and four.

I work as a primary school teacher. I adore supporting children on their journey as learners.

I also work in the professional photography industry and continue with determination to develop my craft, always exploring new avenues to learn and to extend my own knowledge and skill set.

Why did you decide to try Pilates and what made you choose Pilates HQ?

I first became aware of Reformer Pilates when gorgeous Steph made contact with me for my photography service. This was in 2016. I admired from a far for almost 12 months as at the time I had allowed myself to live at the 'bottom rung of the ladder' and I guess in retrospect had chosen to place the needs and desires of others consistently before my own. Prior to having children I was heavily involved as a netballer at my home club in Birregurra.

I continued to admire Pilate's HQ via instagram and often sat on my couch in awe watching Steph do the most incredible things with her body in the video footage that she posted. In January 2018 I made the decision to improve my self care choices and to value what was important for me to be successful in all facets of life. I had really enjoyed the time I had spent with Steph whilst photographing her. I truly believed in her story and knew that I would feel most welcome and safe at her headquarters.

You started out doing beginner classes and you are now stepping up the challenge to advanced classes? (AHHMAZING BY THE WAY)

What have you liked about the intermediate & advanced classes?

I truly still spin out and some times laugh out loud during classes at what my body has become and is able to do. I love everything there is to a Reformer Pilates class. I love the challenge of moving my body with an instructors direction. I love most the strength and flexibility elements. I don't ever remember feeling as strong or as flexible as I do at this point in my life. Both the intermediate and advanced classes challenge my mind and body in the most positive of ways. I also love watching Steph and her team model an advanced movement. I smile at how incredible their own bodies are able to move and feel excitement at what my body might be able to achieve once I make my own attempt.

Were you nervous about jumping into the next level of class (eg. beginner to intermediate?) and if so how did you feel after a few classes at that level?

I don't remember feeling nervous as such. I did however question in my mind whether my body would be able to do what was expected in the advanced class. Mindset is crucial and it was necessary for me to spend time with my own mind preparing myself. I chose to attend the advanced class with a mindset of growth believing that I could be successful, perhaps not immediately, but that with continued effort I would achieve success. I choose to believe that I can master new poses, stretches and skills with grit, tenacity and determination and genuinely believe in my mind and my body.

Do you have any advice for anyone out there who might be considering jumping up to the next level of Reformer Class but is hesitant or nervous about it?

My advice would be to listen to the suggestions of our gorgeous Pilates HQ instructors. They are all skilled and so aware of our bodies. I encourage you to trust in their knowledge. I also encourage you to trust that if they suggest trying an intermediate or an advanced class that they will guide you every step of the way. I believe this to be part of the genuine beauty of Pilates HQ. The way our instructors monitor our movements and use of the machines, is testament to their skill level and commitment in supporting our bodies to be the strongest they can be.

Have you noticed any benefits or improvements since starting Pilates at Pilates HQ?

Goodness YES! Without word of a lie I have never felt as strong, flexible and toned as I do at this point. My balance has improved and I have even noticed an improvement with my posture. The strength I feel isn't exclusive to one area of my body either. My legs, arms, abdominal area, back and even my neck all feel stronger.

There is an additional benefit. This is one I hadn't considered. I can arrive at Pilates a little like a duck. When I refer to a duck I consider the analogy that 'on top of the surface of the water' I am mostly calm and poised, but 'under the surface of the water' my legs are paddling for dear life. My mind is often so full that I feel it could explode within seconds and I can feel all sorts of mixed emotions. The truth is that once class formally begins and I focus on the instructors voice, her guidance and then allow my body to move; my mind calms, my body calms and when I leave I feel much more in control. I feel much more in control of everything. It is the most wonderful feeling having Pilates HQ allow me to reset and resume a state of calmness, in addition to the physical benefits.

People often say that it is hard to fit exercise in and to make time for themselves, what are you secrets to fitting in your classes?
You are a working mum so we would love to know if you have any tips for other mums out there, when it comes to exercising with a busy life/kids?

This is a really important question. I could give multiple reasons why I could choose not to fit my two classes per week into my schedule. I don't believe I have any secrets. I have simply made a commitment. And when I make a commitment I keep it. Rarely do I make commitments for myself at a personal level, however, when I took some time to reflect I realised that I deserve this commitment. I deserve to feel strong. I deserve to feel balanced and I deserve to practise mindfulness. I deserve time.

