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Marjolein began her Pilates training in New Mexico in 1995 and has since then traveled all over the world to broaden her understanding of body mechanics.
Her dedication to the understanding of postural health and whole body fitness plus her vast teacher training makes her an outstanding spokesperson for the Pilates Method.
She was instrumental in producing the first educational advertising about Pilates back in 1997 and has spent the last eleven years demonstrating and educating communities worldwide via workshops and television. Together with Stamina® Products, Inc. she continues to develop affordable Pilates equipment and training videos for home use.
The recent launch of her AeroPilates® Basic Reformer Specialty training through SCW Fitness Education has been received with great enthusiasm by personal trainers, fitness instructors, club owners, and other fitness professionals nationwide.
Marjolein is an innovator in the world of fitness and health and believes that total wellness requires the complete integration of a strong mind, body and spirit. She lives a wholesome life incorporating alternative medicines; eats an organic, natural diet and de-stresses regularly via meditation, massage and rest. With the launch of LighterLiving.com, she has broadened her focus to incorporate the mind, body and spirit with Pilates and as an exceptionally gifted teacher, she shares these special insights with an ever-growing membership that finds her outlook on life to be highly motivational and life affirming. Her goal is to assist in the creation of an independent, well informed and functionally fit world.
“It is a shameful thing to grow old in neglect, without having realized the utmost strength and beauty your body is capable of”. —Socrates
Information supplied by Marjolein Brugman
COMMON MISTAKES IN THE WARM-UP FOOTWORK
So often, people worry that they are not performing the Pilates exercises correctly at home when they watch my DVDs or videos. I want to alleviate all concerns regarding this sensitive issue.
Just as most people work out at the gym alone without a personal trainer, I am making it possible for you to work out alone at home. All my instructional DVDs and videos have been developed so you can work along in real time. I emphasize the correct muscles, the correct breathing and the correct set-up without being confusing and intimidating.
As your personal at home trainer, I am, however, aware that there are simple and yet profound subtleties in each exercise that will make an ordinary exercise become deeply extraordinary. In this following article I will attempt to explain those small but remarkable intricacies and will be excited to hear from you here after.
The Warm-up Footwork
This series is just as it says—a warm up and therefore is one of the most important sections of your workout. It is designed to warm up the major muscles of your body, especially those in the legs, readying your body for more intense strength and flexibility training.
The warm-up cleverly strengthens the knees so is wonderful for those with weak, dodgy knees. It subtly teaches your core to initiate movement and makes you able to isolate your lower body as move, while keeping your upper body and your core stable and still. If you only have a few minutes in the day do not forget to do your warm-up footwork.
The goal in this series of movements is to teach your body how to move correctly, when it is vertical. Because you are lying down the machine is able to simulate a vertical squat BUT without your vertical imbalances. The shoulder pads level your crooked shoulders and the footbar levels your non-symmetrical legs. The platform supports almost your entire weight allowing your neck, shoulders, chest and back to relax. The moving platform forces your core to contract and after a few reps your whole body begins to realize a new, more balanced and better positioned movement. When you stand up and resume your normal vertical position, your body will use the correct muscles, relax the ones it should not be using and realign all your bones so they can once again assume symmetry and balance.
The most important mistake is that you imprint your spine into the platform because the abdominal muscles are weak. In doing so you are reducing the natural curvature of the lumbar spine. This is actually not terrible when you are lying down but since we are trying to teach you how to move when standing, it is important to be able to maintain a neutral spine, with a solid lumbar curve, when lying. That way, when you get up and begin to move around, the spine and the abdominals will know what to do.
As you begin to push away from the foot bar and straighten your legs, feel the connection between your shoulder blades and your pelvis (which is touching the platform at the base of your spine). You want to know that there is a little space between your back and the platform, right under your lower back…just enough to slide your hand underneath. More accurately it is the shape of your lower back, midpoint between a pelvic tilt and a pelvic arch. With your back in this position throughout, try to complete the entire warm-up series.
Secondarily, keep heels together and high in the air in the V position, your feet wrapped up and over the bar in the Arches position, toes towards your head in the Heels position, knees over the heels in all positions, knees together using the inner thighs and zip up the space between the legs.
Information supplied by Marjolein Brugman and Stamina® Product, Inc.
As always, check with your physician before embarking on any exercise program.