Tag Archives: strength

Barcelona Pilates Classes: Under the sun with sand in between your toes

Healthy Beach Barcelona 1

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Barcelona has everything. Sun, sea, beaches, restaurants, shopping, mountains, culture, architecture to name just few. And now it has professional fitness classes as well.

I have created in Barcelona, as a subsidiary of my business Barcelona Bienestar, a new venture called Healthy Beach Barcelona. People say that life is a beach, so why not make it a healthy beach?!?!

Healthy Beach Barcelona offers Pilates but much more. To maximise health and wellness, our bodies need much more than Pilates. So with Healthy Beach Barcelona you can get everything you need to be a God or Goddess. We offer functional and cardio training sessions on the beach and on the terrace in small groups or on a one-to-one basis. We also many other services including massage, meditation, NLP, life coaching, nutrition advice and beauty treatments including gel nails and eye-lash extensions. We offer everything you need to help you become the best you can be.

If you live in Barcelona then you can join us every day. If you coming on vacation then join us during your stay. Or even better, come to Barcelona on a Barcelona Bienestar Retreat and let us organise everything for you.

Life is a beach. Come to Barcelona and let us help you to be a healthy beach.

Find out more by clicking on Barcelona Bienestar or click on Healthy Beach Barcelona.

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

 

Sugar Ray and Pilates for the over 50’s

Sugar Ray Leonard

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Anyone who reads my blogs regularly will know that there is nothing I love more than a good Pilates story about men doing Pilates. One of my aims in life is to get more men doing Pilates, to convince more men of the benefits of Pilates, and to dispel the myth that still perpetuates that Pilates is only for girls.

So what better example than one of the most famous boxers alive today?

Sugar Ray Leonard, the five-world champion, is now 57, but he needs to exercise and eat like a champ. He still describes himself as “vain” and still a “disciplined athlete,” which is a combination that inspires him to exercise and practice moderation in all things. Health and fitness after 50 he says is about attitude, fortitude and being realistic about what your body can do. His advice? “Check your ego at the door” and “use what you can.” This is an excellent attitude for the over 50’s. It’s about balance. Sugar Ray again speaks wisdom when he says “People say ‘Oh God, I can’t do anything, also, they try to maintain what they were doing when they were 20 or 30”.

As a professional boxer, Leonard’s typical workout consisted of a 5-mile run, hundreds of sit-ups and push-ups and hours pounding bags at the gym. Today, he recommends an age-appropriate variation on that intense training: a half-hour on an elliptical machine because it’s easier on the knees, combined with bicep curls and 10 to 20 squats, sit-ups and push-ups.  But back trouble, arthritic knees and a torn rotator cuff signal the wear and tear of aging. Two years ago, he experienced pain and tingling in his back, arm and chest. He was told that he had an issue with his back because of all the punching he did.

To address this, he started Pilates. Did he find it hard? “(Bleep) yeah! I said, ‘I can’t do this’ — because I turned 50, and I hadn’t used those kind of muscles. I’d been a fighter like this for 40 years. So, now I look in the mirror and straighten it up … and I incorporate all those (exercises) into my training.”

So like many people, Sugar Ray came to Pilates because of an issue with his body. It’s a shame he didn’t know about Pilates all those years ago because it would’ve no doubt helped to improve his performance and condition. I work with many athletes via my business www.sportcorestrength.com and the improvements that even an Olympic athlete can make are nothing short of astounding.

But the moral of my story is that it is never too late. In his own words “It’s all about dreaming. If you don’t dream, you get old. You have to dream.”

If you want more information about Pilates for sport, rehabilitation or anything else, then please contact me via my website, Facebook or the form below.

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnivals, Pilates conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. Read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? for more.

 

Vanessa Hudgens: Does Pilates create a flat stomach?

Chris Hunt Wellness

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Pilates brings many benefits, most people know that. In my experience most people come to Pilates because they have an existing issue with their body that they want to rehabilitate from, they want to improve performance and quality of life (especially in a sporting sense), or because they want to change their body shape.

Pilates can achieve all these things. But I think it is always vital that clients understand exactly what Pilates is and exactly how it achieves what it does.

I am often asked the question, “will Pilates give me a flat stomach?” To help answer this question, I will use the example of Vanessa Hudgens, as she is a Pilates fan and is regularly complemented for her great figure. She was pictured this week leaving a Pilates studio in LA.

First of all, if you are not familiar with Vanessa, she is a 25-year-old American actress and singer. She rose to prominence playing Gabriella Montez in the High School Musical series and has also appeared in various films and television series for the Disney Channel.

So, back to the question, will Pilates give you a flat stomach? The simple answer is it will help for sure if it is done properly, as the abdominal muscles are trained as part of the holistic exercise system. But, and it is a big but, exercise alone is not enough. I like the saying that flat abs (or even a six-pack) is creates 20% in the gym and 80% in the kitchen. It’s an obvious fact that we all have a six-pack, of course some are genetically blessed with a head-start, but we all have one! The problem is some people’s six-packs are a little shy, they like to hide behind a layer of fat! This is why diet is vital.