We love supporting our little Buninyong Community & We know you do too Jo, so we would love it if you could give us a few Hot Tips

1. Where is Your Favourite Place for coffee in town?

I am not a coffee lover and so couldn't make comment about where you'll find amazing coffee in Buninyong. Jimmy (my 4 year old) and I have lunch on Fridays during the school term at Katrine's, Maggie and Kate. I adore her smashed avocado dish with pomegranates. Jimmy loves her chicken wrap.

2. What is Your favourite place to hang out with the kids?

There are so many places that my family and I enjoy in Buninyong. We love bike riding as a family in and around town, in particular the track around Desoza Park. It is tranquil and full of the most beautiful shades of green. We also love riding to and around The Gong.

If the kids could choose where our bikes would take us, they would choose Chocalatto every time. They adore Zach's spiders.

3. What is Your favourite spot in Buninyong to photograph?

I am most fortunate to open my blinds daily to the sun rising from behind Mt Buninyong. We often sit at our kitchen table admiring the Mount. Some days we see it in its full glory and other days it is hidden by low fog and cloud cover. We regularly reflect as a family about how fortunate we are to look out to such natural beauty when in the comfort of our own home.

Mount Buninyong Photography, Jo O’Kelly

Mount Buninyong Photography, Jo O’Kelly

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Steph and her team for all that they offer at Pilates HQ. I personally feel so grateful to be a member of the Pilates HQ family. It is a beautiful place and one that Steph should feel incredibly proud of creating and nurturing. I look forward to continuing to care for my mind and body at Pilates HQ into the future.

Thank You Jo for bringing your beautiful bright personality and amazing attitude to our Studio each week. We truly are blessed to have you as part of our community and we look forward to seeing what you achieve both in and out of Pilates HQ in 2019.


Love
Steph & The Pilates HQ Team
Xx

3 Reasons why you can’t afford to NOT be doing PILATES at PILATES HQ?

Life is getting expensive, isn’t it? Food and petrol prices keep rising and so does coffee..anything but the coffee right? Yet despite the price rises we still need to eat and drive and so we pay for these things because we need them to live our lives. But when it comes to spending money on ourselves and our health, by doing something like Pilates we question it. Why? Because we feel guilty, but we shouldn’t! Spending money on your mental and physical health is so important and if done the right way you might even find yourself saving money in the long run.

We hear so many people say, I can’t afford to come to Pilates, and we get it, I mean when you look at it as a treat.. #treatyoself, then yeah maybe it is expensive. But when you look at it as a weekly self-care routine that improves your health, your mood and your hip pocket it starts to seem a little less like a treat and more like a necessity, doesn’t it?

Reformer Pilates Classes, for all levels at Pilates HQ

Reformer Pilates Classes, for all levels at Pilates HQ

Here are 3 Reasons Why you can’t afford to NOT be doing PILATES at Pilates HQ

1.Your pocket will thank you for it!

Have you ever added up the amount of money you spend on health appointments; on Massage,Physio, Chiro, Osteo, Drs?
The Australian Institute of Wellness and Health (AIWH) stated that in 2016-2017 Aussies spent $1,222 on health care each year (not including your private health). That’s almost the same as one Pilates Class a week (on a 10 class pass).

Add in your Pilates Class each week and you’ll start to feel stronger and fitter. Plus, you’ll see yourself saying goodbye to some of those aches and pains that you had.
(Don’t believe me? Then read our HQ-er Stories Here and Here.)

2. You’ll have better health, more energy and a better quality of life

Did you know that being physically active reduces the risk of developing chronic health conditions, which means you’ll live longer!!!

Exercise also releases all of those feel-good hormones which means your mood is better and you have more energy!
So you’ll live longer and you’ll have more energy to do the things you love with the ones you love. Think, walking your kids down the aisle, running around with your grand kids.
I’d pay pretty good money to be able to have and do all of those things, wouldn’t you?

Yeah yeah I know, it’s free to go out and exercise, go for a walk with the kids or a friend or to do some exercises in your lounge room, but these things have always been free and yet most of us struggle to find the “get up and go” to do them.


Which brings me to 3.

3. You will have more accountability more commitment and more benefits by joining a group Pilates Class at HQ.

You book a class time, schedule it into your diary and you pay for it! BAM! straight away you have a reason to attend, you’ve made a commitment to our instructors and the other clients in your class to attend.
When you start classes at HQ you have a community of other HQ clients around you to help keep you motivated and engaged. You also have us, your instructors to guide you in how to best move your body, as well as to help you stay committed to your health.
And then the final added extra! By exercising in a group you can reduce your stress by 26% (Dayna M et al, JAOA 2017).

