Lisa Chader is joining the Spiral Spine Pilates staff this month, and we couldn’t be more excited! Lisa is an entertainment PR professional with experience in a variety of athletics – dance, gymnastics and cheerleading – as a participant, competitor, coach, and judge. Several years ago, she met Erin and discovered Pilates helped relieve her chronic hip and back pain. Lisa was so inspired by Erin’s passion for Pilates and her commitment to helping those with scoliosis that the two began working together to launch Spiral Spine – a series of resources designed to educate and support the scoliosis community. After two books, a workout DVD, a website, a studio launch, and countless Pilates lessons, Lisa woke up one morning and decided to become a Pilates teacher (Erin wasn’t surprised)! Soon thereafter she went through Balanced Body’s comprehensive Pilates teacher training program with Erin.
Lisa believes that Pilates is the perfect example of “mind-body awareness,” and aims to help people from all walks of life feel their best. Welcome to the studio Lisa!
Lisa’s Love of Stretching
I’ll admit it: I love to stretch. Many people like to skip stretching altogether as they don’t feel like they’re “working out” or it’s really uncomfortable because their muscles are so tight. I firmly believe that stretching is the key to unlocking movement and will only enhance your workout. If you don’t get enough stretching in your current workout class, take time to stretch afterwards or every night at home. Your body will thank you.
Here are some of my favorite stretches:
Hip Flexor and Psoas stretch
Stand on the side of a reformer on a red spring, and put the foot closest to the side up against the shoulder block. Go into a deep lunge – it’s delicious! I often joke that this stretch is the only reason I come to class!
IT band stretch
Lie on your back and put the opposite strap on the opposite foot for a hamstring stretch on the reformer. Cross your leg over your body while keeping your hip down. Now it’s a stretch for your IT band. If that area is tight, you’ll feel a stretch down the outside of your leg. Go ahead and get that stretch here; it’s a lot less painful than doing it on a foam roller!
This tiny muscle can cause all types of issues, including nerve pain, hip pain, and more. To stretch it on the barrel, place one leg straight on top of the barrel in a hamstring stretch, then bend that leg until your shin is parallel to your body with your foot and knee on the same plane (ideally). Now hinge forward from your hips or lie down on top of your leg and relax. Your piriformis may scream at you or it may sigh in relaxation. Try it!
How to Stretch with Balls
Grab a ball around your house – something about the size of a tennis ball works great. Place it under your foot and roll it around in as many was as you can. Repeat EVERY DAY. I love to use the Franklin and pinky balls for this stretch. I prefer the softer Franklin ball when I want less pressure and the harder pinky ball when I want more.
I like to use the pinky ball to help relieve tightness in my upper back where my mid-traps are. (As above, any ball around your house will do.) Stand against the wall, and place the ball between you and the wall in-between your shoulder blade and spine, these are your mid-traps. Now bend your knees, move side to side, go up high on your toes, and linger on any ouchie spots you might find.
I look forward to teaching you more about stretching and Pilates in my classes.