Understanding Pilates and getting the best from your class!

Getting started
Of course by now you’ve heard of Pilates but you may not know exactly what it is. Pilates is a series of precise, controlled exercises which target the core to strengthen it and the rest of the body.
Pilates was developed by a German man, Joseph Pilates, as a way of overcoming his own physical shortcomings, caused by childhood ailments. Joseph Pilates emigrated to the US in the 1920s and opened a studio in New York, where his method quickly became popular among the dance community. He continued to develop and advance the Pilates method until his death in 1967.

Find the right studio
There are many studios and gyms teaching Pilates classes, however to get the best from your Pilates class you should look to join a specific Pilates studio which solely focuses on Pilates. These studios will have very specialised staff dedicated to Pilates and will be able to guide you more precisely on your journey.

Mat versus Reformer
Pilates can be done in two ways. Reformer classes use a specific machine (Reformer) which is equipped with straps, springs and pulleys to facilitate muscle lengthening and strengthening.
Mat-work classes are more mainstream and they are predominantly equipment-free, perhaps using only basic items such as bands, blocks and balls and involves a lot of body weight exercises.
Neither type of class is better than the other, however we believe a combination of the two is best as mat classes consist of more body weight exercises that really target the core, while Reformers can give you more of a full body workout, so a mix of one class of each per week will give optimum results.

Don’t be a purist!
There are many different styles of Pilates, some people can be Pilates snobs and criticise other forms for not being true to Joseph Pilates’ original methods, but it doesn’t have to be ‘classic’ Pilates to be good and effective.
At ServiceYourBody.ie we believe Pilates is about mind and body co-ordination and movement, once you are moving you are making changes and improvements to your body.

Use your brain as well as your body
Movement should be thoughtless and fearless, in our Pilates classes we do ask you to focus while doing a movement to ensure you are moving as best you can. This time spent focusing on your movement allows your body to learn how to move without thinking, when you are going about your everyday tasks.
Focus on the process of the exercise rather than the outcome, but don’t try too hard as that causes you to tense up!

Find the right teacher
It’s crucial you find well-qualified and experienced instructors; luckily for you all the instructors at ServiceYourBody.ie are highly trained and come with many years of experience. We have a great team across our two studios so, if one instructor’s style doesn’t work for you, try one of our other instructors.

If you have any specific issues, you can come to us for an assessment before starting your Pilates journey. Also, our classes are kept small on purpose with no more than 8 in our Reformer classes and max of 8 – 10 in our mat classes. Smaller numbers will mean you get more personal attention.

Be patient
To get the best results, like everything, you need to give it time, commitment and be consistent. Don’t try to progress too quickly as unfortunately there are no quick wins.

The gear
You can wear pretty much anything to a class, as long as it’s comfy and you can move freely.

Please contact us if you have any further questions.

Low Back Pain and Reformer Classes Lucan

Low Back Pain and Reformer Classes Lucan

A great review of how our Reformer classes Lucan helped Ann, Ann has had low back pain and knee issues for quite a while. She has tried a variety of different exercise regimes to help her back and knee, she found some of them just made things worse. Below she talks about how the reformer classes have helped improve her overall strength, flexibility and improve her back and knee issues in just a few short weeks.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNWC3Kx_vIg[/embedyt]

"Whilst I have always been an advocate of regular Pilates for whatever ails you physically, I can honestly say that the Reformer classes Lucan at ServiceYourBody.ie, Lucan are a games changer!

This particular type of Pilates is fantastic for anyone wanting to strengthen your whole body without the fear of doing any injury.

The Reformer bed literally takes the chance of injury, or doing the exercises incorrectly, out of your hands.

The classes are small and at a personal pace so there is no worries about not being able to keep up. You just set the Reformer bed to your ability (with help from the instructors who are always working to help!) and do each exercise guided by the instructor.

The level of experience and knowledge from all the team at ServiceYourBody.ie have helped me recover from back and knee injuries and strengthen up my whole body with an ever changing variety of great fool proof exercises.

Personally, I have found a huge improvement in my core strength, overall flexibility and upper body strength in just a few short weeks attending the Reformer Pilates classes.

