Waveforms Spotlight: Judi M. – Graceful Aging through Pilates

  • 0

Waveforms Spotlight: Judi M. – Graceful Aging through Pilates

Contributing author: Courtney Cerniglia

For many of us, we move through our day with full energy: long days of work, errands during our free time, running at 100%, little time to breathe. For those of us who relate to this, we often also apply it to our physical well being. Our get-it-done mentality complements powerful weight lifting sessions or fast spin classes. We exert the energy and reap the reward, leaving with accomplishment and like we “did something.”

 

This approach has its place in a healthy lifestyle, but if you find yourself attacking every workout with maximum exertion it will eventually lead to injury, overused muscles, and imbalance in your body. Following a routine that incorporates high intensity training with slower, low impact training is your best defense against injuries and for reaching your fitness goals.

 

Waveforms Pilates student, Judi, shared her Pilates journey with us. Like many others, she found peace in the calamity of her busy lifestyle through a focused practice.

 

Seeking the Strength by Slowing Down

 

Judi is an avid gym-goer and resistance trainer. To ward off osteoporosis symptoms and increase her strength, she committed to a rigid weight training program. With her high energy, this was all she thought she needed to stay healthy and exhume her extra energy. She didn’t think Pilates would fit in her regiment or that she could handle the slow, fluid movements.

After much coaxing, Judi signed up for her 30-minute trial with Courtney to try a few movements on the reformer. Apprehensive at first with her capabilities, Judi found Courtney’s unimposing approach encouraging. She realized she could do the movements and the unlocked power in moving slow through exercise.

 

“Pilates takes a lot of concentration. For my busy mind, it means for the hour session I need to slow down and focus to see results. I love this – it’s a moment in my week where I get to relax,” Judi shares.

 

Turning Apprehension Into Action – Signing Up for Class One

 

Are you apprehensive about Pilates? “I was too! Sign up for the 30-minute session and try it out. Have Courtney walk you through the basics so you’re comfortable with the range of motion and vocabulary. Then, try a mat class. It’s a more social environment if you’re not comfortable working on the equipment yet,” Judi advises.

 

“Courtney explains everything extremely well. She works with you at your pace. As you progress, she teaches you what muscles you should be aware of during each pose and what you’re trying to accomplish. It makes the whole session more effective,” Judi said. She also explained how well her Pilates training pairs with personal training. Combined, she feels she has a complete fitness program that sets her up for graceful aging.

 

Graceful Aging, Toning Up, & Maintaining Balance

 

After two years of training with Courtney and Waveforms Pilates, Judi saw improvement in her balance, concentration, and overall wellbeing. “It tones you up! Areas I thought were hopeless were strengthened through Pilates,” Judi exclaimed.

 

Pilates also inherently improved her balance. “After a certain age, your balance is all thrown off. I’ve found I’m able to maintain this through the work on the reformer,” Judi said. Maintaining balance as you age is a key indicator of your independence. Being able to rise from sitting without support or climb stairs are challenges for many that eventually will require outside help to maintain their livelihood. Pilates offers a low-impact solution to maintain and improve your balance.

 

Working With Waveforms, The Neighborhood Pilates Studio

 

L to R: Rebecca, Kalene, Amy, Courtney, Carolyn, Elizabeth, Judi, and Jazz.

“Take advantage of Waveform’s free workshops and community events. The extra work Courtney does in the community and keeping the Waveforms members engaged is impressive. I’m pleased to be working with not only a great instructor, but also an excellent business woman,” she encourages.

 

Judi enjoyed Waveform’s foot workshop in September, November food drive, and a few of the complimentary mat classes held at the studio. She enjoys the Waveform’s studio space and finds it calming, quiet, and a place to relax and focus.

 

Zhora, Waveforms Pilates Studio Cat

The only thing Judi wishes Waveforms Pilates could do? “More studio cats!”  

 

Judi is the Director of Eastshore Humane Association located in Chilton, WI, where Zhora was adopted.  She loves the Green Bay Packers, cats, gardening, and Pilates. 


  • 0

Finding the True “Core” of Fitness: Making Fitness Goals that Matter

By: Estin Holcomb, 2 months into Pilates training

Many of us think of training in terms of sweat equity. In order for a session to be thought of as a “success,” we should be tired, sweaty, hot, and sore. These symptoms equate to a good workout. I believed this for years, until I stepped into a Pilates mat class at Waveforms Pilates.

