Years ago I was compelled to add some balance training to a few of my students' pilates routines. We had had a winter storm in Brooklyn that left a treacherous sheet of ice along Atlantic Avenue sidewalks leading to the studio. I was terrified that one of my students would take a bad fall on their way to their pilates session. We started simply with hip, ankle strengthening and have since added more unstable-surfaces and advanced pilates exercises, like the Splits series and Mountain Climber. Below are some links to articles and videos describing basic balance training and a short conversation with one of my star students, Louise Braunschweiger speaking about her special technique for building ankle strength. Lately, we've been talking about adding even more challenges to balance for all NLP students: dance classes, sports, etc. The NY Times article below seems to be encouraging more complex movement challenges for all of us.
Check out this recent NY Times article Finding the Right Balance.
Here are some links to balance videos:
A Conversation with Louise Braunschweiger
Louise has been a committed pilates student at NLP for a few years, she is an avid swimmer and all around athlete. As her teacher, I appreciate her energy and critical eye as well as her enthusiasm for physical activity.
NLP: How many years have you been working with me?
Louise: 2½ years
NLP: You do a lot of swimming; do you find any connection between swimming and Pilates?
Louise: I think as a result of the combination of the two is my body in better shape than it was.
NLP: We’ve done a lot of balance exercises and you invented new things to do at home, most famously the teeth brushing exercise.
Louise: That’s right, I use an electric toothbrush and it goes for 30-second segments, so I stand on one foot for thirty seconds, and the other foot for 30 seconds. Altogether I get two minutes of standing on one foot without holding on—except to the toothbrush.
NLP: And you’re teeth are very clean.
Louise: As much as they ever were!