How is your hip and shoulder mobility?

Woman with shoulder pain

Now you know that here at Farnham Pilates we always like to emphasise the importance of mobility in your life. At the end of the day, including some daily movement in your life is essential. Today, we focus on hip and shoulder mobility.

It may surprise you to learn that hip and shoulder pain can actually be linked.  If you are unsure of the pain you are experiencing, please seek medical advice, as there are medical conditions that can cause such pain, such as a condition known as Polymyalgia rheumatica. This is an inflammatory condition that causes pain in the joints and muscles of the lower back, thighs, hips, neck, shoulder and upper arms, and other parts of the body. The condition occurs when the lining surrounding the joints, bursa and tendons near the shoulders and hips becomes inflamed. There are also forms of arthritis that can cause hip and shoulder pain. If, however, you are just feeling stiff and achy, you may find some Pilates exercises could be of benefit.

What Causes Hip Tightness?

For most people, the biggest cause of tightness is what we do all day: sitting for too long is a major culprit in tightening the hip flexors. When you sit all day at a desk, the iliopsoas, in particular, shortens, making the flexors tight. Sitting all day also affects your posture, so this can also lead to… you guessed it, shoulder pain!  There is also the relation to your spine. Tight hips cause your entire spine to move differently. So tightening your core (the muscles around your spine) will help with hip pain and shoulder pain by improving your posture!

So, today’s Farnham Pilates video is to help with hip and shoulder mobility and core strength.  Click here for for the video (you will need Vimeo to view this).

If you have enjoyed this video, check out a library of other Pilates videos by becoming a member of our sister site, Pilates Community Online. See here for details on how to access a whole host of videos and live virtual classes for just £9.99 per month! You may also like to check out other blogs, such as this one on 10-minute shoulder and neck stretches, on our sister site Pilates Community Online

Details on our live classes for all members can be found here.

Lastly, I am have some news! I have recently started working part-time (don’t worry, your live Pilates classes won’t be affected) at Lake Therapy, a physio and sports therapy clinic. I am happy to offer you a special deal:

If you mention my name when arranging a treatment at Lake Therapy, you can get a FREE initial consultation and a 15 minute assessment with a report of findings worth £85!!

Until next week, squeeze and breathe,

Love Hannah xx

Strong Saturday – Farnham Pilates Blog

Easy ways to stay healthy at home

It’s easy at times like these to slip into bad habits, so here is a reminder about some simple things you can do to ensure you stay healthy – and happy – at home.

Make the most of the first 10 minutes of the day and set the tone for the day ahead – exercise, stretch, sit, and breathe. Get dressed and some days wear a dress or your favourite outfit that you feel good in. 

Be kind to yourself – try not to put high expectations on yourself. We all have different worries and concerns and this time and this means that you may not “achieve” much, so be kind to yourself. Try to incorporate self-care in your day even if it is just to shower and moisturise with your favourite smell; I love rose products from the Body Shop and like to put orange essence on my wrists to lift my mood. Every night I put lavender drops in my bath and on my pillow (I’m a bit of a smell freak!). Do things to make you find the joy and happiness within you – what do you love doing? How about reading, jigsaw puzzles or knitting.  If you are missing the coast you could find the sound of sea on YouTube. Even a simple bath and early night will make a massive difference to your stress levels,  so get a good night’s sleep. If you struggle try breathing exercises 10 mins before. 

Make plans and goals for the day – do meal plans and batch cooking to make life easier, it is so much less stressful if you know what is planned. Do a shopping list and stick to the plan – this will also help you avoid overeating.  Batch cooking makes for a stress-free dinner as you just have to reheat what you have already made.  Try to think of non-food related treats, such as a special cup of tea, a walk around the garden or a face mask. To mix things up a bit, look out for local schemes to help the community through these times: for instance the Maltings in Farnham is running a jigsaw and games swap. And with garden centres opening up, a little gardening can be a great stress reliever and improve the view out of your window!

Create a new routine – we have come out of the initial holiday phase at Easter (even if you are working) and feel we need to achieve things so plan your day. Try and do the daily exercise, do a 10 mins exercise video then Pilates, also plan a walk. Even if you just dance round the kitchen it will make a big impact. 