So you see, you really have no choice but to get your body moving and what better way to do it than with us at Pilates HQ

Why not book your first Bundle of Classes today - by clicking here!
Or Send us an email to find out how to get started.


Steph & The Pilates HQ Team

XX

Don’t let MenoPAUSE put a stop to living your life!

The benefits of physical activity during menopause.

It’s the M word every woman dreads. Menopause. Whether you’ve experienced it or not every woman has heard about this period of life, whether it be from their mother, sister, grandmother or even movies and social media. It’s commonly portrayed as the evil step sister to the reproductive period of our lives, characterised by stories of hot flushes, night sweats, fatigue and headaches.

So, what is menopause?

It’s a time during a woman’s life, usually between the ages of 45-55 years of age, when menstruation has ceased for a period of 12 months or greater. In the absence of ovulation the body fails to produce progesterone or oestrogen, two primary sex hormones. This can cause a number of side effects that you may be familiar with:

https://cdn.mamamia.com.au/wp-https://cdn.mamamia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/menopause1.png

https://cdn.mamamia.com.au/wp-https://cdn.mamamia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/menopause1.png

  • Hot flushes

  • Night Sweats

  • Fatigue and difficulty sleeping

  • Irritability and poor mood

  • Forgetfulness

  • Lack of self esteem

  • Aches and pains

  • Lack of sexual drive

  • Depression and Anxiety

  • Increased weight or central adiposity

  • Incontinence

And with all these symptoms the last thing you probably want to do is be active right?

Why becoming or remaining active during this time in your life should be a priority.

 

INCREASE BONE DENSITY

The lack of the female reproductive hormones, particularly oestrogen can directly impact your bone health. This is typically due to the protective role estrogen plays on our bones. This puts women at greater risk of developing osteopenia or osteoporosis and increases risk of fractures. (Women, we get it all right!)

BUT,  participating in weight bearing and strength exercise during this time can have great effects on strengthening and maintaining bone health.

Not only this, strength exercise has also been linked to increased muscle mass, weight management and a reduced risk of falls later in life.  

 

REDUCED WEIGHT GAIN & RISK OF CHRONIC DISEASE

Changes in hormones, along with lack of activity due to menopausal symptoms can also result in weight gain, particularly in the abdominal region. Increased abdominal or visceral fat increases a person’s risk of developing many forms of chronic disease including: heart disease, type II diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and some cancers.

Exercise can have a powerful effect on managing not only weight, but all these risk factors through improving heart and vascular health along with increasing insulin sensitivity and regulating blood glucose levels.

 

BETTER PELVIC FLOOR HEALTH

As hormone levels continue to decline, there are also a number of changes that occur in the genital region. These can include thinning and reduced elasticity of the vaginal wall along with atrophy of the pelvic floor muscles. This can lead to continence concerns along with pelvic floor dysfunction. Gentle exercise targeted at strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, such as Pilates, can therefore have a positive impact on not only reducing incontinence but also the stress and anxiety that can occur with such conditions.      
 

Ready to tame the menopausal beast?

Just a little activity everyday (at least 30 minutes) can assist with the management of menopausal symptoms and help YOU live the happiest and healthiest life YOU deserve. Not only for yourself but also for your family, partner and friends!  

Abby Byrne & The Pilates HQ Team

P.S - Stay tuned for details on our upcoming Women's Health Workshop this September

HQ CLIENT LOVE - RAELENE

PilatesHQ20171112_10.JPG

This month we spoke with Raelene. Raelene is a HQer through and through, and has been coming to our classes from the Start, back when there were only four reformers in Steph's Home Studio. 

Raelene is well and truly part of the HQ Tribe and not only has her strength and control improved in leaps and bounds but she has also managed to rope her husband into starting (and loving) Pilates.

Read on to find out all about Raelene's Pilates Journey.

 

Whilst it may not be for everyone it is the old saying you will never know unless you give it a go.

1.     What enticed you to come to a Pilates class?

I have suffered a couple of injuries which have ongoing impacts. I was finding boot camp and running too hard on my body, my Physio (not Steph) had told me to stop all sports. I did for a short-term but being active all my life was hard so I had to find an activity that would allow me to find a happy medium in my life that would keep me active and build strength without the hard impact on my body.

