Prenatal Pilates | Amber's Tips on Staying Fit & Healthy

IMG_1625 One of the biggest questions we get when our clients become pregnant is Can I workout? & What can't I do? It's amazing & crazy the changes that a women experiences during this time and the good news is YES you can still workout. Prenatal exercise can actually make you more comfortable during this time. Although every single woman is different.

I've been extremely active my whole life but during my pregnancy I physically did not have the stamina to workout. I always tell my clients the most important thing is listen to your body. At HIP Studio we have had several women workout their whole entire pregnancies. Women who put me to shame with their consistent dedication to fitness. The rule of thumb is that if you are active when you get pregnant, there is no reason you can’t continue to be active.

Prenatal Pilates is one of the best ways to prepare your body for the birthing process. It is important to condition the abdominals and pelvic floor muscles, helping to maintain strength and endurance needed during labor. Awareness of breath and the mind-body connection as a means of relaxation and focus are huge benefits during labor. When those contraction are intensely repeating one right after the next, and you want to kill your husband, my years of practicing Pilates gave me an immense sense of relief. Even if it was just for a brief moment!! Some of my biggest advice for women who are thinking of getting pregnant is prep your body. I physically conditioned my body before pregnancy and I believe this strength and endurance of years of working out and HIP classes gave me what I needed for a successful labor.

If you have been working out with us you can pretty much do everything you were doing before you got pregnant, if you are cleared by your doctor. Experts say that once you reach the mid-point of your pregnancy (20 weeks), you need to start making modifications. Exercises in supine positions for an extended period of time should be avoided, traditional abdominal exercises like forward flexion should be modified and we advice our clients to not take any jumpboard clases.

All of the instructors at HIP Studio are certified in Prenatal Pilates, and can assist clients in the modifications necessary throughout their pregnancies. For our group classes it is important to let your instructor know you are pregnant and how far along you are. A few private prenatal pilates sessions can be extremely beneficial during this time because we can focus on your specific needs and modification you can use during your group classes. Every body is different, and every pregnancy is different.  The most important thing is to listen to your body and take care of the vessel that is carrying this most precious cargo.

How Pilates and Yoga Can Help You Live a Better Life

pilates_and_yoga_balancePilates and yoga are much more than passing fads in the world of exercise. When these two techniques are combined, they can bring phenomenal health benefits to the body that people aren’t always able to achieve through other forms of non-aerobic exercise. Pilates focuses on the body as a whole, targeting all major muscle groups. It is challenging to say the least, and it requires a significant amount of concentration. Yoga and Pilates are both total mind and body approaches that help you find your center of balance, so that you can have total control over your body by engaging in various movements and exercises. Pilates is actually much different from yoga, but the two complement each other perfectly. Pilates tends to focus more on core strength, while yoga tends to focus on developing strength and stretching. Improving Your Health with Yoga and Pilates

Many people are under the misconception that yoga and Pilates are simple exercises that won’t do much for their body. They couldn’t be more wrong. To engage in these workouts, you must have a high level of concentration, and you must be committed to the process. Yoga exercises will bring your mind and body together in harmony, through using a range of meditation, breathing techniques, and exercises combined. When you are performing yoga, the exercises that you do will put a great deal of pressure on all of the glandular systems in your body. This is the key to improving your health through yoga. The benefits are endless, and you will see a complete change in your body after you have attended a few Pilates and Yoga classes.

Some of the Key Benefits of Pilates & Yoga 

  • Improved Brain Function and Concentration
  • Increased Sense of Well-Being and Body Awareness
  • Increased Muscle Tone and Strength
  • Increased Blood Circulation and Lung Capacity
  • Improved Flexibility and Posture
  • Relives Muscle Stiffness and Pain Caused by Various Ailments
  • Improved Stress Management Abilities
  • Improved Energy Levels
  • Reduced Levels of Fatigue
  • Increased Ability to Soothe the Mind and Calm the Soul

Signing Up for Classes

Signing up for yoga and Pilates classes at HIP Studio is a breeze. HIP Studio even offers a Yoga Add-On to your Pilates membership. Yoga and Pilates is a great way to add fun and creativity to your workout regimen, and you will not be disappointed with the level of benefits that you will receive from engaging in these exercises. Whether you are going solo with a private trainer or joining a class, you will begin to see positive results almost immediately. People that engage in Pilates and yoga at least twice a week for hour long sessions find that their overall sense of well-being improves greatly.

