With Wimbledon now in full flow and Serena Williams and Andy Murray championing pilates as a vital part of their training I thought I’d share my top 5 pilates exercises for tennis and their benefits.
1. Spine twists: a lot of power in tennis comes from extension and rotation of the spine. Spine twist whether standing, seated or in kneeling strengthen the spinal rotators whilst stabilising the trunk.
2. Dumb waiter: the rotator cuffs of the shoulder are used repeatedly in tennis and require both mobility and stability to avoid injury. Dumb waiter strengthens the rotator cuff muscles whilst stabilising the shoulder girdle.
3. Shoulder bridge: players extend their spine as they strike the ball so a strong core whilst in extension is vital. Shoulder bridge will strengthen the extensors and flexors of the spine through mobility whilst engaging the core. An added bonus is glutes can also be recruited during this exercise by adding leg raises whilst in the bridge position.
4. Single leg squats: knees take a lot of strain during tennis so its really important to strengthen the quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves with a unilateral (one legged) move to improve stability of the knee whilst strengthening the surrounding muscles.
5. Swimming arms and legs: this move recruits the glutes and hamstrings, the upper back extensors and shoulder retractors whilst stabilising through the trunk. Improving core stability when moving limbs will improve power and accuracy of shots.
Check out the video to see these moves in action.
Relax and unwind, nourish your body and bond with your unborn baby at this exclusive fabulous event. Limited to 10 places. Enjoy pilates to strengthen those important muscles for labour, learn what foods to eat for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby, bond with baby through bump massage and relaxation with a guided relaxation session. Free goody bag worth £40.
With my marathon behind me and a new shiny road bike hanging up in the house I have turned my attention to cycling recently, quite apt considering that national cycling week is now upon us!
Being someone that loves a challenge I scoured the internet for rides that I can train for. It didn’t take long until a came across one, the Peak Epic! There were three options for me to choose from and in the end I decided to go for the middle distance of 60 miles, not a particularly easy option with over 7000ft of climbing to be done over countless peaks!
It’s felt fantastic to give my knees a break from the constant pounding from running on the road and to challenge myself in a way that my body wasn’t accustomed too. Training took the form of hill sessions some short and sharp and others long and drawn out as well as some distance work on the flats to build up time in the saddle and endurance in the legs.
As I was hoping the endurance side of things went well after a full year of distance running however I had forgotten about the saddle sore from spending hours on a seat harder than a rock! Luckily when race day came the hills were squeezed close together meaning that I got to change my position on the bike quite often and never suffered too much from the saddle sore!
As for the result in pleased to say I did quite well! Of the 109 people that took part in the middle distance I came 8th, a very pleasant surprise! There are still a few more rides in me to try and creep up the leaderboard this summer and my knees are still enjoying the rest!
One thing I noticed when looking for an event is that there are so many out there! Not all of the as tough as the Peak Epic! Why not make the most of national bike week and get out there with me!
Pilates is the single best exercise you can do after giving birth. It is safe and will help repair abdominal and pelvic floor muscles through controlled strengthening exercises. Your abdominals will become separated during pregnancy to make room for baby, to help these muscle come back together quicker pilates will strengthen and realign the abdominals helping eliminate that gap and mummy tummy you have after birth, returning you to your pre-pregnancy shape quicker!
Pilates will strengthen the pelvic floor functionally without a kegel exercise insight! Thats right no need to squeeze and release!
Pilates also helps reduce back pain caused by lifting and carrying baby, strengthening the back muscles and improving posture. Pilates is great for de-stressing and relaxation, something every new mum needs.
There are many benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby. Babies that have been breast fed have been found to have a reduced incidence of gastrointestinal infections and other infectious diseases especially respiratory, ear and urinary tract infections. A reduce risk of being obese in later childhood, and a reduced risk of developing type 1 and 2 diabetes. Breastfeeding also reduces baby’s incidence of certain childhood cancers and the risk of sudden infant death. It reduces the risk of baby suffering allergies and reduces the severity of any allergies they do have and helps with constipation in baby.
For new mums breastfeeding helps bond with baby, helps with weight loss, delays ovulation and menstration which helps iron stores return to normal and research has found that women who breastfeed have a lower risk of ovarian and breast cancer.
Breastfeeding doesn’t suit every new mother and there is no pressure to breastfeed.