Hypermobility and Pilates – What does hypermobility actually mean?

We all live inside a different body. No two are exactly the same. Some are tall. Some short. They can be big- or small-boned. There are slow, heavy and fast-moving bodies. Toned and squishy bodies. Rather than pursuing a particular (and often unattainable) body type, the way to really explore our limits is to learn about our own particular type of body. The more we understand it, the more fun we can have with it!

Firstly, we need to identify the aspects of our bodies that don’t change, like the structure of our bones. A large-boned, seven-foot-tall person will remain tall their whole life, perhaps only shrinking a few centimetres in older age due to postural changes and normal disc height reduction.

But there are many other body traits that are changeable depending on how we live and what we do. The connectivity of our muscles, ligaments and tendons fit in to this category. Muscles have been described as the organs of the will – our mind can control them. We can use knowledge about the type of muscles we are born with to exploit this characteristic to make positive and lasting changes to them.

Some people’s muscles naturally hold a lot of tension. Others inherit muscles (and ligaments) that are more flexible and mobile – therapists often label them as hypermobile.

Hypermobility Read more

Improving your yoga poses

Have you ever joined a yoga class and wondered why you seem to be struggling more than the yogi next to you?

It might help to break the pose down into the elements required by each area of the body and work on them separately before putting it all together.

Here’s an example using the ‘extended side angle’ pose as performed by Pilates instructor Luisa Burgoyne.

As pictured below, this pose requires:

  • left hip flexion
  • right hip extension
  • spine rotation right
  • elevation of right shoulder

Yoga1 Read more

My prenatal Pilates experience – week 20

Having taught and practiced Pilates for around 8 years now, my body has always been rather consistent. Even when there’s a bit of tightness in my shoulders and neck or a slight twinge in my knee, my body has always felt reliable.

My pregnancy thus far has been quite smooth sailing (touch wood), with no morning sickness and only a little bit of fatigue. However, after hitting the 20 week mark with my baby bump beginning to take shape, a couple of new niggles have developed that my body wasn’t used to. The most prominent being a tightness in my coccyx (tailbone) and sit-bones (the two boney points that we sit on). These niggles were constant, whether standing, bending over or even just trying to find a comfortable position sitting on the couch.

Read more

Exercise During Pregnancy

Falling pregnant is a magical time in a woman’s life but it can also be quite overwhelming. There is a huge amount of information to take in and a host of regular medical appointments to attend. A common misconception is that if you haven’t engaged in exercise pre-pregnancy, then it isn’t safe to start. This has recently been shown to be incorrect and current guidelines actually recommend pregnant women stay active, provided they have clearance from their doctor or obstetrician. After all, pregnancy is a normal condition and not an illness!

During the first trimester many women feel too unwell to participate in their regular exercise program. This is completely normal and it is very important to listen to your body during this time. With hormone levels fluctuating, a regular workout completed one day might feel almost impossible the next. By allowing your body to guide you, it will gradually become easier to keep exercising throughout your pregnancy.

Pregnancy

Things to take into consideration during pregnancy:

Read more

Active April in the Workplace

At Melbourne Osteopathy Sports Injury Centre, we recognise the importance of physical activity in the workplace. We support Premier’s Active April for the many physical and psychological benefits that it promotes. With just a little extra effort, you can begin forming healthy long-term habits to keep active whilst managing a busy work schedule.

Try the ideas below – they won’t take up much extra time and can lead to some very positive health improvements:

  • Choose stairs over the lift.
  • Treat escalators like stairs.
  • Try a walking meeting – this helps get the blood flowing and is great for generating ideas.
  • Find a lunch time activity – Pilates, walking, yoga, etc.
  • Encourage your workplace to start up lunchtime corporate health classes for your team. These are becoming very popular as they benefit individuals’ health and improve productivity for employers.
  • Walk part of the way to work – even if it’s just an extra 15 minutes – it all adds up.

Active April

Read more

Pilates for Men

Although often overlooked, men sometimes need a bit of help keeping their bodies virile and supple, ready to carry out a variety of requests ranging from the testosterone-crazed, to family duties and just being an all-round top bloke. Pilates is an effective form of exercise training for many of these requirements.

Despite this, Pilates studios are more often frequented by women. This might be because some women are little more open-minded or perhaps just because boys prefer throwing heavy stuff around. When I first started utilising Pilates for rehabilitation at the age of 17, I was one of only a few men in the studio. However, this trend has been changing over the last decade with more and more men coming to classes and enjoying the benefits of what Pilates can offer.

Pilates Read more

Pilates and Posture

Everyone lives a busy lifestyle, often with irregular physical activity. Nowadays people work in front of a computer all day, use their mobile phone on-the-go, sit for long periods of time (including the commute to/from work) and unsurprisingly, complain of a sore back and pain around their neck and shoulders. In addition, many people deal also with regular headaches.

This modern lifestyle has a huge effect on our posture. Many small habits when combined, can force a large negative change to your posture. For example, do you ever sit at work in a slouched position with one or both legs crossed on your chair? This common posture contributes to tightness at the neck and shoulder as well as tight hip flexors which has many (negative) flow-on effects.

If this is you, then structured training sessions in the Pilates method will help you in the short and long-term. This is because Pilates is the original corrective exercise method, working with postural alignment and core control at the powerhouse muscles (abdominals, gluteals, inner thigh, pelvic floor and deep back) as well as stretching tight muscles. On that note, Pilates uses specific exercises to dynamically mobilise and stretch tight and overworked muscle groups. Over time muscles build up directly and will be stronger, providing the client with awareness about how to maintain this ideal balance and posture.

Read more

Bodhi Suspension System

In addition to Exercise Physiology and Pilates, the MOSIC community have access to another wonderful exercise class, the Bodhi suspension system. The Bodhi unit at our Collins Street studio takes suspension training to a new level with twice as many suspension points as other systems on the market. It allows you to be suspended by all four limbs, which forces you to work your core in a much more potent way.

Bodhi Suspension Read more

Pilates Classes at Melbourne Osteopathy Sports Injury Centre

Melbourne Osteopathy Sports Injury Centre has your Pilates needs covered thanks to an expert team working over two convenient Melbourne CBD locations:

  • 140 Bourke Street (between Russell & Exhibition Streets)
  • 546 Collins Street (between King & Spencer Streets)

Our studios are fully equipped with top of the line equipment and offer adjunct services including Osteopathy, Gait Analysis, Exercise Physiology, Massage and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Our Pilates Team offer a diverse a range of qualifications under multiple accredited certification programs and each have at least five years teaching experience. Some have been teaching for more than 15-years.

Pilates Studio  Read more

Different Types of Pilates

It’s a brave new Pilates world out there ….

When I started Pilates in 1999, there was only one way you could learn the method – at a dedicated Pilates studio likely owned and operated by a brave soul who had travelled abroad to learn from another teacher. These days, Pilates and its many sub-brands can be found on almost every street corner and are even available online.

As a teacher and devotee of the Pilates method, it’s important to me that clients know what they are buying/getting into/missing out on when it comes to all the different Pilates offerings out there. For example, by opting for a cheaper type of Pilates, how are you defining value for money? Are you choosing a particular delivery method because of the actual content, or the conditions around it?

Pilates Read more