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'Booster for Runners' from Booster Pilates coach Rachel.

Scrambled Eggs and a French Twist, its a great way to start your day! It probably sounds like I'm talking about breakfast, but I am actually referring to two of my favourite Megaformer exercises at Booster [Pilates +]! These exercises strengthen muscles that are especially important for runners to be able to run efficiently and without injury or strain in the lower back, hamstrings or knees.

As a runner, I know its important to strengthen muscles like the obliques, transverse abdominus, and the glutes because with a strong core you can increase your speed, power up those hills, and go the distance with better posture and less fatigue! To target these muscles, you must go beyond crunches, as these exercises only engage a small area of the abdominals, and exhaust the spine. You can learn more on the subject in this interesting article from the Huffingtonpost about
why crunches are not the most efficient.



Exercises like the Scrambled Eggs and the French Twist target the obliques, using cables and spring loaded tension with slow pulling movements. 

Scrambled Eggs is an Intermediate level exercise performed on the hands and knees facing the back of the machine. One knee stays firmly on the carriage under the hip while other leg extends out straight behind you with the foot in a strap attached to a cable and a pulley. Shoulders stay squarely over the wrists. The cable allows you to move the extended leg up forward and back in a sweeping motion that pulls against the tension of the springs. The extended leg is the only part of the body that moves, thus, the spine is stabilised, and hamstrings and glutes are engaged as well as the obliques!!! It might sound complicated, but once you get the hang of it, you will soon appreciate the benefits!! (we will soon add a video to this post so that you can better visualize the exercise!)



The French Twist is a slightly more advanced exercise that again targets the obliques, as well as the triceps, back and shoulders. Performed with the hands on the handlebars at the back of the machine, and the feet on the moving carriage. The outside of one foot is secured behind a strap and the other foot stays in place toe-to-heel behind it. Working with the tension of the spring, the hips drop to create a straight diagonal line from toes to shoulders, and then, keeping the legs straight, the hips are lifted up, pulling against the resistance, as always, with slow smooth movements. It`s a killer!

These are just two of the hundreds of exercises you can do with this machine, but they are my favourites! And, they are especially unique to the Lagree Fitness Method workout. As a runner, I can honestly testify to the benefits!

I have been an runner for more than 15 years now, starting with the high school cross-country team, continuing to run on my own through college, then on to train for and finish three full length marathons. I have always considered it part of my life, but lately, I had hit the dreaded `plateau`. I could still crank out the distance, but I seemed to be going slower and slower, not feeling really great, thinking maybe my running days were over. After working out regularly with Booster [Pilates +] and the Megaformer, things have turned around in a big way! I am feeling zippier, leaner and stronger, running with better posture, and really, feeling great. And its not just a feeling, the stopwatch and the scales confirm it!! After averaging 9:30-10 min/mile (5:50-6:10 min/km), now my average is under 9 min/mile (5:35 min/km), and I have trimmed off 4kg! And it’s only getting better.

But don’t just take my word for it, check out this great article about the importance and specific anatomy of a strong core for runners, featuring elite athlete Lolo Jones. You can also see how many of the exercises suggested are similar to movements you will find in a Booster [Pilates+] workout, sometimes combining 2 in 1! 

"When your core is strong, everything else will follow," says Greg McMillan, a running coach in Flagstaff, Arizona, who has worked with scores of elite and recreational runners. "It's the foundation for all of your movement, no matter what level of running you're doing.”

My Booster Top 5 for Runners:

1. Scrambled Eggs (obliques, glutes, hamstrings)
2. French Twist (obliques, shoulders, back, triceps)
3. Mega Hamstring Curls (hamstrings, glutes, lower back)
4. Plank to Pike, Mega Plank to Pike, (lower abdominals, back, shoulders)
5. Swimmer (lower back, upper back, shoulders, triceps)

Hope to see you soon at the studio for all of these exercises and more!!

From Sunday 16/11, you can also join us every Sunday at 9.30 for a gentle morning run around the lake! Register in the group class schedule on www.boosterpilates.ch if you wanna join!

Happy Running!!!

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'Long, lean and graceful' from Booster Pilates coach Lorraine.

If you’re one of those women who wants a long, lean look similar to a dancer’s body. A combination of aerobic exercise, strength training and a low-fat eating plan won’t make you taller, but it can help you achieve a long, lean appearance.

The Lagree fitness Method focuses on slow and steady movements, using varying levels of resistance. The purpose is to stimulate the slow twitch muscle fibers and fire up your fat burning furnaces. As the muscle fatigues you start to work the fast twitch muscle fibers which develop lean muscle definition.

The Lagree Fitness method is a popular form of high intensity no impact workout that helps to strengthen and tone your muscles all over your body. It helps improve your posture, balance and flexibility. The workout also stimulates your metabolism to increase your resting metabolic rate for calorie burning even after you stop exercising.



Cardio and Strength Training.

You have to do both cardio for losing fat and strength training to build muscle if you want to achieve a long, lean look. Some women might shy away from strength training with the mistaken belief that lifting weights will give them bulky muscles. As you lose fat doing cardio, you need to balance your workout by doing muscle building exercises to preserve muscle mass. Building muscle also helps to burn even more calories since muscle burns calories even when you are not exercising. Lagree combines all elements of fitness, including cardio, resistance, balance, core and flexibility.

Lean not long.
Your muscles will not get longer no matter how much you exercise. When your bones stop growing, your muscles have reached their maximum length. While you cannot make your muscles longer, you can make your entire body appear longer. Exercise and diet can help you achieve a slimmer figure by burning fat and building lean muscle.

Graceful.
The slow and graceful actual movements focus on the precision of the execution, the posture, the alignment and the balance. Things you would not necessarily see in the weight room.

Resistance training has some proven benefits:
Improves muscle strength and tone
Weight management
Improves mobility and balance
Improves posture
Increased bone density and strength
Reduced body fat Boosted metabolism

Since I started coaching for Booster Pilates, my clients have not only noticed visible changes in their fat to muscle ratio, but an increase in their daily energy level as well! They just love a new workout that is effective and safe. If you’re consistent with your training you should start to see results within about six to eight weeks. More time will be necessary to see significant changes. It’s all about working at the correct intensity and frequently.

Lagree Fitness is the most innovative aggressive approach to full body conditioning. I teach the workout and I also participate in the classes. It’s addictive and the results are amazing!

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Progress vs. Achievement, from Booster Pilates coach Rachel

Come boost with me!!!
This might sound strange, but meeting your personal fitness goals is NOT all about the end results! It's also about the progress that YOU personally, individually, are making along the way, and small victories accumulate over time! This can be difficult to remember, as we live in a society that is overly focused on 'achievements' and not necessarily HOW the results are reached. We often rush through life, thinking, what is the FASTEST, EASIEST, way to get what I want. Thinking this way is dangerous in many aspects of life but especially when it comes to fitness. Lifting too much weight, lifting too fast, running too far, in an effort to meet an unrealistic goal as soon as possible can cause injuries, sometimes setting you back further than when you started!

The article below highlights the success of training with slow, small gains, continuously improving so that you never have to stop; INSTEAD of training in an exhausting cycle of fast, hard, stop, repeat.

For me, training with the Lagree Fitness method on the Megaformer M3 is an exciting opportunity to train hard but safely, slowly but with control and intensity. Every exercise is a challenge, and slowly, but surely, you can feel yourself making progress, getting stronger, and becoming more flexible. You can challenge yourself to hold it just one second longer, sink one inch deeper, extend just a little bit further. You leave every class feeling BOOSTED and energized, knowing you took at least one hard earned step in the right direction. Once you start, you just can't stop!!!

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