The difference between stretching and warming up

Warming up is there to prepare you for a physical activity:

  1. Standing roll down
  2. Neutral spine and Pelvic Tilt
  3. Pelvic curl
  4. Cat/cow stretch

Pilates stretch

Stretching is there to help your muscles regenerate after this workout.

So, first do the warm up, then exercise, then do the stretching.

Stretching cold muscles is not a good idea and can lead to an injury. Stretching improves muscular coordination, enhances the level of blood circulation and reduces level of muscle tissue tension.

When you stretch focus on the muscles that were involved in the exercise that ended. In Pilates we work multiple muscle groups, so it is very important to stretch both sides of the body and to do it slowly and smoothly.

How long do I hold a stretch?

You must know how long to do the stretching. Don’t do it until you feel pain because you will experience a degree of muscle soreness for a few days. The stretching must be done until you feel tension in the involved muscles. Stop when you feel this. America studies found that stretching for less than 1 minute has no effect on the muscle, so the longer you hold it, the better the stretch.

When do I avoid stretching?

When you have an already strained muscle or ligament; when a sharp pain is felt in a joint or muscle and when a joint or a muscle is infected, inflamed or injured.

The American College of Sports Medicine advises us how to do stretching: 2 to 3 days per week, holding each stretch for 10-30 seconds and performing 3-4 repetitions per stretch.



The low-down on lowering the risk!

Pilates is considered to be the best exercise for improving back pain and posture.

Pilates improves muscle strength and plays a fundamental role in protecting the back by working on the deep abdominal muscles. It is recommended because we teach individuals how to target their core muscles: one of the main exercises involves activating the abdominals by drawing the navel to the spine and contracting the pelvic floor muscle.

One learns to focus on engaging the Transversus Abdominus (the muscle that runs between the ribs and the pelvis), the Multifidus (next to the spine in the lower back) and the pelvic floor muscles which strengthen the muscles from within — giving the back an internal brace, which can be helpful for degenerate disc disease or rehabilitation from any back surgery.

However, when it isn’t tailored to an individual or taught correctly according to the patient’s back diagnosis, problems can occur.

We see multiple clients every week suffering from back pain caused by injury elsewhere. Upon arriving they seek to relieve themselves of the pain through exercise.

This works IF there is no underlying issue:

If exercises are carried out incorrectly or without knowledge of condition before proceeding they can weaken the back and cause existing conditions to deteriorate.


Successful treatment and long term relief starts with YOU!

  1. Understand the cause of your suffering, before committing to exercise and an instructor hoping to help you.
  2. Investigate the reason for your back pain and seek a diagnosis if you have suffered an injury or experience pro-longed pain.
  3. be Forthcoming if you have a pre-existing condition and let your instructor know your history.

Ask some basic questions before signing up:

  1. Check if your teacher has an appropriate qualification, in South Africa you can check
  2. Make sure you are offered an initial one-on-one assessment where you can go through your medical history and your instructor can start teaching you the fundamental basics of Pilates.
  3. Tell your Instructor everything; even that niggle you get in your lower spine once in a while can be relevant and alter the regime devised for you.
  4. Check whether you will be carrying out exercises tailored to you.

Remember: Pilates is not a “no pain, no gain” exercise regimen

  1. If you feel any pain during a class, let the instructor know immediately.
  2. If you feel a twinge in your back while doing something, stop and tell your instructor.
  3. Make sure you join a small class. Classes of more than 10 people won’t help.

Pilates is not a gym class but its popularity means it’s often misunderstood as merely an hour of sweating or a method of weight loss which isn’t necessarily good for those with back problems. Pilates incorporates exercises that can be challenging — particularly if you have an existing back problem. When taught and practiced properly, Pilates teaches awareness of movement habits that may stress the spine and helps the patient change these habits to those that preserve neutral alignment.

Written by Steph

Opening My Pilates Johannesburg Studio

I opened My Pilates studio in the Dunkeld West Shopping Centre, after having owned My Pilates in Muckleneuk, Pretoria for 8 years. My new and improved goal was to have two Pilates studios in two cities with two incredible settings. As far as I was concerned, no one else had done this and my life was in the perfect place to achieve this new dream.

My 12 month venture began and I searched high and low though the Northern suburbs of Johannesburg, looking for a space that was large enough to house my equipment, a space that was in an excellent location (with a view as Muckleneuk has) and a space that had a definite special something to offer.

Muckelenuk Studio view

After 6 long months I honestly gave up. I felt like I had gone on an Easter egg hunt and arrived back empty handed. The very next day I received a phone call from Joan Goldswain, who asked me if I was interested in the Dunkeld Shopping centre? Why not, I had nothing to lose!

Off we went; we walked into this very unusual space that was pre-occupied by Hayley Joy, there were sewing machines and lots of material pieces with tables for cutting. The space was made to look smaller by all the pre-existing partitioning’s and with all the material rolls around, I was intrigued.