I think it is important not to simply equate a stronger core with a flatter stomach. For most people, flatter abs means weight loss as well as exercise. I do not think that Pilates teachers should advertise Pilates simply to get flat abs, as this demeans the whole system. It makes me very angry when I see headlines like “5 Pilates exercises to get a six-pack”. What we should be saying is that Pilates is a holistic system that will make your body stronger, more flexible and healthier. A nice side-effect of this is often a slimmer more toned body and in turn a flatter stomach, something that is also helped by the improvement in posture that Pilates will bring. If most people simply learn and are able to stand up straight in a neutral position, then hey presto their stomach will often flatten.

Also, Pilates is about how to use your body and body awareness. This is what I really stress through NLP and mindfulness when I am teaching my system, Pilates EVO. Pilates can give you swagger!

Something that many gym goers are unaware of is that the abs should also be flexible. It’s a dangerous myth that to be strong and look good muscles should be tight. Nonsense. Every muscle needs flexibility. If we have no flexibility and balance in our bodies then eventually our bodies will break-down, often not in the area of the inflexibility.

As always, if you want more advice on anything Pilates, or about how exercise and diet can help change your figure, then please drop me a line via my website, Facebook or the form below.

 

Pilates EVO: The Past is Dead

The Past is Dead

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Since its birth around 100 years ago, the Pilates method has been modified and arguably made more effective by some distinguished presenters, but diluted and the basic principles largely ignored by less scrupulous teachers.

Pilates EVO© (EVO is an abbreviation of evolution) is like no other Pilates class you have ever been to. Developed by Chris Hunt Pilates in London, it takes Pilates in a new and exciting direction incorporating more functional training methods and movement patterns, whilst staying true to traditional Pilates principles.

Pilates EVO© expands the mind and body element of Pilates by incorporating Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Mindfulness Meditation techniques to maximise the psychological and physical benefits, improving concentration and making clients emotionally, mentally and spiritually fitter. It improves motor fitness such as agility, balance, speed, co-ordination, reaction time and power. Pilates EVO© also draws on the thousands of years of teachings from Kundalini yoga and meridian stretches to enhance the overall experience.

It has more flow and movement with sequences of moves made up from the sacred numbers 3, 7 and 21, and it uses unique, uplifting soundtracks mixed in London by DJ Shameless to enable clients to really connect with how their body is moving and working, giving a far deeper and rewarding experience. Most moves have different levels progressing muscular fitness using repetitions, range of motion, rate and resistance. This creates a system that will remain challenging to a wide range of training goals from elite athletes, people seeking everyday fitness, to clients rehabilitating following accident or injury.

This system increases muscular strength and endurance as well as flexibility, and helps prevent injury and improve performance with movements that are applicable to life and sport.

Pilates EVO© is more than an exercise system, it is a way of life. A way to maximise your potential physically, mentally and emotionally.

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Pilates helps Boston bombing survivors

CelesteSideKick3-11

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Pilates means many different things to different people. It changed my life by helping me to recover from a serious back condition, and for that reason I will always be passionate about it. As I tell me Pilates EVO students, I want teachers who teach from their heart because they believe in the system, not those who teach from their bank balance.

Pilates has helped to change many people’s lives, and this week it was reported that Celeste Corcoran is using Pilates to change her everyday life.  She is getting free Pilates sessions three times a week.

If you are not familiar with the name, Celeste and her daughter Sydney are survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings. In addition to having both legs amputated (one above the knee and one below), Celeste also had both ear drums blown out. Sydney, a freshman at Merrimack College in Andover, severed her femoral artery and nearly bled to death. While both women are healing, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Celeste has new prosthetics, but she needed a lot of strength both physically and mentally to move on with her life. About Pilates, she says “This is absolutely what I need in order to be strong and walk comfortably and to have my balance,” Celeste says. “Because my legs were taken away, there are muscles that I hadn’t used before. I wasn’t in the greatest shape. I noticed a difference almost immediately in my balance, like just standing. I believe that it’s absolutely because of Pilates.”

Pilates is the perfect rehabilitation technique because it not only gives many benefits including strength and flexibility, but it also teaches body control and muscle movement. In a rehabilitation scenario it can help to give people back control of their bodies and their lives. As it is not simply a hands-on method, it also gives people responsibility for their own rehabilitation. Whilst this may sound grandiose, I have experienced it first hand working with many clients via my organisation Pilates Rehab Limited so it is not inflated rhetoric.

I am always stressing the body control aspect of Pilates to my students as it saddens me to see some Pilates methods and teachers neglecting this crucial area. In my system Pilates EVO I use NLP and mindfulness meditation techniques to really enhance the mind and body experience for both the teacher and the student.

Pilates is not only celebrity pictures. It is a very real system that is changing the lives of millions of people around the world. I am very proud to be a small part of this global phenomenon and I will be forever grateful for the change in my life that Pilates bought about.

