Arthritis Management- Living with Arthritis

Pilates by Trish
Published by Trish Luckett · 12 mins · 
Diet can play a big role in your life with arthritis. By focusing on a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods and knowing what foods to avoid, you may see great…

Pilates Q & A: Why can’t I do a Pilates rollup?

Many people struggle to do a rollup. No matter how hard they try, they can’t get all the way up.

Fiona, one of my clients, complains: “I only get up so far and then I have to use my hands to pull myself up.” Another client only succeeds if she uses momentum (that little lurch). Then there’s Steve, who manages to roll up but finds that his legs come off the floor too.

In frustration, Sandra confesses, “It doesn’t seem to matter how strong my abs are, I just can’t seem to get up all the way!”

Like Sandra, many people think the problem is their abs. But there’s a lot more to a roll up than abs. So maybe addressing other areas will help. Read on to find out!

Three key muscle groups help with roll ups

There’s definitely more than meets the eye when we try to roll up. Certainly, we need our abs. But they’re only part of the story. There are at least two other groups of muscles that come into play: hip flexors and back of thigh and bum muscles.

Starting with an ab curl

Typically, we start a roll up with an ab curl. Lying on the mat, we take a breath and as we exhale we nod our chin and start to curl up over our front ribs into an ab curl, resting on the base of our back ribs.Abdominal Muscles

To curl up like this we need our abs to pull our upper torso away from the mat (against gravity). Which abs, you may ask? Rectus abdominis, the 6 pack muscles in the front of our torso. We also use the obliques, our side torso muscles, especially our external obliques.

So for the first part of the rollup we do use our abs, specifically, the rectus abdominis and obliques.

Getting the ribs off the floor…

Now we’re at the stage where we have to get our ribs and torso up off the floor. That’s where the challenge starts for a lot of people! And that’s also where we need some extra help for those ab muscles.

Not only are we flexing our spine to come into an ab curl, and continuing to flex it to come up further, but our legs are out in front of us. To come up further, we also have to flex, or bend, at the hips! Enter the hip flexors.

psoasAdding the hip flexors

We have superficial hip flexors and we have deep hip flexors. Both help us in a rollup.

The deep hip flexor is called the psoas. It looks like a big flank steak that runs from the mid back across the pelvis to the top inside bump of our thigh bone. Because of the way it attaches it helps us pull the spine toward the legs when we roll up.

The other more superficial hip flexors help us do the same thing. Those are the muscles you can feel at the front crease where your pelvis attaches to your thigh.
So far we have the rectus abdominis and obliques from the ab group helping us get to an ab curl (up to the base of the ribs). Then we add the hip flexors to help get the torso off the ground.

Staying grounded

What about those who can get up about two thirds of the way but can’t keep their legs down on the ground?

After the abs and hip flexors, we have to add the muscles at the back of our legs, primarily our hamstrings, to help us get up the rest of the way in our rollup.

Our hamstrings help us glue the back of the thighs to the floor so we can get the rest of the way up to sit tall. They help us lever our bodies up. For many the hamstring contraction causes the knees to bend, which triggers an offsetting contraction of the quadriceps at the front of the thigh to keep the leg straight.

So the abs help with the initial curl off the floor. The hip flexors help lift the torso. And the hamstrings help us keep our legs down as we come up the rest of the way to sit tall.

Roll UpFinding the right rhythm

They say timing is everything. The same goes for a rollup. All the bones and muscles have to work in a coordinated rhythm to make it all the way up. We know the rhythm is working well when we can articulate the spine—roll up or down bone by bone, with no gaps.

Our deep core muscles help us articulate the spine so working the core helps us articulate the spine better. When we articulate the spine better we improve the timing or bone rhythms in our body. That is the last ingredient in our rollup.

Put it all together to improve your clients’ Pilates rollup

When clients are struggling to do a rollup, try strengthening the abs, hip flexors and hamstrings first. Add some core to help with spinal articulation and there’s a good chance they’ll do better on their next rollup.

Now, to exercise your mind: What are your favorite exercises to condition your abdominals, hip flexors and hamstrings?



9 Foot Exercises to Try at Home

Why foot exercises matter

Keeping your feet strong and flexible can help reduce foot and ankle pain, reduce muscle soreness, improve your overall foot health, and keep you active.

Exercises that improve range of motion and help limber up your feet may reduce your chance of getting hurt. Slow and gentle stretches will improve your flexibility. Strength exercises will allow your muscles to provide better support and protection for your foot as a whole.

You can do these gentle stretching and strengthening exercises three days per week or as often as every day to increase your range of motion and strength for lifelong foot health and vitality.

