Fitness Tips

Articles tagged as strength (view all)

Pilates Work at Island Fitness

14 November, 2014

Pilates is a full body workout that focuses on the use of the core to create movement. It can be a challenging muscle and strength builder or a gentle rehab for injuries. Pilates works for all ages, bodies, and genders. It's something you can do throughout your life. The workouts can target body imbalances, push athletes, or just leave participants with an overall fit and healthy body. Pilates is more about what isn't moving than what is. Visitors looking in might get the impression that not much is going on. But when they try it for themselves, they soon realize how much effort is being expended.

During World War I, Joseph Pilates started his work by pulling springs from hospital beds to help his patients stay strong while healing. From there he developed the Reformer, Cadillac/Tower, and the Chair. Pilates Mat was developed later as a way to bring Pilates to larger groups at an economically. There is no prescribed order in which to use the different pieces of equipment. The workouts target your needs. It is not uncommon for a participant to use several pieces of equipment during one session.

Group Mat class is an all levels class. Beginners can easily follow, while the more experienced can challenge themselves further. Semi-private Reformer classes allow for more personal focus. At this point the instructor knows the bodies in class and can challenge or accommodate accordingly.

Private sessions are all about the participants individual needs and goals. This is where the workout specifically targets your strengths and brings your imbalances and weaknesses in line with the rest of your body.

Pilates is the one workout that can improve almost all areas of your fitness needs, whether it be running, cycling, hiking, lifting, dancing or walking. With the attention to core and form, it does all this while minimizing risk of injuries.

~Diane Peterson

Stepping into your first yoga class

05 November, 2014

I recently had a member ask me "What yoga class should I try? I have never done yoga before. I am not flexible. I am nervous." For many, being a first time yogi is intimidating. Walking into any group fitness setting for the first time can be overwhelming.

Yoga is for everyone and always has been. Since ancient times, Yoga has evolved to suit the needs of individuals from different times, cultures and traditions. Yoga places most emphasis on the breath and letting your breath be the guiding force to creating your own personal yoga practice. The practice of quieting the mind and body together benefits the physical body in countless ways. With time you learn that what you experience on your mat can be called into action off your mat, and into your daily life.

In the hands of a wise teacher, Yoga meets each person's own unique interests and concerns. And at Island Fitness, we are fortunate to have a variety of "wise teachers." We offer yoga every day! Our Tuesday and Thursday evening practices with Sherry and Beth is a great place to start as well as Judith and Kim's classes on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Don't forget our wonderful Sunday morning practice. Check out our Group Fitness Menu for details. We also offer individual yoga sessions for those interested in building or furthering their yoga foundation or preferring the individual relationship.

A true yoga practice is about letting go of judgment, goals, and destinations. Yoga is the practice of process, not about achieving perfection. It is the process that matters, and your understanding of how the process is working in you.

Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to learn more about yoga at Island Fitness.
You are flexible enough! I promise.

~Alexa Rosenthal

Facilitated Stretching can help you improve flexibility, coordination, strength, performance, and your enjoyment of sports.

18 September, 2014

Tip from massage therapist Maria Kojima.
Facilitated Stretching can help you improve flexibility, coordination, strength, performance, and your enjoyment of sports.
Also called proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching, it is an effective and easy-to-use method that involves stretching the muscle, contracting it isometrically against resistance, and then stretching it again to increase range of motion. 
Here's a facilitated self-stretch for the Quadratus Lumborum (QL).  The QL connects the hips to bottom of the ribs and attaches at the lumbar vertebrae.  It is a deep abdominal muscle which laterally flexes the trunk and elevates the hip (think hip to ribs).    It also helps to stabilize the low back and is therefore usually involved when low back pain is present.
  1. Sit comfortably, with spine lengthened.  Place a towel or stretching strap under your left foot, and hold the other end in your left hand.  Side-bend to the left as far as you can, taking up any slack in the stretching strap.  This lengthens the right QL.
  2. Using the stretching strap to prevent your motion, try to sit up straight, isometrically contracting the right QL for 6 seconds as you keep breathing normally.
  3. After the isometric contraction, relax, breathe, and deepen the stretch by bending farther to the left.
Don't like to stretch? Try facilitated stretching with one of our trained massage therapists. Assisted facilitated stretching can often be deeper and more effective. It's also a lot more fun, especially when the therapist "spot" massages troublesome areas.
~Maria Kojima

Wait for Weights

21 September, 2012

Maximize the calorie-burning benefits of your workout by tackling cardiovascular exercise before strength training.


Tune Up Your Trunk

21 September, 2012

 Is your middle just middle-of-the-road? Take a detour with this torso-toning exercise.


Stay Young with Tai Chi

19 September, 2012

How can something this easy be such potent medicine? Discover the power of this ancient exercise.