Hip Studio offers Pilates and yoga classes, in addition to other types of exercise classes. They are one of the best health and fitness studios in Hermosa Beach, CA.




What Do Reese Witherspoon, Megan Fox, Anna Paquin and Cameron Diaz all have in Common?

What Do Reese Witherspoon, Megan Fox, Anna Paquin and Cameron Diaz all have in Common? celebrities pilates studio








Pilates has been around for years, but as it became better known, people from all walks of life from around the world began to see that the benefits of engaging in Pilates is remarkable. You know it has to be one of the best ways to stay in shape if so many celebrities are on board. Tons of celebrities have become devoted to Pilates, and they absolutely swear by it! While most celebrities typically don’t have a lot in common in their day to day lives, one thing many of them share is their love for going to the Pilates studio to get a full body workout.

miley cyrus pilates studio

Celebrity Pilates Trainer Siri Dharma Galliano

Notable celebrities that are Pilates devotees include Reese Witherspoon, Megan Fox, Cameron Diaz, Anna Paquin, Miley Cyrus, and Sandra Bullock. Siri Dharma Galliano, owner of Live Art Pilates in Los Angeles has worked with many celebrities who have wanted to engage in Pilates in private training sessions. Celebrities have to keep their bodies in shape more than anyone else, because they wouldn’t get roles if they didn’t keep their bodies fit. Galliano believes that Pilates is all about body awareness. If you can learn the proper techniques that are involved with Pilates, then you can incorporate those techniques into your everyday life. Galliano has worked with many well-known celebrities such as Madonna, Cameron Diaz, Uma Thurman, and Sting. According to Galliano, "When you start getting control of your body, it gives you a great degree of satisfaction." She believes that you must achieve body symmetry to get the full benefits from your Pilates workouts. As you learn to stand straighter, develop body awareness, and gain the knowledge that you need, then Pilates will begin to work. The key principles of Pilates must be learned. Once they are learned, then people will get much more from their workouts.

cameron diaz pilates studioThe Benefits of Engaging in Pilates Workouts

Pilates has become so popular in recent years, that it has even been fused with other popular exercise programs such as yoga, swimming, kickboxing, and ballroom dancing. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to work out constantly to achieve the health benefits that Pilates offers. Working out 2-3 times per week in Pilates class sessions is sufficient to see results. Once you begin the workouts you will gain self-confidence, and you should feel more relaxed. Pilates reduces stress, and it gives people a sense of inner peace. People that try Pilates never go back to other exercise programs. There are tons of ways to change the exercise routines up, so that they always stay interesting and fun. You can use a reformer machine, weights, foam rollers, stability balls, and other fun objects to always keep things interesting.

You don’t have to be a celebrity or hire an expensive trainer to achieve the benefits of Pilates. HIP Studio offers Pilates classes daily. Live better with Pilates. HIP Studio Hermosa Beach.


What Experts Are Saying About Pilates Classes

Although Pilates was actually developed in the 1920’s, the high profile program did not garner much attention until the last decade or so. Pilates has proven to have a wide range of health benefits, and it allows people to get their bodies into shape by focusing on core strength. Even physicians and holistic health professionals around the world have expressed how truly beneficial Pilates classes can be to the mind, body, and soul. People that take a Pilates class at least a couple of times per week will experience reduced stress, increased flexibility and strength, and they will have a better overall sense of well-being. Keeping the Body Strong and Well with Pilates Core Strength Exercises Dan Westerhold, a physical therapist from Seattle that is trained in the art of Pilates says that he sees huge numbers of clients that have weakness and injuries in the postural muscles due to not exercising the right way and from the lifestyle choices that these people make. He says "People sit slouched at computers all day, then go to the gym and work their extremities, they don't use their core." The key point here is that without the core being strong, the rest of the body would weaken and be prone to injuries, weakness, and even illness.