If you can suffer Andy's awful jokes whilst trying to hold an exercise move, then these is the classes for you!

And if you can't, dont worry there are more instructors with better jokes!!???? Ann P. Lucan"


A Case of Low Back in a Golfer

A case of Low Back Pain in a Golfer

We have been treating a Golfer with low back pain and his reaction to his back pain was very typical of people with back pain.
- Reduced how much he moves
- Developed different movement strategy
- Worried about causing more damage
- Slow to seek help...more of a male trait

How we treated him..
- Got him to move more
- Showed him how to squat and split squat pain free
- Explained to him movement is key to pain relief
- Explained Pain does not mean damage
- Small bit of hands on work

Returned a week later pain free and played a couple of rounds of golf with no issues.

Contact us for an appointment 086 8318931

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42v_Js859jc[/embedyt]

A Case of Hip Pain

Hip Pain

Over the past 6 weeks we have been working with a lady in her 40's with left sided Hip Pain, she reported having the hip pain for 1.5 years. She had a baby 2 years ago and the hip pain came on 6 months after having the baby. The hip pain was initially an intermittent niggle, but over the past few months it has become ongoing. The hip pain was worse when she runs, referring into her hamstring and wakes her turning at night with a pain scale of 8/10.

On our initial assessment we could see she was not happy to load her left side in step ups. Her balance was poor on her left side, her SIJ was positive for pain and she had a positive slump test.

Treatment Plan

We put a plan in place to strengthen her left hip, glute and core while working on her balance. We also wanted to get her nervous system happier to load her left hip and use her left side more, so as to reduce her hip pain.

Over the course of about 5 weeks her ongoing hip pain had reduced fully but she was still getting hip pain turning at night. We increased her strength work around her hip and her hip pain resolved completely day and night.

Her goal is to get back running a couple of days a week, so we put a plan in place to continue to load the left hip and start walk/run progressions and gradually get her body use to loading the left hip.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w90pwMOTQIo[/embedyt]


If you are suffering from ongoing hip or low back pain, or suffer from any pain that restricts your daily activities, give us a call to make appointment or avail of our "Free No Obligation" Full Body Assessment to understand your pain and how we can help to resolve it.

Tennis Elbow Exercises

Tennis Elbow Exercises (Lateral Epiconditis)

In the past month we have seen a lot of Tennis Elbow cases, more than we would normally see. The cause of each case is slightly different but they all involved a sudden increase in work and load through the hand and arms. One client had an increase in workload lifting and moving stock around the warehouse. Similarly another client had to work longer hours through the recent storms, while the latest client decided to paint two rooms over two days, all ending you with Tennis Elbow.

The 4th case of Tennis Elbow actually originated in her Neck and Shoulder which was causing nerve impingement affecting the muscle further down her arm.

We have put together 3 short videos of Tennis Elbow Exercises to help with true Tennis Elbow i.e. inflamed forearm Extensors. Tennis Elbow is characterised with outside elbow pain which is aggravated when you need to grab an item or pick something up which causes an increase in elbow pain. The Forearm extensor muscles are tight causing a pull at the muscle attachment point on the outside of the elbow.

Tennis Elbow Exercise Progression:

Video 1: Isometric Exercises
These are a low level pain Tennis Elbow exercises whereby you are tensioning the Extensor muscles without causing it to lengthen or shorten. This exercise encourages blood flow into the tendon which is imperative to help reduce the inflammation.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLQ8kD04IVc[/embedyt]

Video 2: Eccentric Exercise:
As the pain starts to subside you can commence Eccentric Tennis Elbow exercises, this is where we place the muscle under tension while slowly lengthening it. This is getting the muscle prepared for that movement while strengthening the Extensor muscle group.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfSokhSEgBQ[/embedyt]

Video 3: The final Tennis Elbow exercise in strengthening the Forearm Extensors and getting them prepared for twisting and grabbing actions we require them to do. You can use a broom handle or hammer for this exercise holding them heavy end up and building the strength over time.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fpqr_SxAXB8[/embedyt]

If you do not have any success with these Tennis Elbow exercises you may have another issue causing your Tennis Elbow so we suggest visiting a Therapist for further investigation.
Please contact us if you need any further assistance or wish to make an appointment.