2.     Were you feeling nervous or anxious about your first class and why?

My feelings were more around hoping that I could do some of the exercises and I was fit enough to get through the session.

3.     What is your favourite Pilates exercise and why?

I have two –Teaser and Legs in strap bring legs up overhead (Don’t know the name).

Both of these exercises I felt I could get quite quickly, whereas other people struggle. But I then love the fact there are days when you think you have nailed it but can barely get your legs into table top always a challenge.

4.     Which exercise is your least favourite and why?

Back Bends- Body just not as flexible as it used to be.

5.     What makes you excited either; creatively, mentally or physically about the Pilates method?

I love the fact that no two classes are the same and every class challenges you in many different ways either being able to do the physical exercise or your mindset of having your feet high on the bar or balancing. Even the days when you don’t feel up to going you walk out 45 minutes later feeling good. I actually hate missing a class and get a bit annoyed if something interferes with my schedule.

6.     What has kept you interested in Pilates and why do you keep coming back to class each week?

That no two classes are the same, there are days when you can nail the difficult exercise and then there are days when you can barely get your legs into tabletop. I have been able to go back and play my basketball and netball as well as Pilates and I believe due to the fact it is continuing to keep me strong and reasonably fit but low impact on my body.

7.     What improvements have you noticed since coming along to Pilates Classes regularly?

Both my upper body strength has improved and also with my injuries, I do not suffer as much pain as I have been able to strengthen my body without the impact.

8.     Do you have any advice to give someone that is thinking about starting Pilates?

Whilst it may not be for everyone it is the old saying you will never know unless you give it a go.

 

Thank You Raelene!

 

Steph and The Pilates HQ Team

xx

HQ CLIENT LOVE - TABETHA

It's our favourite time of the month again! This month, we spoke with Tabetha Pearce.

Anyone who has met Tabetha in class will attest to the fact that she is a pilates machine! she is strong,flexible, determined and dedicated, and the energy that she brings to a class and the studio is incredible! 

Read on to find out why Tabetha continues to come to Pilates HQ not once, not twice but three times a week...

PilatesHQ20171112_09.JPG

1.     What sort of Exercise/Fitness Training have you done in the past?

In my younger years, I dabbled in many sports including swimming, tennis, netball and basketball. In the last decade I have enjoyed cycling, CrossFit and hiking. I love to challenge myself, be active and have a bit fun.

2.     What does your weekly exercise routine look like at the moment?

I attend three Pilates sessions a week. If I have time, I aim to complete at least 6kms on my indoor rower before or after the Pilates class.

3.     Why did you decide to start Pilates?

For over six years, I worked out at least four times a week at CrossFit. I made great gains with strength and endurance, however I began to experience recurring issues that required ongoing physio and chiro treatments. I began Pilates to improve my mobility, flexibility, and more importantly, to target my core and smaller muscle groups. I started my Pilates journey 18 months ago and haven’t looked back. Steph and the Pilates HQ team have provided assistance and guidance, helping me focus on correct technique to retrain my body to operate optimally.

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I want to be better than yesterday!  I want to achieve that movement that I struggled with last class.

4.     What have you most enjoyed about Pilates?

The HQ team provide a varied, challenging and fun program. If I can’t complete a movement or I require a little bit more of a challenge, they are more than happy to adjust the activity to suit.

I love that Pilates is for any age, gender and ability. My 15 year old daughter has added Pilates to her own weekly fitness regime. It is extremely important to me that she learn to love her body and see what it can achieve. Her body confidence and awareness has increased through this a safe, low impact method, suited to her growing body. It’s also the perfect excuse for mother/daughter time!

5.     Have you noticed any benefits or improvements in your other exercise/fitness activities from doing Pilates?

Absolutely! Pilates has played a part in me coping with long days of work and study, hunched over a computer or desk for hours at a time.

Pilates has also increased my body awareness, to better control and isolate those smaller muscles. 12 months ago, I struggled completing a 2km indoor row without experiencing some level of lower back discomfort. I can now row over 12km without any pain or discomfort.

6.     You attend three Pilates classes a week. Did you notice any differences or changes when you increased from 2 to 3 classes a week?

I found the extra class was a gentle, safe yet still challenging way to increase intensity without the extra stress on my joints or ligaments.

7.     What keeps you coming back to Pilates classes each week?

I want to be better than yesterday!  I want to achieve that movement that I struggled with last class.

Walking through the Pilates HQ door is always a pleasure, knowing that you will receive a friendly welcome. 