pilates classesIs Pilates for Everyone? According to physical therapist Michael L. Reed, DPT of Jupiter, Florida, more than 50% of adults in the world experience some form of back pain at some point in their lives. Out of that percentage, 25% of those people have debilitating back pain that significantly impacts their quality of life. While he believes that Pilates and other forms of exercise that focus on the core of the body in areas that support the spine can be extremely beneficial, he also believes that people should be cautious until they receive clearance from their physicians to engage in the popular exercise program. A proper diagnoses should be obtained for those who suffer from back pain, because not every type of pain is considered the same. Pilates could hurt more than it could help if there is an underlying medical cause for the pain.


What Are The Benefits of Pilates?

  • Anyone from grandmothers to business executives and pregnant women can engage in Pilates. There are various classes available that will cater to the needs of everyone.
  • Muscular strength will greatly improve
  • Pilates takes a holistic approach that helps the body as a whole.
  • Improved flexibility and suppleness will be seen.
  • Improved posture will be possible
  • It can help to burn calories, and achieve weight loss.
  • It increases energy levels.
  • Stress is reduced, and people will obtain better coping skills.
  • The principles of the exercise are easy to learn for anyone.

Pilates classes are much better than strenuous exercises such as jogging or lifting weights, because it puts less strain on people’s joints. According to Joseph Pilates, the man who invented the exercise, he never took an aspirin a day in his life, and he was never injured either. He felt that everyone should be engaging in his workout, to get the same great benefits that he himself experienced. The benefits of Pilates are phenomenal.

Improve Your Posture with Pilates Classes - Just 2x per Week

Tired of slouching at your desk? Pilates classes, two times per week, can help improve your posture! pilates classes

Pilates exercises are designed to allow the body to move efficiently, and they can greatly improve a person’s posture if they engage in a routine workout regimen at least 2x per week. The reason that Pilates is so beneficial to people that have poor posture is because it is designed to target and develop the use of core strength. When the core muscles of the back, abdominals, and pelvic floor are used, our posture is better supported to where it will allow the neck, head, and shoulders to relax and have a better range of motion. Pilates can and will relieve stress on the feet, legs, and hips as well. Good posture eliminates general backaches that do not have an underlying cause, and it makes a person look as well as feel strong and healthy.

Pilates Exercises to Improve Posture There are many great Pilates exercises that will improve posture, but the most noteworthy ones are pelvic curls, roll ups, Pilates plank pose exercises, and finding neutral spine exercises. In addition to supporting good posture, these exercises can in turn help people who are suffering from respiratory diseases. When a person has good posture they are able to stand up straight, which will allow them to breathe more fully and deeply. Good breathing is an essential part of having good posture, so the two go hand in hand. Pilates can make a person feel better as a whole, to where they will feel much less stress and pain. Good posture may not seem like a great benefit that is derived from engaging in the exercise, but it is vitally important.

Good Posture Benefits from Pilates

  • Pain relief will be experienced throughout the body, from the hips, feet, and legs, to the neck and back.
  • Good posture enables people to move freely and efficiently, so that they are able to improve their overall quality of life.
  • Muscle function will be greatly improved, and people will have much more energy.
  • Range of motion will significantly increase.
  • People will appear to have a slim appearance if they are able to stand up straight.
  • Compressed organs will no longer have any pressure.
  • Circulation will be improved.
  • People will feel much more confident and positive about their life if their posture is good.

Meeting Your Goals with a Good Pilates Program HIP Studio, a Pilates and Fitness studio in Hermosa Beach offers quality Pilates classes. We encourage you to discuss your goals and experience with our instructor before your first class. We offer a variety of classes, each of them providing distinct and complimentary benefits, so it may be best to combine these programs for the utmost benefit to your posture and health.