Reformer Pilates Lucan

New To Lucan!! ServiceYourBody.ie are the first to bring Reformer Pilates Lucan and have introduced 12 New Reformer Pilates Classes to their weekly Pilates Timetable.

These classes introduce the use of the high tech Reformer machines which help achieve much quicker results to your core and overall body strength.

ServiceYourBody.ie have added 6 New Allegro Reformer machines to their studio. These classes are suitable for complete beginners to advanced.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stsLCcG_jwY[/embedyt]

Why Reformer Pilates?
Endorsed by Doctors, Physio & Physical Therapists, Professional & Amateur athletes around the world, Pilates is excellent for the rehabilitation of injuries, relieving chronic pain, improving sports performance and health & fitness.


Some of the Benefits of Reformer Pilates…
• A refreshing mind-body workout

In Reformer Pilates the quality of movement is valued over quantity of repetitions. Proper breathing is essential, and helps you execute movements while helping to reduce stress.

• Develop a strong core - flat abdominal muscles and a strong back
Reformer Pilates exercises develop a strong core, while integrating the trunk, pelvis and shoulders, to provide a full body workout.

• Gain long, lean muscles and flexibility
Reformer Pilates both strengthens muscles, while improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured.

• Create an evenly conditioned body, improve sports performance, and prevent injuries
Reformer Pilates Lucan machines work your entire body so it is evenly balanced and conditioned, helping you develop better performance and less chance of injury.

Reformer Pilates Lucan is an extremely flexible system with a range of difficulty tailored from beginner to advanced classes.

Start the workout that best suits you now at ServiceYourBody.ie and increase the intensity as your body conditioning improves.

Reformer Pilates Lucan

We are delighted to announce that after months of planning we are bring Reformer Pilates Lucan to our studio in Lucan village.

Reformer Pilates Lucan is the next step in your Pilates journey. Reformer classes offer you a great way to build on the strength and flexibility you have developed in your Mat classes. Combining Mat and Reformer classes is considered the best way to become a Pilates Guru.

The Reformer machines work by having a number of resistance springs, pullies and a moving platform, these combine to give you an excellent workout in a safe controlled environment. We do all the usual Pilates moves and many more with the resistance springs giving you a strong workout.

As always all classes are guided by an instructor to ensure you are getting the best class experience. Reformer classes are suitable for all ages and levels.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CwXGG6C9Hw[/embedyt][embedyt]

If you have never tried a reformer you are in for a great class, the Reformer can look intimidating but honestly it is not as scary as it looks. You can become very proficient on the Reformer after a couple of sessions and as soon as you do just watch your strength and coordination improve further.

Booking Your Class:
We are introducing 6 Reformer Machines, so Reformer classes will be restricted to 6 people.
Therefore we will be insisting that people book online to secure your place in a class and the usual T&C's apply for late cancellations or no shows.

Similarly, due to space within the studio Mat classes will be restricted to Max 10 people and this will  be on a first come first served basis or again we recommend you book online to be assured of your place in the class.

Classes can also be booked through the Mindbody App or our live booking system via the BOOK CLASS tab on our website www.serviceyourbody.ie

The Mindbody app is available on the usual platforms, when downloaded you can search ServiceYourBody.ie and book your classes in advance with the piece of mind you have your place reserved. www.mindbodyonline.com/get-the-app

You can access all of our class passes and special offers and purchase them through the app. Contact us if you have any questions about the app.

New Class Timetable:

Below is our New Body Maintenance Pilates Class Timetable coming into effect w/c Monday 18th September. We are introducing a range of Beginner and Intermediate classes to help introduce you to and improve on the Reformer. We will be starting the Reformer classes and introducing the new timetable from w/c Monday 18th September.

Pilates Class Timetable

The timetable is a mix of Mat & Reformer classes, we have tried to maintain a good balance of both classes, maintaining our more popular Mat classes and providing plenty of opportunity to do Reformer classes. We are also introducing some extra morning and weekend classes.