The Pilates HQ team are very supportive and encouraging.  Always focusing on technique and tailoring a class to an individual’s needs and ability, which makes every class challenging.

8.     Do you have any hot tips or advice for anyone that is just starting on their Pilates Journey?

It doesn’t matter your fitness background, ability or age; Pilates has something for everyone!

It is amazing for rehabilitating injuries, keeping aches and pains at bay and staying supple and agile. I recommend Pilates as a fantastic way to compliment any sport or fitness activities to improve your functionality and performance.  

 

Thank You Tabetha!

 

Steph and The Pilates HQ Team

xx

How to Conquer your Group Exercise Anxiety. And Yes, it is a Real Thing!

You all know the feeling… that deep in your gut, stomach flipping feeling you get when you even think about joining a new gym or exercise class. Thoughts start to creep in like; “I’m not fit enough”, “people will judge me”, “I could never use that equipment”, “I’m overweight”, “I’m too skinny”, I’m not strong enough” “I’m not flexible enough”.

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Starting something new can be scary and daunting; a new environment, new people, challenging exercises, and the fear of looking silly.

But having these feelings and thoughts are completely normal. We can guarantee that nearly everyone attending that class/gym with you, has been in your head space at some point and has had these exact thoughts.

We can’t necessarily stop all of this from happening, but, what we can do is give you some suggestions of how you can lessen the nerves associated with attending your first Pilates Class… or whatever it may be!

Bring A friend

Why not exercise together? Having a buddy in class with you, can put you at ease knowing you are not alone in a new environment! Someone to giggle with and go out for coffee with when you’re done! PLUS, they also help hold you accountable – if they go, you have to go!

Why not try a 1 on 1 session first?

This will give you the opportunity to get the hang of the exercises and machines, without feeling the pressure of anyone else watching you while you are learning.Feeling nervous about having other people watching you in the class or not knowing how to do the exercises is perfectly normal. Remember: everyone has to start at the beginning!

Have Confidence in Yourself

 Believe in yourself, We do! You are your only competition - You don't need to compare yourself to others, worry about whether you will be as good as others, about what you’re wearing, because we don’t! You are amazing! If you have a goal, stick to it and don’t let that fear of what other people will think, or doubt in your own ability creep in. Focus on yourself! You are there for You, so take the class at your own pace and do what feels right for you and your body!

Call or email us

We would love to talk to you! Maybe even organise a time to come and see the Studio, we love meeting knew people and strive to make your time in our studio as amazing as possible. Any questions you have are more than welcome so please, shoot us an email or a phone call and we will set you on the right path.

@spiritualgangster

@spiritualgangster

So why not strike while the iron is hot, check out our timetable and send us an email with your burning questions or with a request for a 1 on 1 - we can’t wait to hear from you.

Love

Steph & The Pilates HQ Team!

P.S YOU’VE GOT THIS! - YOU ARE A MOTHER FLIPPIN GODDESS!

 

5 Key Ingredients to the Perfect Pilates Posture

Any one that has been to a Pilates Class before knows that there is a lot to think about if you want to achieve the Perfect Pilates posture. Tuck this under, stick this out, suck that in…. oh and don’t forget to breathe. It can all get a bit confusing, and sometimes overwhelming, especially if it is your first time in a Reformer Class. New machine, new space, new people and new posture…woah. Well, I am going to try to make it all a bit simpler and break it down into 5 Key Points.

When setting up your posture, the easiest way to make sure you have everything in check, is by doing a little body scan. So, lets start at the top shall we?

Start lying on your back with your knees slightly bent and feet on the floor and let’s scan from the head and neck first.

1.       Head and Neck Position

Gently tuck your chin towards your chest, as if you are holding a peach between your chin and your chest. You just want to hold the peach softly without squishing it.

Then imagine that your head is a helium balloon, and think of your head just gently floating above your shoulders

2.       Shoulder Position

With your arms resting by your side, reach your finger tips towards your toes letting your shoulder blades reach down your back. Then shrug the shoulder blades towards your ears. Once you have done this find a resting place half way between the two of these positions

Next gently open out through the front of your chest and feel the backs of the shoulders sink down into the floor.

3.       Rib Cage Position

Try to imagine that you have some heavy books resting on your ribs and let the base of your ribs sink into contact with the floor.

4.       Lower back position – Neutral Spine

To Find your neutral spine keep everything else nice and still and then gently flatten your lower back into the floor, reaching your tail bone to the ceiling. Then arch your lower back pressing your tail bone to the floor, creating space between your lower back and the floor. Once You have found these two positions come and rest half way in between, in Neutral Spine.