My transition from typical free weight resistance training and cardio (mainly running) to Pilates was not an easy one at first. I came in thinking the work I saw being done didn’t appear to be work at all. People who were training weren’t panting and out of breath; they weren’t beat red, dripping with sweat.

These physical signs had become my definition of a normal work out.

 

Stepping Into a Pilates Mat Class

 

My first few mat sessions I felt restless and a bit discouraged by the repeated corrections of my poor form and body posture. My trainer would tell me I was done because my technique was being compromised and she didn’t want me to get hurt, even though I felt I could do a lot more.

Estin Pilates Forward Flexion

The truth was my form was bad, my posture was poor, and my supportive muscle groups were weak. I had decent abdominal definition but my internal core muscles were weak and my low back was suffering as result. When we continue because we think we can do more, it can result in overuse injury, joint problems, cramping, or worse. This was a stark difference from the kind of exercise I was used to.

 

Setting Realistic Goals for Holistic Health

 

As my trainer worked with me my mindset started to change to focus on fitness goals that would increase the overall functionality of my body and improve my sense of well being. I noticed I feel taller and my limbs longer. I’m more flexible; I can bend over and touch my toes, twist and rotate my upper body from side to side, and tension I used to carry in my neck and shoulders has subsided. Most notable, I no longer experience muscle cramps through my shoulder and chest when I run.

img_4124Continuing Body Weight Pilates Training

 

Pilates resistance training focuses on form first, then builds strength and flexibility. Techniques are done slow and controlled. Through this transition, I feel like I’ve worked out without being beaten down and in pain the next day. This is making me more efficient when I train and leaving me with energy for my next session.

 

I am very excited to see what the future holds with my continued training. The beginning stages of a Pilates journey are full of exploration and discovery. For me thus far, redefining my idea of a work out has been beneficial for my overall health and training plan. It’s clear this redefinition has and will continue to be beneficial for my physical accomplishments going forward.


  • 0

Pilates, More Than Just Mat (Beyond the Mat: How We Use Equipment for Resistance Training)

Resistance Training with Pilates Equipment

By: Courtney Holcomb, Certified Pilates Trainer, Waveforms Pilates

denise-austin-pilates-photo

Pilates, in the early Millennium, was often depicted in the media as housewives doing high-kicks while lying on their side.  Thank you Denise Austin!

While there is Pilates mat work like her style, it is a small piece of the school of Pilates.  When I explain Pilates, people often tell me they had no idea there is equipment available.

Many people are familiar with the small pieces of equipment used to complement a mat class – such as rings, balls, foam rollers, and hand weights. They’re less familiar, however, with the large pieces of equipment used in Pilates.

Don’t Worry…Looks Can Be Deceiving

Pilates equipment can appear to be quite intimidating and almost appear torturous.  It is the exact opposite!  People love the way it feels to move with the equipment and to experience the smooth and relaxed range of motion. Here’s a bit more insight to break down that barrier.

What Is Pilates Equipment?

Joseph Pilates, father of the Pilates Method, invented and patented over two-dozen pieces of exercise equipment.  Not meant to replace mat work, equipment training serves as a great complement to mat classes.  Some of the most common pieces of larger Pilates equipment include: the Universal Reformer, Wunda Chair, and the Trapeze Table/Cadillac.

In some cases, the equipment provides some precursory exercises to help you build strength for advanced mat work.  In other cases, the equipment exercises make similar mat exercises more challenging by adding resistance.

“I invented all these machines… it resists your movements in just the right way so those inner muscles really have to work against it. That way you can concentrate on movement. You must always do it slowly and smoothly. Then your whole body is in it.” – Joseph Pilates

 

How Does the Equipment Work?

 

Increased Resistance Training with Springs

Pilates is resistance training, just like weight lifting.  The main difference is that Pilates equipment primarily uses springs as the source of resistance instead of dumbbells or cable weights.  Springs need the user to maintain fluid range of motimg_3767ion from the beginning to end of an exercise.  If you try to “jerk” the range, or use momentum for exertion, the machine won’t function properly – so there’s no cheating! The springs also help you control both the flexion and the extension range, allowing you to use the fullest range of your muscles.

