Monthly Archives: May 2015

May 28, 2015

3 Best Pilates Series to Manage Knee Pain

If you took a trip to see your favorite doctor this year for knee pain, you were in good company. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, in 2010 10.4 million people reported knee injuries to their doctor. Some knee injuries, such as fractures and ligament tears, require surgery followed by physical rehabilitation. Others, however, need to be managed on a long-term basis. But what does this mean? How do you keep your knee healthy, happy, and ready to run or walk at a moments notice?

Managing your body’s health requires three aspects: strength, stability, and mobility. The knee is dependent on the health of the joints below and above it. Movement and stability in the ankle and strength and stability in the core and hip are the most important aspects to keeping the knee healthy.

Pilates is a fantastic option for addressing these components. It provides a comprehensive approach and a qualified instructor will be able to customize the workout to your personal needs. I grabbed my friend, Dawn Casella, a certified Power Pilates instructor at Mind Body Studios at Total Fitness in Bristol, RI to demonstrate the three best Pilates series for managing knee pain.

Series 1:  Leg Circles/Frog – Reformer


This series connects core stability of the Short Box Series with increasingly challenging hip stability. The reformer provides support for the low back which allows the hips to work harder.

1.  Non-weight bearing exercises allows individuals to strengthen the hip while avoiding unnecessary strain on the knee

2.  Incorporates the bigger hip muscles to improve power and overall strength

3.  Coordinates movement between the low back, hip, and knee to improve balance

Series 2: Short Box Series – Reformer



This is series improves core stability and hip strength. The low back is unsupported so your core muscles have to do the work!

1.  The first step in healthy knees is healthy core and hips.

2.  This series does not put unnecessary strain on the knee

3.  Great for beginners, or individuals who are returning after a knee injury. Make sure you have no knee pain with any movement.

4.  Added benefit of improving ankle strength

Series 3:  Press Down – High Chair

IMG_0359IMG_0360This series challenges foot and ankle stability with hip strength and core stability.

1.  Coordinates the foot, ankle, knee, hip, and low back to create strong and stable movements

2.  Incorporates the strength built in the Short Box and Leg Circles/Frog exercises with the added challenge of balance

3.  Strengthens every muscle around the knee and hip

Your knee health can be very easily managed with just a few simple exercises. You have already committed to exercising. Why not make sure you are getting the most out of your training? Understanding what your body needs is individual and should always be discussed with your doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor. However, strength, stability, and mobility are the fundamentals of every comprehensive fitness plan. Taking control of your knee pain will leave you empowered to live the life you want.

Interested in learning more about how you can turn your everyday exercises into injury preventing exercises?  We don’t blame you!  Take the first step with our signature exercise.  This one is on us!








May 22, 2015

Foam rolling vs. Rumble Roller

Home myofascial therapy is a fast moving storm.  There are countless options on the market and in the flurry of products, the technique of each can be lost.  Foam rolling is a general myofascial therapy technique that can be very effective for tackling stubborn tightness and recovering from training.  The Rumble Roller is a great option for the more experienced of rollers.

Both products are effective; however, I have found in talking with patients that the technique is unclear.  We put together a great little video for you, guest starring Jack the Dog, to take some of the anxiety out of rolling.

May 17, 2015

The Rumble Roller – the best kept secret in home exercise equipment

Foam rolling is catching on as a great home therapeutic tool.  It can help break up nagging tightness, improve circulation, and help with recovery.  The rumble roller is a version of the foam roller that is a bit more aggressive.  It can also be more beneficial.  However, the way the rumble roller is used will determine it’s effectiveness.  If you are finding that it is ineffective or that it is very painful, chances are you may not be using it in the best way.

We put together a short video to make sure you are using the rumble roller correctly.  Good luck!

May 10, 2015

Troubleshooting The PreTrain Brace

The PreTrain Brace is one of our signature exercises of The PreTrain Fundamentals program.  It is a simple concept:  an exercise that makes sure you are activating and using your deep core muscles.  In practice, it can take a little bit to learn how to do correctly.  Our deep core muscles can be largely underutilized in daily life.  The diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles are two key components of the deep core muscles that protect our low back and pelvis.  Desk work, driving, and daily stress can leave the diaphragm muscle weak.  Childbirth and time can leave the pelvic floor muscles weak, leading to complications such as incontinence, low back pain, and overuse injuries.

The PreTrain Brace is important.  We put together a troubleshooting video for you to make sure that you can perform The PreTrain Brace correctly, and that you understand how to apply it to your daily life.