5.       Hip, knee and foot position

Finally, with a slight bend in the knees, try to make a nice straight line from your hip to your knee to your foot on both sides. And try to have your weight nice and even through both feet.

 

Once You have done all of this you have found your Perfect Pilates Posture, and it is time to activate those deep abdominals… and Breathe. But, that’s a lesson for another day.

 

This may seem like information overload to begin with, but I promise you, if you practice this, it will all become second nature soon enough.

Next thing you know you’ll be strutting the streets of Buninyong with the best posture ever!

Steph & The Pilates HQ Team

 

HQ CLIENT LOVE

The one thing we love most about seeing everyone's smiling faces  in class each week, is when we see people achieve something they didn’t think they could, or when we see how much people have improved since they first walked through our doors.

This month we would like to shine the spotlight on one of our HQ clients, Suanne Murdoch, and everything that she has achieved since starting Pilates Classes with us.

Suanne started coming to our classes around nine months ago with the aim of improving her posture and helping her aching shoulders. She began with beginner exercises, learning how to activate her deep abdominals and trying to get both legs into table top (in the air). Suanne has attended classes once a week, almost religiously since her very first session and in this time has improved so much.

In the nine months that Suanne has been coming to Pilates HQ, she has gone from attending beginner classes once a week, to now, being able to jump into an intermediate class, when the time suits. 

We had a chat to Suanne recently to ask her a few questions about her Pilates Journey so far.

 Why did you start Pilates?

 I was having trouble with my shoulders and lower back at work because I work at a desk all day. 

How long have you been doing Pilates for?

I started in March/ April this year.

What is your favourite thing about coming to classes at Pilates HQ?

 The laughs, comfortable environment, the new challenges every class brings and Steph for her caring nature and knowledge. Thank you. 

 What has kept you interested in Pilates and why do you keep coming back to class each week?

 Comfortable environment, the small personal sized classes, the challenges each class brings and the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a class.

 What improvements have you noticed since coming along to Pilates Classes regularly? 

I can now get through a day at work without aching shoulders. I can get my legs into table top with no problems (this was impossible when l first started). The other bonus for me has been, l have dropped a dress size. This wasn't my aim but a great result. 

Anything else you want to add about your Pilates Journey so far?

I have felt very comfortable and at Ease at Pilates HQ. Thank you.
 

Well Done Suanne!

 

WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR FIRST PILATES HQ REFORMER CLASS?

It can be daunting and scary thinking of starting something new, venturing into a new environment with people you don't know and machine's that look like they may be some form of medieval torture device.

Everyone who has walked into a new gym or studio has felt this way at some point. Perhaps if you knew what to expect before your first class, this experience would be a little less daunting.

Your First Visit to Pilates HQ

When you walk in the door you’ll see 7 Reformers, all lined up in rows and will be greeted with a smile from your Pilates Instructor. You will be asked to fill in a small pre-exercise questionnaire, so we can find out a little bit about you, and will be shown the Reformers. We will then explain a little about the Reformer and how to use it.  If you forget, it’s not an issue, because the instructor will be there throughout the class to help you along. The Reformer Classes run smoothly from start to finish aiming to get you moving and working on each area of your body.

 

The Class

You will probably feel a bit strange gliding up and down on the reformer for the first time, and will no doubt feel somewhat vulnerable the first time you put your legs in the straps. Don’t worry though. I guarantee you that everyone in the class is remembering back to the first time they did these same things and feeling reassured that they aren’t the only ones that found it weird and awkward.

BUT you will be comforted by the fact that the other people in your class were all once in your position.

And YES they did came back a second, third, maybe even tenth time.

 And YES they now look very comfortable on these strange machines.

And YES, this will be you in no time!

The longer the class goes on the more you will get used to the way the Reformer works and you will soon realise that the sweet Pilates Instructor who greeted you at the start of your class, is not as sweet as they seemed.

You will leave your class at Pilates HQ, surprised that such small movements could leave your muscles trembling.  You will feel energised and invigorated and will be excited to book your next visit, or two or three or more.

Soon enough you will be the person making those once weird and awkward movements look easy, smooth and fluid.

 

So come on in and try your very first class at Pilates HQ, I guarantee you we will try to make your Pilates journey as enjoyable as possible.

We can’t wait to see you soon.

 

Steph & The Pilates HQ Team