The Benefits of Pilates and Yoga Cross Training

pilates and yogaSuppose you came across a flyer for an exercise class which said, "Weeklong Challenge, Pilates and Yoga - 3 Pilates classes, 3 yoga classes, one rest day, sign up here . . . Tell us how you feel?!" Would you sign up? Maybe you consider yourself a Pilate’s fanatic. You love the cardiovascular benefits of the aerobic exercise, and the way you feel after each class. Or perhaps, you like to think of yourself as a “yogi”. Does yoga help you with circulation? Flexibility? Muscle pain? There are many benefits to both Pilates and yoga exercises. Chances are, if you like one, a combination of the two can really help you improve your overall fitness. Cross training is a great way to get an all-around body workout. People who cross train between both Pilates and yoga may experience greater strength, flexibility, and better overall wellness. The following are just a few benefits of combining the two types of exercise. Benefits of Yoga

  • Deeper Sleep

While yoga may appear to be a simple, carefree exercise form to some, the truth is, yoga takes a lot of focus, concentration, and discipline. A good yoga workout can be quite tiring and may help you to release extra stress and energy, leading to a better night’s sleep.

  • Help with Back Pain

For those who suffer from back pain, yoga is a great way to strengthen both the back muscles and the core muscles. By working these two major muscle groups, you become stronger in your ability to properly hold your torso, relieving the stress that is usually placed on your back from everyday activities like walking, standing, and bending over.

  • Heightened Flexibility

Yoga is known for its ability to help with flexibility. As you persevere through the beginning stages of yoga, you will likely become more capable of achieving harder flexibility stances. Increased flexibility may also lessen your chance for injury in other physical activities.

Benefits of Pilates

  • Core Strength

Most Pilates workouts focus on building the muscles at the core of the body. These core muscles are the muscles that are used to support the mainframe of the body. By strengthening your core you may feel reduced aches and pains, and find that overall, you feel stronger. The toning elements of Pilates also help to get the whole body tightened, as you focus on blasting fat and replacing it with muscle in major areas of the body.

  • Gradually progress to higher Complexity

Pilates is not a physical activity that requires previous preparation. There are Pilates moves for beginners and advanced Pilates students. Because the basic moves involved in this cardiovascular activity can be modified to meet many fitness levels, it is a great activity to help you gradually push yourself to eventually achieve more complexity as you become more physically fit.

  • Flow of Oxygen

Many people feel that after completing a good Pilates workout, they have a better flow of oxygen through their whole body. Because the muscles are stretched using dynamic stretching throughout the whole workout, they are opened-up, warm, and more able to receive a better blood flow. This creates an energy and fluidness of the muscles and the body.

The Dual Benefits

If you read through the list of benefits in each of the exercises you may have noticed that there is some cross-over between the two types of workouts. By combining Pilates and yoga classes, and taking a day to rest, you may be able to complete a weeklong Pilates and yoga challenge and feel the combined benefits of both types of exercise.

The Best Ways to Utilize a Pilates Studio

pilates studioFinding new ways to be healthy can reenergize your drive to get fit, and it can boost your normal workout into something extra special. Entering a Pilates studio can help you to enjoy some of the most intense and fun workouts. What is Pilates?

Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates in the 20th century. It combines calisthenics with spring driven resistance to target core muscle groups. By strengthening the pelvis and back muscles, Pilates strengthens you from the center out. It can help relieve chronic back pain, improve posture and breathing, and make your fitness experience more balanced.

Most Pilates studios utilize the famous Pilates reformer. This is a special device that is used to enhance the Pilates exercises, increase flexibility, and improve strength all at once. It consists mainly of a sliding support platform called a carriage. The carriage is driven by the Pilates practitioner back and forth along rails, providing adjustable resistance for each pose and stretch. In order to get the most from the discipline of Pilates, you need to receive proper instruction from a licensed professional.