If your feet and ankles ache a lot, if you have any injuries, or if you have arthritis or diabetes, be sure to check with your doctor or physical therapist before you start doing any of these exercises. Depending on your needs, your doctor may add other exercises or take away some of the ones listed here.


1. Toe raise, point, and curl

toe raise

This three-part exercise will start to get your toes and feet moving.

  1. Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Keep your toes flat on the ground and raise your heels until only the balls of your feet and toes touch the ground. Hold for five seconds.
  3. Point your toes so that only the ends of your big and second toes touch the ground. Hold for five seconds.
  4. Keep your heel off the ground and roll your toes under so that that tops of your toes touch the ground. Hold for five seconds.
  5. Repeat each position 10 times.


2. Toe splay

toe splay

This movement will help you gain control over your toe muscles.

  1. Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet gently resting on the floor.
  2. Spread all your toes apart as far as comfortable. Hold for five seconds.
  3. Repeat 10 times.

You can make this exercise harder by looping a rubber band around the toes of each foot.



3. Toe extension

toe extension

This stretch is good to prevent or treat plantar fasciitis, which causes heel pain.

  1. Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Pick one foot up and place it on your opposite thigh.
  3. Grab your toes with one hand and pull them up toward your ankle until you feel a stretch along the bottom of your foot and in your heel cord.
  4. Massage the arch of your foot with your other hand during the stretch. Hold for 10 seconds.
  5. Repeat 10 times on each foot.


4. Toe curls

toe curls

This exercise will strengthen the muscles on the top of your feet and toes.

  1. Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lay a kitchen towel or hand towel on the floor in front of you so the short end is at your feet.
  3. Put the toes of one foot on the end of the towel, and scrunch your toes so you pull the towel toward you.
  4. Repeat five times with each foot.

You can increase the difficulty of this exercise by placing a small weight (like a can of soup) on the far end of the towel.


5. Marble pickup

marble pickup

This exercise will strengthen the muscles on the bottom of your feet and toes.

  1. Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place 20 marbles and a small bowl on the floor in front of you.
  3. Pick up one marble at a time with your toes and place it in the bowl. Use one foot to pick up all 20 marbles.
  4. Repeat with the other foot.


6. Big-toe stretch

big toe stretch

Keep good range of motion in your big toe with this three-part stretch. It feels good after having your feet crammed in dress shoes all day.

  1. Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Pick one foot up and place it on your opposite thigh.
  3. Gently use your fingers to stretch your big toe up, down, and to the side away from the other toes. Hold the stretch in each direction for five seconds.
  4. Repeat 10 times in each direction.
  5. Repeat with the opposite foot.


7. Golf ball roll

golf ball roll

Rolling the bottom of your foot on a hard ball can ease arch pain and treat plantar fasciitis.

  1. Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place a golf ball on the floor near your feet.
  3. Put your foot on top of the golf ball and roll it around, massaging the bottom of your foot.
  4. Increase or decrease pressure as needed.
  5. Roll for two minutes on each foot.

You can also use a frozen bottle of water if you don’t have any golf balls handy.


8. Achilles stretch

achilles stretch

The cord that runs up your heel into your calf muscles is called the Achilles tendon. Keeping it flexible can prevent foot, ankle, and leg pain.

  1. Stand facing a wall, with arms outstretched and palms on the wall.
  2. Place one foot back behind you with knee straight, and bend the knee on your other leg.
  3. Adjust your stance so that both heels are flat on the floor.
  4. Lean forward from the hips until you feel a stretch in your Achilles tendon and calf muscle.
  5. Adjust your stance if necessary to feel the pull while keeping your heels on the floor.
  6. To feel the stretch in a different place, bend the back knee slightly and push your hips forward.
  7. Hold the stretches for 30 seconds each and repeat three times.
  8. Switch legs and repeat.


9. Sand walking

sand walking

Walking barefoot through sand strengthens and stretches your feet and toes and gives a great calf workout. Walking in sand is more tiring than walking on hard paths, so make sure you turn around before you’ve worn yourself out.

  1. Find some sand — for example, at a beach, desert, or volleyball court.
  2. Take off your shoes and socks.
  3. Walk.


The bottom line

If you do these foot stretches and strengthening exercises regularly, your feet will thank you. The stiffness and aches will subside. The exercises can relieve your heel and arch pain, and even prevent hammertoes and stop toe cramps.

Before you start doing your foot exercises, warm up a little bit. Walk around the house for a few minutes or ride a stationary bike. You just want to get some blood flowing before you stretch your tendons, ligaments, and muscles.