New Pricing Structure and Offers:
In addition to the new timetable we are introducing a new pricing structure and class pass offerings. You may be wondering why the Reformer classes are a little more expensive than our Mat classes, this is due to the fact that they are smaller classes and you are benefiting from a reduced teacher pupil ratio.

Below are the new prices for our Mat & Reformer classes effective from Monday 18th September. There are different types of passes including Combo passes which give you the opportunity to mix Mat & Reformer classes.

Pricing Grid












Healthy Body Workshop Series

Healthy Body Workshop Series

We are running a Healthy Body Workshop Series starting next Saturday with our:
#1 Healthy Back Workshop - Understanding Low Back Pain.

#2 Neck & Shoulder Series - Relationship between neck and Shoulder Pain

#3 Hip & Knee Pain - Keeping them strong

#4 Pelvic Floor Muscles: Why you should strengthen them

Check out the details of the upcoming workshops below.

Email andy@serviceyourbody.ie if you would like to attend any of the upcoming Healthy Body Workshop Series.

Further details below: Healthy Body Workshop Series

FREE Full Body Check Up!

Do You Experience Pain?
Do You want to be Pain Free?

Are you in Pain.... would you like to understand your pain and how to be Pain Free.
Contact us to book a FREE no obligation "Full Body Check Up"

Your "Full Body Check Up" is a 20 min assessment were we assess your injury, movement, breathing and strength. During your assessment we will discuss how you use your body each day.

Following your assessment we will also discuss how you can become Pain Free.

At ServiceYourBody.ie Physical Therapy clinic we work with our clients on educating them about their injury and pain, how they can become pain free through movement and developing strength.

Email us to book your FREE no obligation "Full Body Check Up"


[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om_nyiCHmgo[/embedyt]


Return to Running after a Tibial Stress Fracture

Return to Running after a Tibial Stress Fracture

Return to Running after a Stress Fracture:

The initial stage when treating a Tibial stress fracture is a cessation of weight bearing activity, followed by a gradual return to running after a tibial stress fracture has healed. It is important to return to running on a gradual basis, the pace to which you return to running depends on a number of variables; age, initial injury, past injuries etc.

We have taken a look at a piece of research published in 2015 that looked a 15 different research articles to assess what is the best evidence-based guideline and treatment plan to treat a tibial stress fractures and suggested protocol to return to running after a tibial stress fracture.

The published article can be found here, we have put together some of the main points of the article and made some short videos of the type of exercises they mention as part of the overall treatment plan and have shown to be most effective.

Overuse injuries and Stress Fractures in Runners:

In general, most overuse injuries occur in the lower extremities in runners and this is due to repetitive tissue stress. Edwards et al2 estimate that 26% of recreational and 65% of competitive runners will sustain some form of overuse injury in any given year. In addition to this a higher incidence of injury has occurred in runners with previous lower extremity injuries.

Of these injuries stress fractures account for 15% to 20% of overuse injuries in runners. A stress fracture is a mechanical failure of the bone, in which repetitive loading of the bone, with inadequate recovery and rest, resulting in the bone being unable to repair itself between exercise sessions.

There are additional factors that can contribute to the development of stress fractures:

  • increase in training intensity and weekly high mileage (60K per week)
  • running on hard surfaces
  • inappropriate footwear
  • poor bio-mechanics

The tibia is reported to be the most common site of stress fracture occurrence, accounting for 35% to 56% of all stress fracture injuries. Tibial stress fractures in runners are most commonly located in the lower half of the shaft of the tibia.

Research suggests that improper training programmes are a key extrinsic factor in the occurrence of stress fractures. A study by Matheson et al8 states approximately 30% of athletes who had stress fractures incurred the injury within 12 weeks of a change in training regimen e.g. training for a marathon.

Similarly, poor running mechanics are common intrinsic factors contributing to stress fracture. Females are more likely to develop stress fractures, this may be due to lower bone density as compared to males.

Treatment of Tibial Stress Fracture:

Once you have been diagnosed with a Tibial stress fracture it is important to cease all weight bearing activity, you may be required to have an MRI to diagnose the extent of the injury. If the injury is significant you may need to spend a number of weeks on a soft boot (6-8 weeks) to immobilise the foot and ankle to reduce further stress on the tibia.

