Pilates for horse riders – improve your lower leg in the saddle

kimberley garlickHorse riders, Uncategorized19 Comments

Lower leg for riders

I am very passionate about watching rider and horse combination and developing specific program's designed for the individual and their riding.  Every rider will have their quirky posture in the saddle and assessment is always advisable but a common area in need of improvement is the lower leg.   Many riders arrive to the studio with knee and ankle issues and often look fluidy around their lower leg  joints.  As a rider you are asking the body to maintain leg alignment whilst in an extreme stretch of the calf and Achilles.  On top of that you would like the calfs active on the horse, when required without gripping of the knees however a good flexion of the knee which you are maintaining for long periods of time.  Let's add load, balance,  subtle eversion of the feet when spur assistance is required, dynamic and consistent propulsion to those joints + a horse that may need more attention from you on his/her right or left side.  Whoooooo no wonder feet, ankles, calfs and knees scream  HELP!!!!!!  So below some simple things you can begin with.

1.  A ball under you feet and massage your feet with the ball.  When you find the areas that are obviously tight spend extra time in that area of the foot.

2.  Take your foot into both ranges of flexion and extension, point and flex the foot.  It is important to keep the navicular joint mobile. Treat yourself to a good calf and foot massage, I am sure your horses are well looked after with diet, chiropractic work, farrier and dentist so it is important your body is also well maintained.

4.  Roll your ITB (iliotibial band) and fascia out with a roller.


5.  Ankle and calf strengthening with calf raises, start with 10, feet together and build up to single leg calf raises.

6. Femur circles (refer to video) to assist with the alignment of your thigh in the hip socket.

7. Hip flexor stretch (refer to video) to counter balance the constant hip flexion you are in when in the saddle.

Begin doing these simple exercises every 2nd day and if you can incorporate it into the daily routine that would be awesome but even as little as once a week you will begin to feel different.

kimberley garlickPilates for horse riders – improve your lower leg in the saddle

Spinal Mobility for life Performance

kimberley garlickUncategorized6 Comments

trim.05397F3C-F480-4CFB-A3F3-EA7EED21EC59"You are only as young as your spine is flexible" said Joseph Pilates. Age is irrelevant when we speak of movement quality. I see clients aged 6 years to 96 years and everyone of them is different in their movement patterns. As Joseph Pilates simply stated your spine is a major part of your movement quality. Move, move, the more we move in all ranges of movement the better. Ask your body to bend and extend, twist and reach. Static posture is not good for the body, soul or mind. Think of your body like a spring and keep the coils of the spring evenly spaced and loaded and create flexibility at all vertebral points. Pilates is a wonderful thoughtful movement process to encourage fluidity of movement through your spine. Here is a simple exercise called book openings and bridging.  Try to do these 2 exercises trim.DAFE634F-B0D9-4E8F-9E3F-5E534BB4242Devery day 6-8 reps on each side. Smiles Kimberley x

kimberley garlickSpinal Mobility for life Performance

Nutrition tip on sweet cravings

kimberley garlickUncategorized37 Comments

You develop a sweet tooth by eating sugar too often. Now the time has come to decrease your sugar intake and re-regulate a healthier sugar level within your body. If you maintain a good level of low gi (glycemic index) food in your diet your cravings will be easier to control as you won't be hungry. Low gi food simply means the rate that sugar from the food is released into the blood stream. High gi food simply means sugar is released into the blood stream faster than low gi food and does not have the feeling of satiety (fullness) that low gi does. If you have high gi food you are more likely to want another high gi food in a short period of time. I highly recommend you add the glycemic index booklet to your recipe collection to assist you in preparing foods that will benefit your energy. start your day with a low gi breakfast, an egg on rye bread instead of rice bubbles for example. Stay away from simple sugar it is like giving your body a negative drug hit and you will come down just as fast as you went up. Exercise has a very positive effect on choosing good food. Keep moving and choose low glycemic index foods especially for breakfast and dinner. Give it a go and let me know how it works for you. Smiles kimberley x

kimberley garlickNutrition tip on sweet cravings

Nutrition and your metabolism

kimberley garlickUncategorized2 Comments

Nutrition does not need to be complicated. 90% of the time be good 10% of the time let your hair down. Never skip breakfast and feed your metabolism every 3-4 hours with wholesome food like 5 - 10 almonds or an apple. When it comes to dinner time try to eat before 7pm and make this meal full of good hearty vegetables and a small amount of protein. You will know your metabolism is improving when you wake up hungry. Your metabolism is like a fire feed it with good wholesome natural food and it will maintain in a good metabolic state for you, starve it and it will loose its flame and therefore you will find it more difficult to decrease body fat. No more fad diets just eat smart x

kimberley garlickNutrition and your metabolism

Pilates – Neutral spine

kimberley garlickUncategorized39 Comments

IMG_2004Neutral spine is common vocabulary in the world of Pilates. Many people have their own personal view of neutral spine. I am going to share my interpretation of netural spine for Pilates. Neutral spine is the natural formation of optimal spinal alignment in an individuals body. Lets for a moment think more skeletal than muscular. Picture the skeleton lying on the mat and how the back of the skull is heavy to the floor and the natural curve of the cervical spine is formed; the shoulderblades, ribs and therefore the thoracic spine are on the mat and there is a subtle curve in the lower spine in most people, (the lower back curve may be dependant on race) lastly the sacrum and pelvis have contact with the floor. Now if we are thinking about the muscles, think "Less is more" (Brent Anderson, Polestar Pilates). Feel the muscles of the lower back become soft and durable and open to the floor and the front of the body working just enough to maintain awareness for pelvic stability. Feel there is even work both front and back of the torso to give your spine suppport and confidence to move limbs independantly of the torso. Utilising the floor for tactile awareness and feedback encourages positive movement patterns for when we change the bodies orientation to gravity. Neutral spine does not have a specific space between the body and floor it can not be measured or quantified from one person to the next, it is individual. Pilates is about individuality, we are not about making you fit the workout, we are about encouraging your body with Pilates movement and making appropriate modifications for the individual. Most importantly neutral spine will not give you pain, if you think you are working in neutral and you are in pain maybe your idea of neutral needs a little tweeking. Enjoy your pilates workouts.

kimberley garlickPilates – Neutral spine

Theroband video 1

nathan magergeneral pilates1 Comment

Utilising the elastic/ theroband provides a resistance in working the foot into a point position and then assistance in flexing the foot back improving ankle mobility and some dancers may also feel a calf and achilles stretch.

nathan magerTheroband video 1

Improving your demi point

nathan magerDemi pointLeave a Comment

It is essential to develop a strong demi-point position in young dancers.  Establishing a strong Demi-point position is an important foundation that will assist in advance repertoire when they get older.

nathan magerImproving your demi point