These exercises and stretches shouldn’t be painful. Be gentle with yourself. You could be pressing too hard on the golf ball or stretching too far. Ease up a bit.

If it still hurts, stop the exercise and talk to your doctor or physical therapist about how to proceed. If any of the instructions aren’t clear or if they don’t seem to be helping your problem, call your doctor for some guidance.

Article resources

Pilates For Fibromyalgia

“Fitness is a crystal ball in medicine today.  If we look at health outcomes and prognosis, how people do over the long term, invariably it’s the fit person who does the best with respect to any given medical condition, whether your a cancer or heart disease survivor, overweight, diabetic or live with Fibromyalgia.  There’s a vital role for physical activity and structured exercise in improving your outcome.”Barry Franklin, Ph.D.

Pilates is an exercise that can be used with fibromyalgia,  it allows us to improve body awareness, range of motion, balance, flexibility and musclular strength. Pilates exercises emphasis movement and low to no impact on the joints, but still allow the muscles to be worked through a full range of motion.

Gentle Pilates is movement  done in a slow and controlled manner with quality verses quantity, reducing the possibility of over working  and causing pain. The emphasis on a full breath will benefit a fibromyalgia patient by reducing their stress level. Gentle Pilates allows the client to reap the benefits of exercise without the exhaustion of a typical strength routine.

Pilates also improves proprioception, the body’s awareness of its place and movement in space. On a practical level, for an individual limited by fibromyalgia symptoms, this means training the body to better and more efficiently respond to changes, such as regaining or maintaining balance on uneven ground to reduce falls. Increased adaptability and coordination can help decrease the chance of injury from accidents or improper overuse in a particular body movement.

Overall, Pilates can be a complementary approach to a holistic treatment plan involving medications, cognitive or other psychological therapy, lifestyle modifications (stress reduction, adequate sleep, regular exercise, healthy diet), and other alternative practices (biofeedback, acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic, and osteopathic care).

Article is by Sharon Ostalecki

Drums Alive!

So excited to be getting my training and certification in early August for Drums Alive!!! This will be something new I will be adding to my repertoire of movement and fun to my life! Besides awesome Reformer and Barre workouts which are amazing already!!!

Benefits of :
The Drum
The drum is one of the most ancient instruments dating back tens of thousands of years. It has been used for generations. Drumming captures the heart of most that encounter it and connects us with the deeper rhythms of life. It has the potential of allowing the mind, body, soul, nature, spirit, and the cosmos dance to share their intimate dialogue and speak in a tongue that unites us all.
Drumming is a powerful experience and most simply, it is FUN!

Drums Alive® Essential Principles
– Posture and Alignment
– Natural Breathing – rhythmical breathing
– Movements are fluid and continuous through a full ROM
– Upper and lower body move in synchronized harmony
– Neuromuscular Rhythmical/Movement patterns are developed
to stimulate the 2 brain hemispheres.
– Energy is focused and concentrated
– The mind is open to cognitive and creative experiences
– Practice whole brain communication (3 dimensional patterns)
– Proper build up and break down of both Rhythm and or Movement
– Provide time for creative expression and moments for powerful release
of stressors.
– Allow time to calm down and experience the slower rhythms to
activate and increase Alpha Brain wave activity.
– Let your spirit fly and enjoy the essence of your movement!

Tips From Trish “The Benefits of Cinnamon” And recipe for “No Bake Energy Bars”

Ok Everyone! Another tip from me on Cinnamon and Honey!

Drug companies won’t like this one getting around. Facts on Honey and Cinnamon:
It is found that a mix of honey and Cinnamon cures most diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Scientists of today also note honey as very effective medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey can be used without side effects which is also a plus.Today’s science says that even though honey is sweet, when it is taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm even diabetic patients. Researched by western scientists:

HEART DISEASES: Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, put it on toast instead of jelly and jam and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol and could potentially save one from heart attack. Also, even if you have already had an attack studies show you could be kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of cinnamon honey strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as one ages the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and the veins.

ARTHRITIS: Arthritis patients can benefit by taking one cup of hot water with two tablespoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. When taken daily even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research conducted at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon Cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week (out of the 200 people so treated) practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain — and within a month, most all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis now started walking without pain.

BLADDER INFECTIONS: Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder….who knew?

CHOLESTEROL: Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water given to a cholesterol patient was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, when taken three times a day, any chronic cholesterol-could be cured. According to information received in the said Journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.

COLDS: Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and, clear the sinuses, and it’s delicious too!

UPSET STOMACH: Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also is said to clear stomach ulcers from its root.

