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Pilates Kneeling Side Kicks

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Pilates Kneeling Side Kicks - an advanced Pilates mat exercise to strengthen torso stability and sides of the body.

If I hear Pilates Plus and SLT described one more time as "Pilates on steroids" I am going to pull out what little, short hair I have on my head.

Why does this make me so angry?

Pilates in and of itself is so hard! Most people never experience the advanced exercises, and these are where the rest of the work comes together into some crazy hard, good strength exercises.

One of those is the Kneeling Side Kicks. Basically, this is a longer lever side plank with added hip flexion and extension. You balance on one knee one hand as you kick your straight leg without moving anything but your leg. It is challenging and really good for you.

Here is my Real Pilates colleague Emily Hoffman demonstrating the Pilates Kneeling Side Kicks.

Try it and let me know what you think!

httpv://youtu.be/ASNgPXd2vnc

 

Social Media Basics for Pilates Teachers

Social Media Basics for Pilates Teachers - social media should be an important piece of your marketing and client attraction.

Most Pilates teachers I meet are on social media for personal interest. They have a personal Facebook profile, maybe join Twitter to follow celebrities, and use Instagram or Pinterest to publish selfies and fashion photos.

Now, you may wonder if it is really worth it for a Pilates teacher to have a strong social media presence.

The answer is, a very resounding, "YES!"

I started my social media and web networking while I was living and working on Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos. I wanted a way to keep people connected to me and to stay connected to the outside world.

I wanted to entice potential guests with fabulous photos of Pilates on the beach and the gorgeous natural surroundings.

And, I wanted to ensure that, when I decided to leave Parrot Cay and return to the "real world", I would be able to easily prove my worth and have a high-profile job and client list.

Guess what? It worked!

Here are some ideas for how to grow your very own Pilates social media empire. In this post I will cover the big three - Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In.

I link to my pages on these sites to give you an idea of what I do.

Facebook - we may love to hate Facebook, but it isn't going anywhere.

  • Do not use your personal profile for business, unless you want to share your personal life with clients and have to "friend" every potential interested party.
  • Set up a Business Page for your Pilates practice and make the posts public. When people "like" and "follow" your page they will get your posts in their news feeds.
  • Basically, if you don't have a website or blog yet, your Facebook Page can act as one for the short term.

Twitter - life in 140 characters or less.

  • Use your name or your business name, but have it be recognizable. Add a photo and links to your other profiles.
  • Follow people you know, you like, and those in your pilates niche.
  • Take time to read tweets, Retweet, Favorite, and Reply. Thank people who do this for you. Twitter is about conversation.
  • Make your tweets public. Don't set up roadblocks for your followers!
  • I tend to not like linking my Facebook and Twitter posts. Hashtags work differently on these sites (more on that in another post), so Twitter posts can look silly on Facebook.

Linked In - professional connections

  • Linked In is where you connect with other professionals. It is basically your resumé on the web. Linked In is also full of active professional groups, where you can really connect with other Pilates teachers in your city, country, and the world.

Since being back in NYC I have had several social media connections prove to be quite lucrative.

  • Several Pilates teachers from other countries (Greece, Denmark, Uruguay) have come to NYC on holiday to take sessions with me at Real Pilates.
  • I "met" Form Pilates owner Lindsay Lopez on Twitter, and yesterday I spent an afternoon with her in Union Square, coaching a group of Pilates teachers about how to work overseas and gain high-profile celebrity clients.

Basically, your social media presence will allow people to interact with you and see what you are about before meeting you. In a crowded Pilates market this is crucial.

And if you want to work outside of your home country, your public social media presence will allow potential employers to learn more about you and how you present yourself before they interview you, which should be a good thing.

So, Pilates teachers, if you have been hesitant to put yourself out there professionally on social media, get cracking!

 

Should You Join A YouTube Network?

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YouTube networks sound great, but do they really deliver? ScaleLab did not.

I was a member of a YouTube Network. Was is the operative term.

Back in September I received a message in my YouTube inbox with the subject: "Inviting you to be a leader in our YouTube Pilates community."

Well, I thought, this could be interesting.

So I opened the message.

Love your YouTube channel. I'm a huge Pilates fan, and actually do it about 3 times a week (YouTube is my teacher)!

My name is ------ and I work at ScaleLab, which is a Multi-Channel Network on YouTube. My job at this moment is to find the best Pilates channels to be leaders in our Pilates community.

OK, my Pilates channel is small, but high quality. I am a YouTube partner and actually make some money from the videos. I have a decent-size, active social media presence. And I don't play around with other people's material.

Here's the summary, real quick:

ScaleLab has created the first-ever community of YouTube channels with a focus on Pilates.

We'd love for you to be a Community Leader in our Pilates community, which means you'll have a prominent place among all other Pilates channels in our network -- and other channels will look to you to set the standard for great content.

It's not a paying gig. :) It's more of a prestige thing, but it will definitely increase your video views and subscribers.

There are a bunch more benefits that come from being a member of ScaleLab (increased views & subscribers, access to production financing, etc.). If you like, you can read about that stuff on the website.

Note that not only isn't this a paying gig, the ScaleLab YouTube network keeps 25% of YouTube ad revenue in exchange for all the groovy benefits. I checked the company website and Googled them to make sure there was no nasty news, and all checked out.

I signed.

The first thing I noticed in the Community forums was how empty they were. However, folks were active and we did a lot of subscribing, liking, and commenting on each other's channels and videos. But we noticed a lack of company presence and communication.

