Inspiring Life from the Core

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A Quick Reset at Your Desk

written by Carol Crincoli, Pure Pilates Director

My long time client, Jane* and I have been working on a plan of action to decrease her chronic pain and stiffness she experiences during her jam-packed work day.  She follows a consistent workout routine 4 days per week, but now that she is working solely from home, the amount of sitting has increased and not surprisingly her pain.

Sitting for a good part of our day or even long periods of time takes a toll on our bodies, not to  mention our brains. Even with a proper desk chair, our postures can be compromised, putting undue pressure on our low back.  This pressure can compress our discs and stress the surrounding muscles and joints. Hip flexors will shorten adding more stress on your back as well.

Working at a standing desk, pacing  in your home or office while on a conference call or scheduling quick breaks to step away from the chair are all great options that Jane and I came up with. When she can’t pull herself away from her chair, we put together a quick seated stretch routine, where she can run through all these exercises in under 10 minutes, or take a minute or 2 and choose one stretch that her body needs in that particular moment. Easily done while on a phone call, but not recommended when participating in a video conference!

Hamstring Stretch – Lengthen the back of your leg with this gentle hamstring stretch.  Avoid rounding forward (you’ve been doing that at your desk) and instead hinge forward at your hips with a long, tall spine.  Adding a point and flex of your ankle is great to activate the feet and add the calf into the stretch.

Glute Stretch – Some of us have such tight hips and butt muscles, that just by placing our ankle on the opposite knee is an unbelievably intense stretch.  If this is the case, just keep your posture long and tall to stay out of your low back.  If you want a deeper stretch, hinge forward toward the elevated leg.

Side Bend (Pilates Mermaid) – I love this version of the Mermaid.  It is similar to the one I teach on the Pilates Chair.  Stretching the leg out to the side not only stretches your torso but also your hip. When stretching over to the side, avoid collapsing into the other side that is shortening.  Think of reaching through your side from your shoulder/armpit.

Lunge – If I only had time for one of these 4 stretches, the Lunge would be my go-to! This stretch focuses on the muscles in the front of the leg, opening up the hip flexor and quadricep.

Make sure to hinge forward to avoid compression in your low back. Do your best to straighten the full leg (especially behind the knee). Gently pushing through the heel will increase the intensity of the stretch.

 

 *Client’s name has been changed for privacy

 

 

 

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Katie is a passionate mover who was brought to Pilates through dance. After a professional dance career, Katie discovered her love of teaching-connecting the mind and body, and working with students of all ages and levels. Her appreciation and understanding of everyone’s ever changing body and needs only became greater as her own body went through pre and post natal stages, an experience which has helped Katie navigate problem solving, and bring a freshness to each session making them feel personal and specific to each body’s needs. Her sessions are full of flow and aim to challenge clients with a sense of comfort, and often a little humor, all of which she has brought to Pure Pilates since 2016. Katie thinks the gift of movement and self care is one of the best things one can do for overall wellness, and is thrilled to seek and fulfill milestones and goals with each of her clients. When she’s not at the studio, Katie is taking care of her three little humans- another job that also makes her smile, laugh, and challenges her on the daily.
Eighteen years ago I discovered my love for Pilates. After having my two children, I felt the need to move my body again. At the time I was living in North Carolina, and worked through many different exercise and training programs. I discovered Pilates, and instantly knew it was right for me. Forteen years later, and a move to New Jersey, I decided to share my love of Pilates with other people looking for some way to move their bodies. Pilates has also been a way for me to keep me strong and flexible to continue many activities. My family loves to be active, and I often find when we are all together (mostly vacations) our days consist of activity and movement such as hiking, kayaking, or skiing(more on this later). As I have gotten older I find it even more imperative now that I keep my body strong. Recently I was in a skiing accident that left me with many knee injuries and ultimately having to go into surgery. I found being able to do light Pilates a few weeks after surgery kept me sane and ultimately helped with recovery time. Pilates has not only helped me be able to keep up with my children, but has also provided me with a body that is able to function at peak performance. My approach to Pilates can be described in one, simple word: movement. Movement can help you, both physically and mentally. Movement, and Pilates, is ultimately about self care. Having a built in time to focus on your body and movement can help relieve yourself of feeling tired, anxious, and stressed. Movement awakens you. Even after one session you can leave feeling calmer and energized.
Enjoyment of life through movement is a vital part of Kathy’s philosophy. When not in the studio she leads an active lifestyle trail running, cycling, skiing and hiking. She also loves connecting with people while traveling with family and friends. One of her favorite cycling trips was riding along the coast of northern California. Learning new things and sharing knowledge is also important to Kathy. She has a passion for food, likes to cook for her family and experiment with new recipes. She is currently trying to achieve the perfect pizza. She is also an avid reader of historical fiction and biographies. Her latest endeavor is learning to play golf.
Carol M. Crincoli, owner Pure Pilates studio, has been in the fitness industry since 1990, with experience in corporate and commercial fitness, recreational programming and teaching as an adjunct professor. She began practicing Pilates in 2003 and received Pilates training through the PhysicalMind Institute in New York, NY. She holds certifications from the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE) as a group exercise instructor, personal trainer and lifestyle and weight management consultant. She was also accepted into the IDEA-PFT Recognition System as an Elite Level Personal Fitness Trainer. She is the only trainer in the NY-metro area for Trent McEntire’s Arcus equipment. Carol graduated from the Boston Conservatory of Music with a BFA in musical theater and a minor in dance. Opening Pure Pilates is the culmination of a lifetime dream, and her mission to "inspire life from the core" is a holistic approach to health and wellness—from exercise and nutrition, to stress management and self-care. Carol is also the inventor of 8th Avenue Rail, an organizing solution for Tower springs.