If you want any more information about Pilates, Pilates EVO or Pilates Rehab then please get in touch.

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Gal Gadot is Pilates Wonder Woman

Gal Godot

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Anything that raises the awareness of Pilates can only be a good thing. In today’s celebrity culture, it is a fact that many people associate themselves with the people they see in magazines or on the screen. I have no intention of arguing the rights of wrongs of this. I just accept it as a fact, and if just one person tries Pilates because of one of my blogs, then I consider this to be a success. If you want technical Pilates information that please click on the link above to my website and let’s chat 🙂

Today’s celebrity Pilates news is about Gal Gadot. The long rumoured role of Wonder Woman for the Man os Steel follow-up has been officially announced by Warner this week, with the Israeli actress taking on the role in Batman Vs. Superman.

Gadot is perhaps best known for her role in the Fast and Furious films, appearing as the character Gisele Harabo in the last three films. In a statement, producer Snyder said:

“Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most powerful female characters of all time and a fan favourite in the DC Universe. Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role. We look forward to audiences discovering Gal in the first feature film incarnation of this beloved character.”

But how does the 28-year-old former Miss Israel and mother of one maintain her body? Any guesses? In her own words “I just keep active—everything that’s challenging me, everything that I feel like doing. It’s not like I’m only TRX or Pilates. I do sports.”

As I have said many times before, Pilates should be one part of an exercise regime and I agree with Gal about TRX as that is my favourite way to train as well. About TRX Gal says “because everything’s working your whole body,” she said. “I do cardio, but I don’t like it as much. I’d rather do weights.”

Her diet is of course very important but she is human. She says “I try to eat healthy, but sometimes though, I eat cheeseburgers. That’s good for the soul. I make sure to balance everything out. I drink tons of water.”

If you want more ideas about a balanced diet and exercise regime, then contact me via my website link above or by Facebook.

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Full Plank Chris Hunt Pilates

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My latest Snap Video shot on location in La Molina, Spain.

Keep the shoulder and pelvic girdles engaged and maintain a neutral spine at all times.

For more click on the link above.

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Chest Push Up Chris Hunt Pilates

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My latest Snap Video is the Chest Push Up. Super slow movements, no bouncy, total control of muscle recruitment at all times. For more click on the above link.

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Getting to the Core of the Winter Olympics

www.skicorestrength.com

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The more medals that are won at the Sochi Winter Olympics, the more medal winners come out of the closet and admit a dark secret: they regularly practise Pilates. From medal winners Kaetlyn Osmond to Julia Mancuso, it’s becoming very apparent that core exercises in general and Pilates in particular form a vital part of the athlete’s training. As a Pilates presenter and snowboarder myself, I know from personal experience just how true this is. But why is Pilates so relevant for alpine sports?

Skiing and snowboarding bring their own special demands on the body (check out http://www.skicorestrength.comfor more). If these demands are not adequately considered, then the skier or boarder, whatever their level, will reduce their performance potential, and thus reduce their success and enjoyment. By carrying out a specific Pilates training program, benefits can be gained such as:

·               Improved endurance, so ski and board for longer

·               Improved strength in the appropriate muscles

·               Improved flexibility and agility

·               Improved balance and control

·               A reduction in the risk of injury by strengthening areas such as the lower back and knee joints and muscles.

The fundamental skills needed to ski or board successfully are balance, rotary movements, edging movements, and pressure control. Most muscles of the lower body are used, as are the abdominal muscles and some upper body muscles. A planned training program carried out during the off-season can make dramatic improvements. Also, warm-up and warm-down routines can help before and after skiing and boarding.

In order to complete a turn, there must be adequate strength in the core, buttocks, lower back and legs. Flexibility is needed, especially in the hips. Pilates gives all of these things. Skiing and boarding places great demands on the lower body, which can lead to overuse injuries. The most obvious place for such injuries is the legs, and especially the thighs. It is not so obvious that the core has a vital role to play in keeping the body upright and balanced, and enabling the hips to turn.

The shoulders and back can also become fatigued, and are prone to falling injuries. Such injuries can be reduced by strengthening these areas. This also applies to hand and wrist injuries, which can again be reduced by strengthening the forearm and wrist.

I will be hitting the slopes of the Spanish Pyrenees this weekend, and whilst I will never have the ability or talent to snowboard for team GB, as a Pilates and functional trainer presenter, I know that my body is giving me the best possible chance to enjoy the mountain experience. If there was a competition for drinking Hot Chocolate, then I would definitely be in with a shout!

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Reverse Woodchop: Chris Hunt

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In the latest of my series of snap videos shot in location at La Molina, here is nice way to use your snowboard to get your obliques and your quadriceps warmed up for Snowboarding.

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Reverse woodchop is an exercise you have probably seen in the gym. There are many ways you can perform it using cables or weights (my favourite is using TRX). The rotation and lift builds a connection between your upper and lower body that is ideal for boarding or skiing, and it also strengthens the core.

If you want to know more about how Pilates can help your snowboarding or skiing then click on www.skicorestrength.com