Category Archives: Allison Cherrette

Bodies in Motion: The Take-It-Anywhere Summer Workout

With warmer temperatures and longer days, hopefully you’re finding more time to get outside! Along with your favorite summer activities, I always recommend adding light stretching and strengthening to keep the whole body in check.

If you’re looking for a quick, balanced workout, try the “Basic Five” Pilates Mat exercises. In under ten minutes, this routine will have you feeling stronger and longer. And the best part? You can take it with you wherever your summer sweeps you…

THE HUNDRED
Start lying on your back with your arms by your sides and your legs extended (Modification: knees bent, feet on the mat). Take a deep inhale.

On your exhale, lift your head and the tops of your shoulders to come into an ab curl. Simultaneously float both your legs and arms a few inches above the mat.

Pump your straight arms by your sides, inhaling for five pumps, and exhaling for five.

After ten full breaths, or 100 pumps, you are done, my friend!

ROLL UP
Lie on your back with your legs extended and your arms reaching up toward the ceiling.

On an inhale, start to curl up slowly, trying to articulate each vertebra as it leaves the mat.

Exhale to finish your curl, rounding your spine over your legs while your fingers reach toward your toes.

Inhale as you tuck your tailbone underneath you and slowly lower your spine back to the mat, one vertebra at a time.

When the tips of your shoulder blades hit the mat, exhale to lower yourself back to your starting position.

Repeat five to eight times.

SINGLE LEG CIRCLE
Lie on your back with your legs extended and your arms down by your sides.

Extend your right leg up toward the ceiling, straightening it as much as your hamstrings will allow.

Inhale as you take the right leg across the midline of your body and then exhale as you return to your starting position. Repeat this five times and then switch the direction of your leg circle.

When you reverse the circle, inhale as your leg travels away from you, and exhale as it crosses the midline to return to your starting position. Repeat this five times.

Place your right leg down, and complete the whole series on the left leg.

ROLLING LIKE A BALL
Take a seat on the mat, floor, beach…wherever you are. Draw your heels in toward your sitting bones with your feet in a V shape. Your knees will be wide, like a frog.

Wrap your arms tightly around your legs so that each hand is on the opposite shin.

From here, “scoop” your belly to flex your spine and tilt back to float the feet off of the mat, floor or beach. Try to stabilize here for at least a moment.

Inhale as you tip back to the tips of your shoulder blades.

Exhale as you roll back up to your starting position, but don’t let your feet hit the mat.

Repeat five to eight times. And have fun!

SPINE STRETCH
Take a seat with your legs extended wide in front of you, toes flexed back toward your shins.

Reach your arms toward the sky. Inhale fully here.

On your exhale, start by tucking your chin to your chest, and then slowly curl yourself down toward your legs – vertebra by vertebra.

Inhale to stack yourself back up to your starting position.

Repeat five to eight times.

So how do you feel? Hopefully energized and ready to enjoy summer. If you have any questions on the Basic Five or other ways to keep your body balanced, you know where to find me – info@birdonaperch.com.

IMPORTANT: When participating in any movement practice, please remember to listen to your body and avoid exercises that don’t feel safe. If you are suffering from an injury or a medical condition, please consult your doctor before engaging in any new activities.

Allison Cherrette is a PMA-certified Pilates instructor and a graduate of the Advanced Teacher Training program through The Pilates Center of Boulder. She owns Bird On A Perch, a Marquette Pilates studio offering group and privates lessons on the Mat, Reformer, Tower and Chair.

Excerpt from Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, Summer 2018 Issue, copyright 2018.

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September Celebration + How to Get More from Your Fitness Routine

In celebration of our 10th Anniversary, Health & Happiness is posting some of its best articles from its first 10 years throughout the month of September.

If you like what you read here, please LIKE and SHARE this post, FOLLOW our site, and JOIN us on our Facebook page.

And if you’re in the Marquette area on Sept. 30th, please join us in celebrating our anniversary at YOUR Health & Happiness Forum from 1 pm – 4 pm in the Community Room of the Peter White Public Library.

Stay posted for more details! And please enjoy Part I of our September Retrospective!

Bodies in Motion: How to Get More from Your Fitness Routine

by Allison Cherrette

We’ve all been there. Motived by a wedding, an upcoming vacation, or general quality of life, we amp up our wellness program. We work out, we eat right, and yet something seems to be missing – the results! If your fitness program has become stagnant, consider these tips to help you stay on track, remain confident, and appreciate the improvements.

Be Realistic
Believe me, I would LOVE to have long, skinny legs like Gisele. It would be awesome. I could wear all of those mini-skirts that look so cute in the catalogues and I wouldn’t have to avoid short-shorts like the plague. Unfortunately, it’s just not anatomically possible for my body type.

We all have different bodies with different limitations, and we need to be okay with that. As a Pilates teacher, if there were one gift I could give all of my clients to help their fitness plan, it would be self-acceptance. Once we have that, we can set realistic goals, and celebrate even the smallest improvements.

Self-Care
If you want a fitness program that works, you have to look beyond the walls of the gym. Check in with your habits, and be honest with yourself. How much water are you consuming? Does your breath tend to be deep, or shallow? Does your dinner plate have more starches than protein? And are you sleeping?

When it comes to creating a sound wellness program, there are four aspects that are non-negotiable – a balanced diet, water, sleep, and breath. If one or all of those components are out of whack, it’s going to hinder your body from producing the best results.

Get in a Groove
If your daily workout is starting to seem like a chore, it’s time to reconsider your fitness plan. Running and weightlifting aren’t for everyone, but luckily there is oh so much out there. Think outside of the gym. If you’re not sure what’s going to inspire you, recruit a friend and go on a fitness tour. Check out the new yoga studio, try Pilates, or get outside and explore the beautiful U.P.

Once you find your fitness groove, it will come naturally. The pressure will be lifted. You’ll move more often. You’ll enjoy yourself. And you’ll achieve better results.

Focus on Quality
When you’re working to create an effective fitness program, focus less on the numbers and more on how your body feels. Joseph Pilates always said that we should never work out to the point of exhaustion. If you think about it, he has a good point. As our muscles tire, we tend to move more quickly through reps, just to get them over with. We quite literally start dragging ourselves on the treadmill just to check off that 30-minutes of cardio. Proper form? Psssh. That goes out the window.

If you ask me, the risk of injury is just not worth it. While you may have to start small, focusing on quality movements is going to give you better long-term results. And if you stick with it, you’ll be surprised by just how quickly your strength and stamina build.

Keep It Up
The number one way to achieve fitness results is to keep it up! You’ve got this. Track your progress to keep yourself motivated, and if you hit a roadblock, switch up your routine. Remember, you’re human and there are bound to be days when you’re just not feeling it. First of all, forgive yourself. Even when Zumba seems out of the question, try to get out for a slow stroll through the woods, or do some stretches in the living room.

When it comes to fitness, at the end of the day, if you’re moving, you’re headed in the right direction! For improved results remember to think holistically, be honest with yourself, and celebrate the little things.

Allison Cherrette is a PMA Certified Pilates Instructor and graduate of the 950-hour Advanced Program through The Pilates Center of Boulder. She offers group and private Pilates lessons at Bird On A Perch in Marquette. Feel free to contact her at info@birdonaperch.com with any questions.

Reprinted with permission from the Fall 2016 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

 

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