This fluid control causes the muscle to also be stretched during the exercise, which improves flexibility and overall strength.  Resistance can also be increased or decreased based on how many springs you attach and where you attach them.  Not to mention, springs help trigger your deep core muscles as you negotiate finding balance and stability.

Closed-Chain Exercises & Pulleys

Working with the springs and pulleys associated with some Pilates equipment, you are able to perform more closed-chain kinetic exercises.  Closed-chain exercises increase the force on the joint to increase stability.  Closing off the kinetic chain by having a grounding point, helps protect connective cartilage and the joint itself.  These types of exercises also work multiple muscles and joints at a time, making them very efficient.

Anyone who has experienced an injury, in conjunction with, and post physical therapy, working in a closed-chain manner is safer. Other populations that benefit from this type of execise include: those with osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, hypermobility of joints, muscle weakness, and middle-aged to older adults.img_3766

The equipment helps to train and reinforce symmetry in body, by working with even force on both sides.  For example, placing both hands in separate equal-length straps, you must press with even force with both arms in order to move the machine.

Using Gravity and Body weight for Resistance

The higher off the ground you are, the greater the effect gravity has on your body.  With the Pilates equipment raising you off the floor, you experience more natural resistance from gravity.  Just like with mat work, most exercises incorporate body weight resistance and gravitational forces.

Versatility of Pilates Equipment

 

img_3769

The Universal Pilates Reformer

Working the Body in All Positions

Exercises on the Pilates equipment mimic movement actions that you use in daily life.  This makes the exercises applicable and practical outside of the gym.  The equipment can be used seated, lying down, kneeling, standing, side-lying, flexing forward, curving backwards, and rotating.  Any possible position you could find yourself throughout the day, there is an exercise for it!  This creates a full-body workout every time and provides functional fitness.

Incorporating Pilates Equipment Training with Physical Therapy

Joseph Pilates made his first piece of equipment working with wounded soldiers by taking two springs from under their cots and attaching them to the bed frame with a pole.  If someone had a leg injury, there is no reason they couldn’t work their upper body!

Many people use time on Pilates equipment for post-physical therapy work, or in conjunction with their physical therapy.  Many special populations such as people with osteoporosis, hip replacements, MS, pregnant women, and people with scoliosis, to name a few, are able to utilize Pilates equipment to perform safe exercises and stay in shape.

Exercises for All Populations

Don’t be fooled though, the equipment can give a vigorous workout!  It’s not just for rehabilitation.  Professional athletes all over the world use Pilates equipment to help with injury prevention, alignment, flexibility, core, and overall strength.  The possibilities truly are endless.  There are modifications to make each exercise more or less challenging based on the client’s abilities and goals.

 

Feel The Pilates Resistance Difference!

 

img_3768

The Pilates Chair

The best way to understand the difference between traditional resistance training and Pilates resistance training is to feel the difference!

Pilates equipment trains the whole body instead of individual parts, making for a complete full-body workout every time.  The resistance is smooth and demands control from start to finish to create a fullest range for the muscle.  The fluid sensation created from the springs provides stretch and strength to the body and gives support for the joints.

Sign-up for a session to feel the difference today!

waveforms@yandex.com

(920)740-3085


  • 1

Back To School For Adults: Re-establishing Routine In Your Life

By: Courtney Holcomb, Certified Pilates Instructor, Waveforms Pilates

waveforms@yandex.com

 

Summer, especially for those of us who live in Wisconsin, is a time that we look forward to all year.  It always seems to storm in and out, and before you know it, it’s fall again.  Along with the quick storm of summer, comes a quick surge of activity, events, and irregularity in our schedules.  A combination of late nights at events, sitting in the car during a long road trip, running school-aged kids around, and trying to fit in workouts, our body is one of the first things to take a toll.

 

Finding Consistency

Our body, like a machine, loves to run on consistency: a consistent sleep schedule, regular workouts, and rituals for honoring self.  Though summer is exciting, we often are robbed of our routine.  Every year, when “school-time” comes around again, I like to re-assess my daily rituals.  I consider this my back-to-school practice.  How can I create time and space for myself throughout the week?  How can I create a routine that is energizing and uplifting?  How can I honor what makes me feel good and happy?  How can I restore order to the inconsistency that came with my summer schedule?

