Josephine Bush PT session-balancing the systems


Josephine, as you may of read in my previous blog, has a huge challenge ahead of her.  She is taking on the enormous challenge of being the first British woman to complete the Amundsen Expedition, the hardest ski race in the world. She will be pulling a 40kg pulk across the Hardangervidda in Norway on skis for 100km. She will be facing all sorts of cold weather conditions as well as self navigating and supporting herself on the race.

In order to pull the pulk effectively and without injury, it is imperative for her to be balanced in strength and resilience in her left and right sides.  In her training sessions in my studio, we tackle this with lots of unilateral work as well as bilateral movement to see where she needs most help and also working with the felt response, somatics.

“If you can’t feel it you can’t change it!!”

The split pedals on the Pilates Chair is great for unilateral work.

Working the systems and looking for weaknesses and strengths and re-balancing and educating the self through movement and waking up parts of the body that are not performing as it should.

Working with the myofascial slings -(for full information on slings check out Anatomy Trains, Tom Myers. Anyone who works with the body will know this work)

SO WHY IS THIS important?

with the body being balanced and aligned there will be less chance of injury, pain, discomfort, less tension, and the body will be more economical, efficient, faster, stronger and also giving more balance. Everything needed for everyday life let alone pulling a 40kg pulk on uneven surfaces through thick snow with no idea whats underneath.

Take a look at the time-lapse video (below) of our latest training session below, I am guiding Josephine with verbal and tactile cueing to create this balance.  It is definitely harder than it looks! Josephine will vouch for that!!

If you  are interested in moving well and really getting a good balance and flow to your body for whatever reason, improve your posture, reduce pain, reduce injury, better sports, athletic performance you really can not beat a one-to-one session with an integrated advanced Pilates Professional so they can use their trained eye and skill to help you.

Josephine is raising money for two wonderful charities: The South West Children’s Hospice and The Pilgrim bandits. Here is the link to her fund-raising page:
Please help to motivate Josephine further with this enormous challenge by supporting the causes above.
Thank you 💕


The Ab Challenge

For those of you who like the harder sessions try my workouts below to get your Abs in shape.

Make sure you warm up, support the neck if you need to, and remember to LISTEN to your body; if it hurts your back something is definitely wrong so either stop, or correct your connections, alignment or reduce the range.

Let me know how you get on and have fun!

Exercise 1- ab prep.

Start position – lie on your back in neutral, knees bent, feet down, support the head with hands

How to do it – nod the chin and curl the upper spine closing the “POPPER”, come to the highest level you can in neutral then lower one inch, re-curl up x8 pulses, repeat 7,6,5,4,3,2,1.

Do this with or without a break, and slower is harder!

For exercises 2,3,4,5 below

Start position –  lying on your back, legs tabletop, neutral or imprint (depending on your level, if you aren’t sure stay neutral) head up if possible (if you attend my classes, the way I’ve taught you)

Control the abdominal connection, flow the breath, concentrate and be in the present with your moves.

Easier level – complete each one individually, 8 of each

Harder level – work 8 of each , then continue straight away with or without a break with exercise 6,4,2

Advanced level – follow this exercise sequence 8,6,4,2,2,4,6,8

Exercise 2-  single leg stretch

Start position – as explained above

How to do it – hold either side of one knee and extend the other leg

Exercise 3- obliques

Start position – as explained above

How to do it – the same action as single leg stretch but rotate the upper body towards one knee at a time

Exercise 4- double leg stretch variation

Start position – as explained above

How to do it – support the head and extend both legs away from the body and return to tabletop

Exercise 5- scissors

Start position – as explained above

How to do it – legs either bent or straight, lower one leg towards the floor and draw the other one towards the                 upper body and then switch

Exercise 6 – plank  for 1 minute

Start position – as explained above

How to do it – either on all fours with neutral spine and lengthen one leg away (foot on floor or foot in air)

OR both legs extended out in press up position, either on forearms (please note this position may cause neck issues so keep check of your alignment or do not do)

OR on hands with straight arms (although this is harder for those with wrist issues)

TIP – Having the upper body higher,(e,g, hands or forearms resting on the stairs or a chair distributes the weight towards the feet) therefore making it easier.