The easiest way to find certified Pilates trainers is through a Pilates studio. Set up similar to a gym, Pilates studios offer a wide range of classes for beginners and advanced students. There may also be additional services offered, and other style of fitness exercises in addition to Pilates. Often these additional services are designed to work hand in hand with Pilates, drawing forms and poses from Pilates and combining them with yoga, High Intensity Interval Training, and even dance.

Finding the Right Class for You

No matter what level of fitness you enjoy at the moment, you may be intimidated by Pilates since it requires the use of the Pilates reformer. However, you need not worry that your instructors will leave you with little knowledge coming into a class. It is a good idea is to arrive 15 minutes before your class so that you can meet with your instructor and discuss any health problems you have. The instructor will demonstrate how to stay safe while using the reformer and other Pilates related equipment.

If you are very nervous, it is a good idea to schedule a private session with a trainer. One on one instruction is the best way to make sure you are using equipment in a safe and effective way. If you become a regular at your local Pilates studio, you will become more comfortable, and you may be interested in attending group classes that will allow you to experience the challenges and breakthroughs of Pilates.

Other Services

Along with the strength and balance aspects of Pilates comes the fit lifestyle. You may be able to receive specialized nutrition advice from your Pilates studio since what goes into the body drastically hinders or helps how the body responds to physical exertion. Your Pilates studio may have a fitness program where you can track your progress and set goals, making it more likely you will follow through with your training regimen. As a full body training mechanism, Pilates is great for the fitness enthusiast and for those who just want to become healthier.

Reform Your Body With Pilates Reformer Classes

Pilates is an excellent way to strengthen and tone your body through gentle, concentrated exercise. Movements focus on your core muscles, working to emphasize your body’s alignment. These exercises can help prevent mishaps and rehabilitate from injuries that are related to imbalance. There are different types of Pilates, either done on a mat or strapped onto a reformer. At HIP Studio we teach all of our Pilates classes on our custom designed HIPformers. There are 500 Pilates exercises that target your core muscles: abdominals, lower back, hips and buttocks. The essence of these exercises is based around working against resistance. In mat Pilates, resistance is created by body weight. A Pilates reformer is a machine that creates the resistance for you.

A regular schedule of Pilates classes can be beneficial in strengthening your core and improving your flexibility. Some people may feel intimidated by the look of the reformer at first but your trainers and fellow classmates are always happy to demonstrate how to use it and make transitions.

Pilates Reformer classes are a wonderful way to kick up your workouts a notch or provide variety to your routine. When you use a reformer, you lie on a bed-like platform that slides on tracks. The platform is attached to pulleys and springs, which help create resistance as you do a variety of movements.

The resistance created by the pulley and spring system can actually provide a more challenging workout than a mat class. The attachments provide a wider range of exercises as well as more modifications that can be made to exercises. Because of this, it is possible to see visible results sooner. You may notice more definition in your arms, legs and abs after just a dozen classes.

Additionally, a Pilates reformer can provide support that you do not have by doing exercise on a mat. That support can allow for people with injuries or a limited range of movement to safely exercise. As Pilates originally started as a way to help rehab athlete’s injuries, the reformer was designed around helping people do the exercises when they may otherwise be unable to. In fact, Joseph Pilates, the person who created Pilates, also developed the reformer.

pilates reformer classes


Pilates Classes - What You Need to Know Before You Go

pilates classesIf you are a Pilates novice, but want to partake of the many benefits that come with this full-body workout, then there are a few things you need to know before your first Pilates class. It can be intimidating to go into a new workout without knowing what to do, what to expect, or how you are going to like it. Pilates classes are a great workout for beginners or people trying to start back into a workout routine. Most Pilates moves can be modified, to make them do-able for almost any fitness level, while still being effective at raising your heart rate and toning your muscles. The following suggestions are just a few things you ought to know before attending your first class. With these in mind, you are more than likely to have a great first Pilates experience. What to Bring

It is not uncommon to worry about what to bring to your first Pilates class. After all, you may be intimidated by seasoned class members, or feel uncomfortable in new environments. Typically, you do not need much for your first class. Always bring a cold bottle of water to keep hydrated throughout and after the workout. Depending on where the class is being held, you may also want to bring toe-socks. Toe socks are a special gripping sock designed for pilates. They allow you to hold positions on the reformer without slipping. HIP Studio sells toe-socks at the counter. If you don’t have a pair be sure to show up a few minutes early to get one.