 

Make a Happy List

make a list of things that make you happyI came across this picture over the summer.  This is the quote I wanted to use to create my routine and rituals for the Fall.

 

Rituals are Rich

Developing rituals that are enjoyable, easy, and repeatable gives you a sense of centering for your day.  Sometimes in summer, our rituals are fleeting.  My favorite morning ritual is enjoying a hot cup of coffee with my husband.  Sometimes, it’s 3 PM and I will say outloud to my husband “is it weird that I can’t wait for a hot cup of coffee tomorrow morning?”  The answer is no, it’s a ritual that I enjoy!  It starts out my day.  It helps me jump-start my morning, and puts me in a happy-mood. This ritual makes the top of my list, as simple as it may seem.  Rituals that make me happy form the framework of my routine for the day.

 

Balancing Necessary Tasks with Life-Giving Tasks

Intersperse rituals throughout your day that are not just task-oriented (dishes, post office, folding laundry, gardening), but also life-giving (time with a pet, coffee with a friend, journaling, exercise, volunteering).  Make your list of the things that make you happy, and make time for them in your schedule.  Falling into a routine and structure, just like you had during your school-aged years, can bring a satisfying framework to your day-to-day.  Routines give us a sense of purpose for the days that feel lackluster.  Rituals give us grounding points throughout the days that feel chaotic.

 

What Jobs Bring you Joy?

I dislike doing laundry, my husband loves it.  This became one of his household task.  I love grocery shopping, my husband dislikes it.  This is one of my household tasks.  The reality is, we cannot do it all, so we should try and do the things we enjoy.  Have something your whole family dislikes doing?  Hire out!  Changing the oil in the car, both my husband and I can do it, but neither of us enjoy.  Our joy is well-worth the $20-30 it costs to outsource.

 

Making & Taking the Time

What things would bring you joy to do everyday?  Make these part of your daily rituals.  Intersperse them throughout the day.  What is something that makes you happy, but you can’t seem to fit in your day?  Make time for this.  You need to not just make the time, but take the time.  Schedule it in, and don’t negotiate!  It’s a life-giving, energy-lifting ritual that you need in your life.  This is non-negotiable.  Maybe it’s reading, from 2-3pm, before you pick the kids up from school.  Put it in your calendar, and don’t let an appointment rob you from your time.  If anyone asks, you’re unavailable then.  

 

Routines for Success

Though summer may be nearing an end, with Fall comes an new opportunity to begin the last quarter of the year with a fresh perspective.  Create a routine that works for your life. Find what makes you happy and what you love and create time for it!  Then, stick with it!  Make new rituals that bring you new found energy!  Your body will thank you for the consistency, and your mind will thank you for the familiarity.

 

http://www.waveformspilates.com


  • 0

The Road to Waveforms Pilates


We all have different ways of discovering new things that change the course of our lives. Simple or complicated, they arise and change our homeostasis. They drive us to become better, more diverse individuals. For me, I found passion in Pilates. Although my journey wasn’t direct, it’s led me to starting Waveforms Pilates. I hope this inspires you to follow your passions and those feelings that pull you towards change.


Discovering Pilates

My first exposure to Pilates was back when I was twelve.  As a dancer, I decided to take Pilates classes to help build my strength for the stage.  After my first class, I knew this was something I wanted to pursue long-term.  I loved movement from an early age and something about Pilates was not only satisfying for my body, but also my mind.  In my high school entrepreneurship class I outlined a formal business plan for a Pilates studio.  I tucked away my plan in a binder, and went on to college.

 

Movement Education

I pursued dance at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and grew even more fascinated by the body in motion.  While in college, I continued my Pilates education and began the certification process through Balanced Body Education.

Performing Concert Dance at the UniversityClass, rehearsals, Pilates student teaching, observation hours,  performing, apprenticing at the Pilates studio, and then graduating.  I was back and forth from the dance studio to Pilates studio.  While still maintaining a passion for dance, I realized that it wasn’t dance that I was drawn to, but more so movement.  I left the university passionate about movement and ready to use it to change lives.

 

Defining Ourselves

Before leaving college, the head of the department helped us define the road ahead of us. She told us:

“As artists, dancers, movers, it will be easy to define yourself by the jobs that you work. Many of us will wait tables, bartend, and work odd jobs, but that does not mean that’s who we are.  When someone asks you what you do, you have the choice in how you answer.  You can say anything.  You need not say that you are a waitress, but rather let them know you are a performing artist, you are a dancer, you are a choreographer, you are a Pilates instructor, you are a mover.  We are not defined by our work, but by our being.  Tell them who you are.”

