Calling all athletes in Aspen, Colorado! Prevent injuries, and muscle over use by spending time stretching after hitting the trails and slopes hard. ” Many of the outdoor sports we participate in here in Aspen shorten lower body muscles,” says studio owner and physical therapist Jen Metcalf. “Pilates is a great way to incorporate stretching to help prevent muscle imbalances, and maintain proper alignment during activities such as skiing, running, and hiking”. The Pilates Cadillac, and Reformer can be used to focus on stretching hip flexors, hamstrings, and quads in a supported environment, allowing you to get more from your workout, and restore after hitting it hard outside in the mountains.
Winter is in the air, and the ski lifts are about to open in Aspen. “Lagree is one of the best ways to strengthen your lower body, and work on functional strength and endurance,”says studio owner and physical therapist Jen Metcalf. “Keeping your quads, hamstrings, and gluts strong will help protect your joints, and reduce wear and tear during your outdoor sport activities, whether skiing, skinning, or hitting the nordic trails.”
Lagree Exercise | Runners Lunge
Lagree’s Runners Lunge is a great way to work the endurance of your quads in preparation for carving ski turns, and pushing through powder. Be sure to keep the front knee aligned directly over the ankle, and the back knee behind your hip.
Pro Tip: Place your fingertips on the high bars of your Megaformer™ to maintain the depth of the bend in your front knee.
So you’re ready to sign up for a Pilates Reformer | Classic class at Higher Terrain, great. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your workout for our Pilates newbies!
Let the Pilates instructor know this is your first class. This will allow us to walk you through the use of the Pilates Reformer, so you will be a pro by the end of the workout!
Discuss any injuries, or limitations you may have with the instructor prior to the start of class. This will give the instructor a heads up, and allow them to guide you through modifications of any of the Pilates exercises performed during class in order to keep you safe and injury free.
Bring your Pilates socks! We have a wide selection of grippy socks for sale at the studio. Although not required for our Pilates classes, wearing grip socks adds stability for clients on the Reformer, and helps us keep our studio clean.
We hope to see you soon in a Pilates Reformer class!
We love to use props in our Pilates Reformer classes to increase the intensity, and get more from each Pilates exercise. Engage more muscles, and ramp up your Pilates routine with our Pilates instructors favorite props of the month!
~Ultra Fit Circle: Used for upper, and lower body exercises, this little prop can be used to target abs, gluts, and arms
Everyone knows that Pilates is one of the best ways to strengthen your core, but did you know that your core isn’t just your abs? ” Your core is made up of your abdominals, gluts, and back muscles,” says physical therapist and studio owner Jen Metcalf. “If a student has lower back issues, it’s important to strengthen the muscles that actually attach to the spine, not just work on your 6 pack!” Try out these 3 Pilates exercises that anyone can do on the Pilates Reformer to improve strength, and mobility in your spine!
Swan Stretch : Start by lying on your stomach on top of the long box facing the foot bar. Press away from the bar to straighten the arms, keep your arms straight and direct the box inward towards the football creating extension thru the spine. Be sure to keep your hips pressed down into the box. Repeat 10 repetitions
Pulling Straps : This is the same set up as Swan, but facing the other direction. Hold your Pilates loops on the outside of the Reformer with your arms straight. Press your arms back, and raise your chest. Keep your chin tucked slightly to maintain good neck alignment. Repeat 10 repetition
Bridge with Hamstring Curl: Lie on your back with your feet hip distance apart on your Reformer footbar. Roll your hips and spine up into a bridge, then slowly extend the Reformer carriage out, draw the carriage back in and roll down one vertebra at a time. Repeat 10 repetitions
We hope to see you in a Pilates Reformer Class soon!
Higher Terrain studio owner Jen Metcalf, a Miami native, was brought to Aspen as a physical therapist and quickly became addicted to the healthy lifestyle in Colorado. When not in the studios she can be found spending time with her 2 kids, hiking, running, and skinning in the mountains.
What inspired you to open Higher Terrain studio?
I wanted to open a Pilates studio that offers workouts that are both challenging, and form focused. Pilates, and Lagree are both amazing methods that can practiced in compliment to all the outdoors sport we do here in Aspen whether you’re looking for a workout, or rehabbing an injury.
How many times a week do you get to practice on the Megaformer?
I try to make Pilates or Lagree a part of my weekly exercise regimen. With 2 busy studios, it doesn’t always happen but I try to spend at least 2-3 workouts a week on the Megaformer. It’s such an efficient way to maintain core strength, and you can get an amazing workout in a short amount of time!
Where’s your favorite spot to grab a pre/post Pilates snack?
I love to grab a smoothie from Spring Cafe, or a Turmeric shot or protein ball at Jus Cafe!
What’s your favorite method to teach, Pilates or Lagree?
Both! I was a personal trainer before being introduced to Pilates, and I find it really inspiring to create contemporary, athletic classes on the Pilates Reformer where you can get a great workout, but have the support of the Pilates equipment. Lagree is equally fun to teach, and is so different to Pilates. Any legit Pilates studio, or certified instructor wouldn’t confuse the two methods. I generally teach Lagree to my clients who are looking for that intense workout, that leaves your muscles shaking that you can only get on the Megaformer!
Everyone dreads that first Lagree class after being out of town, and missing your regular Megaformer workouts. Stay Lagree fit while hitting the road this summer with these 3 Lagree Moves you can do anywhere!
Equipment: sliders ( or even a dish towel or paper plates! )
Bear – Get into a plank, with sliders under your feet. Slowly draw your knees under you hips, and extend back into a plank. Perform for 1 minute!
Single Leg Squat – Stand with slider under your right foot. Bend your left leg, and slide the right leg out to the slide keeping that leg straight. Push down through your left leg in order to stand up. Perform for 1 minute !
Single Sided Bear – Get into a plank position, with one slider under both feet, bend your knees and aim them toward one elbow, perform 30 seconds on one side, then switch!
We look forward to seeing you in a Lagree class soon!