Where were all "the other Pilates channels?" Why didn't the Network channel at the very least subscribe to all of its network members? Where was the branding, the banners to help us gain new members?

We received some emails and messages, most sounding scattered and definitely received as "too little, too late."

And then came what for me were the final straws - reading a news story about a major screw up where the Network channel claimed copyright on member videos (which is such a newbie screw up) and then discovering that the Network channel had been suspended - all with no communication from the Network.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ0jBxL6zEM

So I emailed.

And they quickly dissolved my contract and offered to send me a check for any of the ad monies they kept during the past 3.5 months of doing nothing to earn it. They booted me out before I even had a chance to see them work.

Why?

According to their email, "We're a new company (operational for approximately 4 months now), and we're finding out that even when we hire the best possible people, growing pains and silly mistakes still happen.

"Occasionally, a situation arises where a channel within our network is so unhappy that the best solution is simply to part ways.  This seems to be that situation."

Now, in all the company information I saw, nowhere was it mentioned that this was a start up venture. And frankly, growing pains and silly mistakes should not be happening when you are asking people to pay you to help grow the network.

And, how often has this happened? You have only been around for four months and have already done this more than once?

They didn't create the first YouTube Pilates Community. They invited me and thought I would invite others with no incentive whatsoever.

I am not the only one.

httpv://youtu.be/KDw5anxsw0s

 

Fitness Marketing - Compassion or Judgement?

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Fitness Marketing as it stands is based on judgement. What would Fitness Marketing based on compassion look like?

Like many fitness professionals, I am a member of many groups on Facebook. The most useful this far has been Dax Moy's Fitness Marketing Made Simple.

Recently Dax has been putting out challenges for the members of the group. I haven't really been active lately after dealing with both parents dying in a five week span, as well a major injury, but today I was completely inspired by one of Dax's posts.

At some point in the (hopefully) not too distant future, this industry of ours has to grow up and start looking at people through the eyes of compassion rather than judgement.

At some point, this industry has to stop vilifying people who carry fat and making their lives ABOUT becoming thin and instead help people to become happy.

We would all like to think that thin = happy. But in reality, happiness has little to do with your size. I have been a miserable anorexic thin person, and a happier bigger person. My size tends to have little impact on how I feel, except when others judge me because of my size.

I have gained 20 pounds in the last four months. Some days, the only food I can stomach is comfort food. My parents always struggled with weight, so my comfort food is distinctly not healthy. But sometimes my psychological comfort is primary.

It seems ridiculous to me that in the 21st century we can't see that fat gain only makes people unhappy because of the judgement of others. Because of the stories we tell ourselves (because we've heard them from others) are those that say that because someone has more fat than someone else, they are somehow less worthy of happiness in their lives.

Even at my smallest, I am a curvy woman. As a personal trainer and pilates teacher, I have had people judge me immediately. Seriously, one troll on YouTube commented, "Why the fuck would I want to workout with a fat person?" And that is on a video where I am pretty slim!

At some point this industry of ours needs to remember that people aren't fat, they HAVE fat and that fat, just like muscle or bone, can be built up or broken down.

At some point, we need to make the goal of exercise, activity and eating clean about helping people to remember that regardless of weight, size, circumference or bodyfat percentage, their lives have meaning and value.

Of course, part of the problem is/was that I still feel/felt compelled to market based on ability to produce weight loss, fat loss, and tone in my clients. And in general, I am quite good at doing that for other people.

But in reality, my client focus is always on making my clients feel great. If you look at my client testimonials, most of them are about how my clients feel when they work with me. Better, stronger, less pain.

One thing's for sure...

That way we're doing it now isn't working for many.

So at some point we need to stop congratulating ourselves on perpetuating the myth of fatloss and start helping people remember their own value.

And that's all I got to say about that (in my best Forrest Gump Voice).

Moving forward, I will be compassionate with myself. I will love my body as it is, and appreciate how much better it feels and moves as I do more with my body and get stronger.

More importantly, I will approach my clients, readers, and everyone with the same compassion.

Let's get healthy, people! Let's feel better.

Looking better ain't all there is.

Learning Pilates from YouTube

You may know that I have a YouTube channel and free Fitness Sanity Podcast, with good basic Pilates workouts and some discussions on basic biomechanics and how they relate to the Pilates exercises. Every once in a while I wonder if they really do any good; if people really watch them, use them, and get any value from the videos. Yesterday I checked my Facebook Page and there was this lovely private message from a fan in Australia. This MADE MY DAY!

Hi Lynda,

I would like to thank you SO much for your amazing Pilates youtube videos! I am from Melbourne, Australia and have been doing short Pilates workouts every day before work using your videos. I look forward to getting up in the morning and preparing myself for the day using Pelvic Stability and then your 10 minute Bikini body workout or the Core Exercises for Back, Abs and Shoulders. Today I tried exercising with the Ball and enjoyed rolling back and forth whilst activating my core muscles. ;)

I have started out as a beginner, and because you explain everything in detail, I always feel aware of my positioning and can notice if I am doing anything wrong. I am also enjoying sounding smart to my friends and family when I can explain about how important Pelvic Stability is. heehee

My neck and shoulder pain has improved, (because of your videos on them :)) and whenever I sense that my posture is out, out comes Youtube and your videos to align me correctly again!

If you have any videos or DVDs for purchase, please let me know, I would buy them in a heartbeat! If I lived in New York (or even came to visit) I would DEFINITELY come and have Pilates Sessions with you, you are AMAZING!!! :-D

Keep up the good work!!

Nicole