Appropriate Pilates Attire

Your Pilates attire should be based solely on your taste and comfort level. While you may want to look cute for your workout, remember that functionality is just as important as appearance. For women, be sure to wear a supportive sports bra that isn’t too tight. This will allow you to participate in all of the exercises comfortably. Keep in mind that there will be a lot of movement. Most of our students like to wear pants or Capri pants and a comfortable, supportive top allowing your body to move across the reformer quickly and comfortably.

The Best Results come with a Positive Attitude and Determination

When attending your first Pilates class, remember that you probably will not be perfect at it on your first try. Like most workouts, you will gradually gain strength and endurance with continued determination. If you set your mind to accomplishing goals in your Pilates class, you will see progress and success with a positive outlook and continued attempts. For your first workout, it is okay to push yourself a little bit to get yourself into the swing of things, but also know your limits. Don’t overexert yourself to the point of exhaustion or injury. These two beginner mistakes can lead to the inability to continue with your workout program, or a lack of motivation. By gradually working up to your goals you will see all that you can achieve, and more fully enjoy the benefits of your hard work and effort.

Pilates and Yoga Provide Balance for a Happy Body and Tranquil Mind

pilates and yoga It is easy to get caught up in your jam-packed, hectic schedules. Between work, kids and household responsibilities, there is often little time left to take care of yourself. Finding a good way to exercise both your body and mind is important to not only maintain fitness, but maintain sanity as well. Pilates and yoga are excellent ways to bring yourself back into balance, as they help improve your physical health as well as your mental wellbeing.

Pilates began as a way to help injured athletes safely return to exercise. It helps to restore balance through lengthening and stretching the major muscle groups in the body. This type of exercise can be used to improve flexibility, balance and body awareness. Yoga works similarly to improve these areas, but focuses on three main elements: exercise, breathing and meditation. Both forms of exercise can help grow muscular and postural strength.

Yoga is actually an Indian philosophy that started thousands of years ago as a pathway to spiritual enlightenment. There is a wide range of practices, but each one utilizes structured poses in combination with the awareness of one’s breathing. The exercises are designed to increase your body’s efficiency by stimulating the endocrine system of your body, which regulates mood, among other things. By linking these movements with breathing, yoga makes exercise focused and purposeful. Concentrating on both the postures and your breaths is a form of meditation.

Research has proven yoga to be a way to relieve stress while giving an individual gentle exercise. The movements can help improve blood circulation, stretching muscles to relieve tension. This can lead to reducing anxiety and increasing feelings of calmness. Easing muscle tension can also reduce joint pain and improve flexibility. Lastly, yoga can make for a happy body, as holding muscles for a short period of time can improve cardiovascular fitness. Regular yoga practice may even help normalize blood pressure.

Pilates is partially inspired by yoga, similarly requiring concentration and focus. Pilates also uses gentle movements and postures to both stretch and strengthen muscles. One key difference between the two is that yoga is a series of static positions, and Pilates is based on doing exercises and movements while you are already in a difficult position. Holding your posture largely uses your abdominal muscles, and the quality of the posture is often more important than how many repetitions you can do.

The health benefits of Pilates include increased strength and tone, especially in your core muscles, which include your abdominals, hips and buttocks. Other benefits of the exercise include the rehabilitation or prevention of injuries through correcting muscle imbalances. Improving balance can also improve overall physical coordination. Like yoga, Pilates can also utilize deep breathing, which can lead to improved concentration and relaxation.

While getting exercise is a key step in improving physical health, not all exercises can address your mental wellbeing. Through combining gentle exercises with powerful concentration, both disciplines work to improve your body and your mind. Regular practice of either can result in better stress management and improved muscle tone. Individuals can greatly benefit from practicing Pilates and yoga through creating a happy body and a tranquil mind.