Keep a healthy diet – your energy levels will be affected by what you eat, so be sure to focus on good gut health and keep your immune system strong. I swear by Symprove, a local firm (I don’t get commission!) https://www.symprove.com. Learn more about the gut here – https://www.symprove.com/gut-microbiome/. You have 70-80% of your immune system in your gut, so manage your immune system with good gut microbe. Lack of Vitamin D can have a massive impact on energy levels and there is evidence that it can reduce the impact of Covid-19, so ensure you get enough sun and consider taking a supplement. Eat regularly to help balance blood sugar levels and add more fibre into your diet. An easy meal could be lentil bolognaise with whole wheat pasta and cheese. 

LAST CHANCE to join before the price increases next week then the doors close at end of May. 

I have 2 types of membership – 

ZOOM I only do zoom classes for the clients that pay for the class membership on £45 a month. The classes are small – there are about about 4-8 people in each class.
Monday 2.30 back care 
Monday 8pm improvers (business class)
Tuesday 9.30 beginners mixed
Some Saturdays  

FACEBOOK The rest are on Facebook – those are for the clients paying £9.99 a month.
Classes 
Mon, Wed, Fri at 9.35am 
(some Saturdays) 
This includes access to the website with a library of videos.

Membership also gives offers you a private Facebook group and WhatsApp group where there are lots of classes, both recorded and live.

I want you to take this opportunity to try this deal as Prices are going up next week on Thursday 21st April.  

Class membership will increase from £45 to £49 per month.

Online membership will increase from £9.99 to £11.99 per month

“I LOVE THE PILATES COMMUNITY. YOUR TEACHING IS OUTSTANDING AND I FEEL “SAFE” THAT YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. PILATES CONTRIBUTES TO MY WELLBEING AND I SIMPLY LOVE BEING PRESENT. IT CAN BE VERY STRESSFUL WITH ELDERLY PARENTS SO I LOOK FORWARD TO PILATES AS PART OF HELPING TO KEEP MY MIND AND BODY WELL. THANK YOU.”

Jayne

“SINCE DOING PILATES, I FEEL MORE SUPPLE, KNOW HOW TO STRETCH PROPERLY AND FIND THAT RUNNING IS MUCH EASIER. HANNAH HAS ALSO HELPED WITH MY POSTURE AS I SIT AT A DESK ALL DAY.”

H Mortimer, Surrey

Next week’s blog will cover stretches for homeworking. Check back then!

Squeeze and breathe,

Love Hannah x

How are you doing?

How are you? These are strange times and I just wanted to check in to see how you are doing? With so much uncertainty, I hope that you are able to spend some time looking after yourself and taking time to stay healthy.

I know that many people have turned to their kitchen for comfort – my children and I have been baking a lot, but it can be difficult with limited ingredients! I couldn’t get eggs the other day, so was pleased to find a recipe (below) for banana loaf made without eggs. If you use vegan chocolate it’s also completely vegan!  It’s a slightly difference take on banana loaf, with a moist, orangey taste, I hope you like it. A friend gave me a handy tip about bananas too – if you have lots that are on the turn but you are not ready to use them, pop them, as they are, into the freezer.  Frozen bananas are great for banana loaf and delicious smoothies too!

During lockdown, many people are getting used to the new normal of working from home.  As well as managing distractions, having no colleagues for support or water cooler catch-ups, and quite possibly becoming a teacher overnight (home-schooling, anyone?), you do still need to find the time and headspace to keep fit. Sitting at a desk, in an uncomfortable chair, every day may be giving you lower back pain or discomfort in your hips.  Here’s a great exercise to stretch your hip flexors:

Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch

Kneel on your left knee. Place your right foot flat on the floor in front of you, knee bent. Lean forward, stretching your left hip toward the floor. Squeeze your butt; this will allow you to stretch your hip flexor even more. Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Switch sides and repeat.

If you need some daily motivation, you might like to try my 30 Days of Pilates programme for a special price of £5.99 – daily motivational videos and emails to keep you on track with your Pilates.  Click here for more details.  

Alternatively, a library of over 500 daily videos can be yours for just £9.99 per month with our Pilates Community online membership – and the option to join our Farnham Community Online Facebook Group to help with motivation and camaraderie. In addition, you will have access to 4 Facebook Live classes per week! Click here for more details.