The proposed treatment plan is not a “One size fits all” and we recommend you attend your doctor or therapist in advance of starting any treatment plan. The following treatment plan starts from the time the stress fracture is diagnosed and these exercises can be started straight away.

Phase I: Rest 3 – 10 days (depending on extent of injury)

During this phase the athlete is NWB until they are pain free at rest and cleared to weight bear by a doctor. The focus of phase I is on education, pain management, assessing muscular imbalances, strengthening and stretching.

  • Non-weight bearing exercises only, until walking is pain free
  • Control pain and swelling through Rest, Ice and Elevation of leg
  • Progress to Phase II when walking ½ mile is pain free

Phase I: Exercises

  • Clams and Shoulder Bridges to strengthen hips
  • Bird Dog quadruped to maintain core strength
  • Stretch Hamstring and Calf

Exercise Video: [embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgYhug18DpA[/embedyt]

Phase II: Cross-training 4 – 7 weeks (Cleared for Weight Bearing Activity)

The focus of this phase is to progress strengthening exercises and introduce cross-training as tolerated.

  • Begin to introduce high impact activity
  • Remain pain-free through-out plan
  • Complete 10 minutes of pain free light jog­ging before final phase of the protocol.

Phase II: Exercises

  • Stretch Hamstring and Calf in standing
  • Heel raises
  • Plank & Side Plank
  • Side stepping with band
  • Shoulder bridge progressions
  • Lunges

Exercise Video:[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFtsEokbHIo[/embedyt]

In addition to above exercises athlete should be working up to 30 minutes of pain free low Impact cardio: such as Swimming, Water Walking, Walking , Cross trainer or Cycling. The athlete should also be maintaining upper body strength in conjunction with lower body strength exercises. Cardio and strength exercise should be alternated every other day.

Athlete should not start jogging until at least week 3 of this phase, if any pain then athlete must regress back a week in their training. Research suggests that one full cycle of bone healing will take 16 to 24 days (about 3 weeks), and that extra care should be taken during the last 6 to 10 days of this cycle to avoid over­stressing the new deposition

Phase III: Return to Running: 4 weeks

There was no specific evidence-based return to running protocol found, however research does suggest that when an athlete is returning to running after a stress fracture they must make adjustments to running speed and stride length.  Increasing athletes running cadence allows for the reduction of stride length and impact forces, without effecting speed. With this in mind an athlete can be working up their speed over a 4 week cycle.

The first couple of weeks of this phase are about increasing high impact activity and introducing different running surfaces while building in sport specific exercise.

Phase III: Exercises

  • Forward Hops
  • Bounding
  • Step Hops
  • High Knees
  • Marching drills

Exercise Video: [embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIqxwawZgOU[/embedyt]

The 10% Rule is a well recognised way of increasing training load among runners, however there was no evidence-based research found for using the 10% rule.

Similarly, at Serviceyourbody.ie we like to use a Walk/Run progression with our athletes, this also is not validated or tested but we do find it is a good way to regulate an athletes return to their normal running levels.

Walk/Run program:

Day 1: 2min Walk & 2min Jog = 4 mins x 6 sets = 24 mins

Day 2: Rest: Access if any pain from day 1, no pain and progress to day 3

Day 3: 1:45min Walk & 2:15min Jog = 4 mins x 6 sets = 24 min

Day 4: Rest: Access if any pain from day 3, no pain and progress to day 5

Day 5: 1:30min Walk & 2:30 Jog = 4 mins x 6 sets = 24 min

Day 6: Rest: Access if any pain from day 3, no pain and progress to day 7

Day 7: 1:15min Walk & 2:45 Jog = 4 mins x 6 sets = 24 min

Continue above program of reducing Walk slot by 15 secs and add to Run slot until you are running nonstop 24 mins, pain free. If you have pain after a walk/run day, regress to previous level and remain at that level until pain free. Use this protocol and monitor your pain as an indicator to progress.

When an athlete gets to 24 minutes running pain free they should continue to increase their run time gradually for a further 2 – 4 weeks as they get back to their normal level of trainin

Please contact us if you are recovering from a Stress fracture and need additional information.