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A Pilates Primer

A PILATES PRIMERA must-have for Pilates teachers, and practitioners.  The Millennium Edition, is the complete works of Joseph H. Pilates.

This edition includes two books: Return To Life Through Contrology, originally published in 1945, and Your Health, first published in 1934.

Return To Life includes black and white photographs of Joseph Pilates at sixty years old, performing his entire original set of 34 mat exercises.

This book  makes available in one volume all of his early 20th Century philosophies, principles, and theories about health and fitness.  Each exercise is fully described, with Pilates original instructions.

Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1883, and died in New York City in 1967.   He invented, and promoted his method of physical fitness, which he called Contrology.

Essentially teaching the Contrology method to dancers in his studio in New York, his method is now taught and practised worldwide, and is known as Pilates.  The Millennium Edition is available in Kindle at Amazon, and in paperback at Barnes & Noble.

Copyright 2015 Irene Pastore, and Tour De Core Personal Training

Pilates For Figure Skaters

Figure skating is a demanding, aesthetic sport that requires concentration, agility, power, core strength, flexibility, and balance.   Each of these attributes are the essence of the Pilates method of exercise.

Core strength stabilizes, coördinates, and balances the entire body during figure skating.

Upright Pilates exercises performed while standing on an unstable surface, mimics the skaters position, and experience while on ice.

Off ice creative use of core strengthening equipment during standing Pilates, simulates the skating experience in the rink.

Gliders, sliders and even towels replicate the ice, while developing the skater’s core muscles, challenging their balance, and improving flexibility.

Dynamic power begins with the the core.  The outer muscles may be strong, but those smaller muscles that support the spine and pelvis come into play during skating.  Balancing on one foot, Jumps, spins, spirals require supreme strength in the core.

Copyright 2013 Irene Pastore and Blue Moon Personal Training

Giving up on Pilates

Why People Quit Pilates

The Pilates Hundred exercise might be too difficult for beginners.

You’ve tried a group class, and couldn’t do the exercises.  Your neck hurt, and you couldn’t keep your head off the mat.  Your hamstrings are so tight that you couldn’t straighten your legs.  You were out of breath. Everything hurt.  You couldn’t wait for the class to end.

If you had an experience like this, the class you took was much too difficult.  Maybe it was the only one offered at your gym, and you decided to try it.  But now, your never going back.  No wonder you quit.

How To Enjoy Learning Pilates

There’s a better way to begin Pilates.  Here are a few suggestions.

  • Find a Pilates studio, or gym that offers basic classes.  Call the studio, describe your needs.  Find  out whether they teach your fitness level.  
  • Find a Pilates trainer who has a studio, or will visit your home for private instruction.
  • Purchase a beginner level DVD. is a good place to start because of their large inventory.
  • Purchase a Pilates book that illustrates exercise modifications.
  • Find on online membership-based Pilates studio that offers basic classes.
  • When you take classes, be sure to listen carefully to instructions.
  • Don’t overdo it.

When To Hire A Pilates Trainer

Group exercise isn’t for everyone, especially if you’ve been injured, have special needs, or you’ve been sedentary.

Pilates Spine Supporter

The Pilates Spine Supporter is used to modify The Hundred exercise.

A qualified trainer will save you time and money by teaching you correct alignment, and how to modify exercises that are too difficult.  They will take you step-by-step through each exercise according to your ability, and help you avoid injury.

A trainer will demonstrate the use of specialized Pilates equipment, such as the Spine Supporter, and the Pilates band.

The band helps you develop stronger abdominals and neck muscles during the supine Roll-Up, without straining yourself.

The Spine Supporter develops abdominal strength, and reduces tension in your neck during the Double Leg Stretch exercise.

At some point, you might be ready to join a group class.  So, don’t give up.  If you stay with it, you’ll succeed.

 Copyright 2013 Irene Pastore and Blue Moon Personal Training