Egg-Free Vegan Pecan and Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Loaf

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 ripe-to-overripe bananas, mashed (about 300g when peeled)
  • 75ml olive oil
  • 80g soft, dark-brown sugar
  • Zest and juice of 2 clementines
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g vegan dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids minimum), cut into small chunks
  • 100g pecans, roughly broken

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/Gas 4, and line a medium roasting tin or a baking dish with non-stick baking or greaseproof paper.
  2. Whisk the mashed bananas with the olive oil, sugar and clementine zest and juice until fairly smooth, then stir in the flour and baking powder. When they just start to combine, stir through three quarters of the dark chocolate and the pecan nuts. Smooth the batter into the prepared tin (don’t worry, it should look pretty doughy), then scatter over the remaining chocolate and nuts.
  3. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until it is well risen and a cake tester or skewer inserted in a non-chocolatey area comes out clean. Let it cool in the tin for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack. This is best eaten warm, but will keep in an airtight tin for two or three days.

Please – STAY INSIDE – and don’t forget to squeeze and breathe!

Love Hannah x

Stay fit with Farnham Pilates – classes at home via Facebook Live and Zoom

Now that we are all minimising social contact to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, let me show you how you can continue Pilates from your own home. Due to government guidelines, the Garden Studio is now closed until further notice.
If you are already a class attendee, these are the classes available to you. Please note that Zoom classes are limited to 35 mins for tec reasons, and Facebook Live classes are 45 minutes as these are much more intense classes.

Monday      2.30 – 3.05 Back care Zoom
                      7.30 – 8.15 Beginners Facebook Live
                      8.30 – 9.15 Improvers Facebook Live

Tuesday      9.30 – 10.15 Improvers Facebook Live 
                      10.30 – 11.05  Beginners Zoom 

Wednesday 9.00 – 9.45 Relaxation Facebook Live 

Friday           9.00 – 9.45 Mixed family session – Facebook Live

Saturday     9.00 – 9.45 Mixed family session – Facebook Live 


At the moment, these classes will continue weekly until 10th July but this is subject to change in these difficult times. I want to support you and would be so grateful if you could support me. We normally have a break for Easter but I have decided to continue classes through the Easter break, with the exception of Good Friday through to Easter Monday.  Naturally, if I am ill or anyone in my family is ill and needs looking after, I will be unable to do the classes but I will let you know if this happens. Let’s use this an opportunity to look out for eachother and to maintain some structure to our days! 

For live classes, the cost for current and new members is £10 per week.  This can be paid to me weekly, monthly or termly.  The added advantage of these new Facebook and Zoom classes is that you will be able to “virtually” attend all of these classes for just £10 per week. 

Once you have paid, you will be put on a separate email list to receive daily emails and videos, so please confirm your payment by email.

So that is all for a price of just:
£10 per week; or
£40 per month; or
£100 until 10th July.

If you are already attending my classes you will have received a link to my WhatsApp group that contains details about Facebook Live and the Zoom link. 

If you are new, once you have paid I will send you the Facebook Live and Zoom Link. 

Payment details
Farnham Pilates 
Account number: 00095005
Sort code: 30-93-20

Please put your surname in the reference field.

Join the Farnham Pilates Facebook group – this is so important to keep you motivated and so you can ask any questions. Also please invite a friend to join so you can work out together. Please Join here  (let me know if you struggle I can help.)

Once you have paid you can also access the WhatsApp linkHERE

MEDICAL QUESTIONNAIRE: If you have not previously completed one, please do so here:  https://pilatescommunity.co.uk/par-q-form
so I can help if you have any problems.


Thank you,
Squeeze and breathe!
Love Hannah
(virtual hug xxx)

Please Email, Text or WhatsApp me on 
07855 291833 
hannah@farnhampilates.com
Farnham Pilates   www.farnhampilates.co.ukwww.pilatescommunity.co.uk

Farnham Pilates weekly blog – get ski-fit!

Get Ski fit  – Pilates Exercises to get ready for Skiing 
[Week 1]

Pain and injury-free skiing for all the family with Pilates

Five-minute read
I am a keen skier so I appreciate that getting your body ready for your ski trip really can help you avoid injury, get stronger so you can do more runs faster or with more confidence, as well as prevent general ski-related aches and pains. This goes for everyone in the family including children; I notice a great difference in my children’s improvement and tiredness levels by getting us to do a few exercises before we go. 
 
So, if you are planning a weekend or Easter ski break, Pilates can help you avoid injury, ski without aches and pains, and have a better time. This week I make a case for doing ski prep exercises, but I’ll follow this up over the next couple of weeks with exercise routines.

Ski preparation – How can Pilates help prepare you for skiing? 

Skiing uses lots of muscles that most of us don’t use a great deal in our everyday lives; if these muscles are prepared, they are less likely to pull or tear i.e. quads, gluts, core and obliques.  

Pilates will…..