And I did exactly that, I waited tables. I waited tables, but did not identify myself with waitressing.  When asked, I told people I was passionate about changing lives through movement.  That I was a performing artist, choreographer, and Pilates instructor.  These jobs weren’t my primary source of income, but they were my being.

 

Trusting to Leap

Over the next two years, I slowly shifted from waiting less tables, to working more with movement.  All along I was teaching Pilates and dance, but now the scale was shifting to this being a greater part of my workday.  After landing a new job as a Pilates instructor, I turned in my apron and decided to take the leap.  Establishing trust with myself, I decided I would only do work relevant to my passion—work with movement.

 

Waveforms Pilates is Born

Fast forward two more years, supportive husband alongside me, moving from an apartment to our new home…I find my high school entrepreneurship binder.  I sensed a beauty of being on track.  Though I forgot about this specific dream of mine from ten years prior, I subconsciously set myself on the path to achieving it.  I completed the education, I gained the teaching experience, I strengthened my body, and I established a following.  I was ready to expand my reach and open a Pilates studio.  My loving husband Estin on board and excited, we started an LLC, and Waveforms Pilates was born.

 

Being a Modern-Day Entrepreneur

With the new fast-pace to society, change is our only constant, and being open to change is essential.  When we trust in our purest passions and desires for our lives, we move towards change for the better.  I challenge you to take a leap and trust the path towards change.  Change that aligns you toward your passions.

I am grateful for the team of people around me who supported my passions, helped on my educational journey, and rallied behind me.  Though being an entrepreneur may not be easy, there is ease in me.  I am excited for the adventures on the road ahead for Waveforms Pilates.


Courtney Holcomb

Certified Pilates Instructor, Waveforms Pilates

http://www.waveformspilates.com


  • 0

What Brought Me to Pilates – Finding Mobility, my Manifesto

I always knew the I was designed for movement.  Having been a dancer since age three, I loved the feeling of my body traveling through space.   It wasn’t until I was a preteen that I realized that my body was so much tighter that I wanted it to be.  Though I moved, I felt stiff, and when I tried to move more, it felt rigid. Being someone who has always dealt with chronic low back pain as well as stiffness/rigidness throughout my whole spine, I operated in the world for years thinking that this was “simply how I was created” and I would have to learn to endure through the pain my whole life, and then, I found Pilates, at age 15.

Through the consistent practice of Pilates I have been able to create more mobility in my spine than I ever though possible. With all of the movement principles of Pilates working together–breathing, core activation, neutral pelvis, abdominal strengthening, lumbopelvic stability, spinal strength and mobility, scapular strength and mobility, alignment and posture analysis, release work, and stretching–I have felt more length, mobility, and strength in my body and spine than ever before and I have been able release years of chronic tension from my muscles and skeleton. I now feel I have access to more space in my joints and spine and I continue to work towards opening and accessing more of my body each time I practice Pilates and dance.

Re-patterning the body does not happen overnight, but there is a great reward associated with creating new muscle memory that facilitates optimal anatomical efficiency throughout the body, producing a pathway to operate with a sense of ease and availability to movement. Whether it be in a dance class, performance, or just walking around, or standing for a long period of time, Pilates grants me the ability to move properly from the body’s natural design. Joseph Pilates, who created the system in the early 1920’s stated, “It’s not about what you do, but how you do it.” Or as my dad always says, “Train smarter, not harder.” Yes, we have to work with what we have, but this should not be limiting. We DO have the capacity to change and transform our bodies, with time, patience, and proper practice.

Now for myself personally, now have been practicing Pilates for over 11 years and remain as engaged in the practice as when I began. I continue to see and feel changes within my body and make new discoveries with every class I take. Now, as a fully Certified Pilates Instructor, I get to share my passion for movement with the world.  It’s so exciting to share Pilates with others through teaching and sharing in the joy that others experience when they make new discoveries in their own bodies. Transformation is something wonderful to celebrate.

For more information on Pilates practice, or to schedule a free consulation:

e-mail waveforms@yandex.com

I would love to share my work with you!