GAS: According to the studies done in India and Japan, it is revealed that when Honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.

IMMUNE SYSTEM: Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacterial and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of Honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles (where DNA is contained) to fight bacterial and viral diseases.

INDIGESTION: Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food is eaten relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals

INFLUENZA: A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ‘Ingredient’ which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.

LONGEVITY: Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the ravages of old age. Use four teaspoons of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder, and three cups of boiling water to make a tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans increase and even a 100 year old will start performing the chores of a 20-year-old.

RASPY OR SORE THROAT: When throat has a tickle or is raspy, take one tablespoon of honey and sip until gone. Repeat every three hours until throat is without symptoms.

PIMPLES: Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it off the next morning with warm water. When done daily for two weeks, it removes all pimples from the root.

SKIN INFECTIONS:Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin Infections.

WEIGHT LOSS:Daily in the morning one half hour beforebreakfast and on an empty stomach, and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water. When taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.

CANCER: Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder three times a day for one month.

FATIGUE: Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton, who has done research, says that a half tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, even when the vitality of the body starts to decrease, when taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3:00 P.M., the vitality of the body increases within a week.

BAD BREATH: People of South America, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water first thing in the morning so their breath stays fresh throughout the day.

HEARING LOSS: Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder, taken in equal parts restores hearing.

Remember when we were kids? We had toast with real butter and cinnamon sprinkled on it!

No Bake Energy Bars    — Yummy!
1        cup Rolled Oats ( Trader Joe’s are awesome!)
1        cup unsweetened coconut (great fiber!)
1/2    cup Ground Flaxseed (TJ’s)
3/4   cup Peanut butter
1/3    cup Honey
1/2    cup Choc chips (mini)
1        tsp vanilla
Chill for 1/2 hr. Then I roll it between 2 pieces of waxed paper about 1/2 inch thick and cut into small bars and put into foil.
Note: I have 2 little bars in one foil, so you really feel like you can split them before a workout and after if you would like!

Tips From Trish ~ November’s News!

Watch this fabulous video on how to keep from locking your knees, which reduces knee pain. Creating stronger Quadriceps and a stable knee!


I am so excited as I just bought a new reformer!!!! I found one screamin’ good deal in Encino for a barely used Allegro 1 Reformer. Hubby and I went up there with a trailer, and sure enough, it was in excellent condition> So we packed it in and drove off, only meeting his mother because he  had to go to work. He kept it in her garage along with his sauna! I am soooo grateful to have two reformers now because that means that now people can come with a buddy to work out and pay less! I am doing a new introductory offer for privates and class prices that will make it doable for people to come 2-3 times per week if they want. Sooo excited! must repeat soooooo thankful that I can help others to reach their goals of getting healthy! Will list new prices for all to see!!!!!!!! Yes!


I have finally added Zumba to my schedule! I am teaching at 2 places right now. In Pilates of Old Town (Tustin) on Mondays at12 pm and 6 pm, Wednesdays at 5 pm, and Fridays at noon! Also I have a great place to do Zumba at my residence, call for details! In Tustin I have mixed the Zumba class with Pilates mat work so you are able to get a 50/50 split of cardio and strength training! At my house we do the whole hour to your favorite music for a super calorie burn! Come take off the stress and transform your figure while having a lot of fun!

Call or email me for pricing details! Zumba love, Trish

New Website

Hi everyone, we’re setting up my new website.

October 5th, 2011-

Wow! Has time ever flown by! Between my son getting married this year and the new deck we put in (ourselves! Now that was truly an adventure!) I have not had any time to devote to my blog.

I intend on focusing more on updating you on what I am doing, Pilates discounts I am offering,  info on new exercises and anything else I think might interest you.

First of all I am doing a new class called Pilates Cardio Circuit. I am really excited about it! It’s what I call my Boot Camp Pilates. Because it keeps your heart rate up for most of the session you will notice the difference in your energy right away! And as you get stronger the results are leaner abs, glutes, arms and thighs, and a healthier you! Which I am all for!

We start with a warm-up for 3-5 min. Then we workout for around  45-50 minutes alternating between 3-5 min. of cardio training on the Reformer jump board, and 3-5 min of strength training on Reformer, chair and other equipment and props. Because we work several major muscle groups at one time, you end up getting a total body workout! Then we cool down  and stretch for the remainder of the time. You go away feeling really great! I think it is fun because you know what to expect and you look forward to each exercise in  the circuit and what it will do for your body! Please note that I am offering these classes at a different rate because they can be done with 2 or more people which makes it even more fun! Call me for details!!!