  • Improve body awareness and alignment to reduce risk of injury.
  • Strengthen and increase endurance of the right muscles by isolating movements. 
  • Improve core strength, balance and stabilise the joints to create better controlled slalom turns.
  • Mobilise joints so if there is a fall you are less likely to injury yourself.
  • Improve fitness and cardio levels for during and post ski activities.  
  • Reduce aches and fatigue to enable you to ski longer during the day.

Preventing injury

Taking care to strengthen, stabilise and mobilise the joints that twist and turn during skiing can help prevent injuries on knees, neck, wrists, ankles, shoulders and muscular problems. Statistics show falls are a high risk for women and children skiers, while men tend to suffer from injuries as a result of high speeds like muscle fatigue, head and neck injuries, neck sprain, and shoulder and medial ligament injuries. Snowboarding tends to cause ankle and wrist injuries. However, for every thousand people on the ski slopes per day, only two to four will sustain an injury that requires medical attention, that’s a risk of only 0.2-0.4%. However it may not only bring your holiday to an abrupt end but could also prove expensive in terms of medical treatment. 
 
Your exercise programme needs to have key elements for Skiing – 
Brenna Kelleher, a former NCAA ski racer and ski instructor and guide explains that each turn down a slope is like a sprint that engages leg, back and core muscles. While an aerobic base can help skiers recover faster the key for preparing your body is to focus on cardio intensity with core strength. Pilates exercises combines and improves the following elements – 

  1. Your alignment and posture. 
  2. Cardio endurance – for an aerobic base (essential for recovery), a high lactate threshold (so you can ski longer before you feel the burn) and lactate power (which provides the oomph you need for intense efforts).
  3. Strengthen quads and back muscles especially if you are a beginner in a snow plough position. 
  4. Increase strength and endurance of legs, buttocks and hips to mimic skiing to help create precision of movement, coordination and power i.e. squats on the vibration plate.
  5. Improve your balance and stability with one-leg emphasis exercises.
  6. Improve spinal mobility and oblique strength for rotations for turning and twisting at speed. 
  7. Strengthen your core abdominals. 
  8. Improve coordination and body awareness for speed accuracy (so that you can respond quickly when avoiding another skier or ice).
  9. Improve joint mobility and flexibility like ankles, knees and hips. (Feet influence a skier’s alignment and his or her ability to execute powerful movement. Edging and applying pressure to carve a turn and stay in control starts with the feet.)

Your ski exercise preparation routine – 

 
Start to prepare six weeks in advance with the following exercises and sign up to do videos at home like our online Pilates program (www.pilatescommunity.co.uk) and your ski trip will be more comfortable, easier on your body and your children will be less tired and have more fun.
 
I recommend an increase in a weekly schedule of exercise as follows :

  • Daily moderate in small chunks of 30-60 mins – obvious things include cardio like fast walking, take the stairs, cycle, walk to work 
  • Weekly cardio moderate to vigorous exercise 3-4 times intense 20 mins (cycle, jog, swim, dance, football) 
  • Weekly mobilise and stretch routine 2-3 times a week for 10-20 mins like yoga or Pilates. 
  • Increase your stamina and repetitions over a six-week programme. Build slowly, increase your speed and the mix of exercise.

To get strong join our 30 days of Pilates only £9.99 or the Pilates membership try 1 month get access to ski fit videos for only £11 per month, or full access for all videos for £49 for six months  or £110 for annual membership.

Next week… Next week we look at the basics of how to exercise along with some stretches and vital balance exercises.

Squeeze and breathe,

Love Hannah x





Farnham Pilates Weekly Blog – how to fit Pilates into your busy life – try Pilates at home

Last week we discussed making more of your time, ensuring that your every moment spent exercising counts. This week I want to make sure that you can fit Pilates into your busy life. Classes are great (come and see me for a class here!). As well as the exercise, classes bring community, support, expertise and companionship. But what if you can’t make it to a class? Or you can only make it to one class a week, and want to enjoy Pilates every day? Life is busy! Between juggling several jobs, family commitments, pets and hobbies, how can you fit it all in? Pilates videos to do at home, in your own time, are the answer. My 30 days of Pilates programme offers you 30 days of short videos, together with a supportive community, daily informative and motivating emails and an optional WhatsApp group, all for a special price of only £9.99! More details on my 30 Days of Pilates can be found here, where you will also be able to sign up. What’s stopping you continuing and improving your Pilates journey? Join us today! Squeeze and breathe, Love Hannah xx