My first viewing

The very special moment happened when I walked through one of the doors and saw the view. It was just spectacular, breath-taking and honestly was one of the best views I have seen in Johannesburg. I went a second time, sent my husband the third time and by the fourth visit, I was completely sold. The pictures above and below are the original pictures that I took on the day with my cellphone.

the original first picture

In retrospect, I must have been brave, very brave because I was clueless as to what was needed to create this Pilates space. I spent weeks going through the lease agreement, negotiating back and forth, analysing every single clause so that no stone was left unturned.

Signed, sealed, delivered and off we went like tornadoes on the ground.

The most important step of the way was truly this; having the massive support of my family and my husband whose insight, opinions, love and listening ear is what gave me the confidence to take this giant leap.

I however dedicate my space to my aunt, as without her this dream would not have been achieved.  Thank you to my incredible Ferrari loving, book keeping and bubbly aunt, Marinella Brunner as she helped me turn this into what it is today and I will be eternally grateful for her support and faith.

Marinella Brunner

Building, breaking, bashing, painting, electrical chaos, re-levelling the ceilings, replacing roof tiles, fixing walls, removing partitioning, choosing paint colours and the list goes on and on.

My Pilates renovation

With the guidance of my incredibly talented friend, Lila Hollywood, we renovated this place in two months flat. Thank God she has the hands on experience of creating their businesses The Foundry, Parktown North and Doppio Zero, Rosebank; because she is the best and this place won’t be what it is, without her. This lady is a machine and like me, an Aquarian, she committed 200 % to the cause.  Of course, Aquarian’s rule, everyone knows.

Our first day

I wanted to create a Pilates haven that would compare with studios that one only sees in magazines or online. I wanted a wow factor, something stylish, well thought through and a place that would captivate the clients.

That was what I wanted to achieve and I know that’s exactly what I have achieved.

Of course there is so much more to creating a studio then just the building of it.  That remains minor compared to the 8 years of honed experience that I have based on 15 years of dancing ballet and contemporary dance.

It is so much more and I just love it. I love building a clientele, running the studios and looking after each and every single detail from the instructors to the Facebook pages; never stopping or short of ideas, thoughts, implementing new strategies just to make our studios the best.

Looking for qualified and experienced instructors is a pain in my side and was a job I was extremely nervous about, as I have two excellent, professional and efficient ladies in Pretoria, Manet Badenhorst & Lynette Plesica. I posted a couple of advertisements online and prayed.

I went through many CV’s of many instructors as I needed qualifications, experience, personality, passion and of course hard working individuals. I interviewed many ladies and really felt that this studio was so special it required the experience of enthusiastic and knowledgeable instructors.

Sometimes in life, one knows immediately when you meet the right person and that’s exactly how it was with both Ane and Steph.  I employed Ane at first and from the get go she nailed the criteria and then it was a couple of weeks later that I bumped into Steph and she was looking for new work  and boom, the second penny dropped.

I am so blessed to have all four of these ladies in my life and in my client’s lives, they are perfect. My Pilates instructors are outstanding and blend in with our studios quality of excellence.  They are honestly awesome.

My Pilates Instructors

I know that when you decide to create a new business at 30, you don’t do half measures and there are no short cuts. I employed the best people for the jobs and I got the best results and exactly what I wanted. I was tired of looking at websites and studios that all had the same pictures of people smiling at you and draping themselves over Pilates balls, telling you pretty much the same thing.

I wanted a sexy, sophisticated, stylish and successful women.  I needed something new, something fresh, and something that was about the Joburg women. She is the juggling woman. She is hard working, stylish, she know sophistication and because she looks after her body, mind and soul, she is sexy.

Pur sexy stylish Pilates shoot

This would be the first point of entry into our studio, that new potential clients would see, someone that they would want to be and that is where our conceptualization began. Got to love Vogue.

My expert team that I chose were the following people. Thank you to all of them for their professionalism and for their kindness and patience working with me. I will recommend all of you over and over again.

  1. My Online marketing, SEO & search planning with Traffic Fundi with Maynardt Jv Rensburg & Steven Green & Chris Green : (012) 341 2223
  2. My Logo design & corporate identity with Kerryn lee Maggs: 079 893 1016
  3. My Website design: Take me online with Cordell Brewer:
  4. My Photography & freelance stylist: Brett Rubin Photography and Nicole van Heerden (they come as a team)

Pretty much without their expert advice, insight and knowledge this wouldn’t be what it is today and personally I think it’s smoking hot.

This studio speaks to me, my clients and my instructors. The energy is calm, re-energizing and the view is breath-taking. The equipment is the very best of the best and is imported from the United States from Balanced Body. This is the full package deal.

My Pilates Studio

This is only the beginning, so if you interested in attending some awesome classes here are 5 reasons why you should choose us as your studio in Johannesburg or Pretoria

  • Our instructors are experienced, knowledgeable, enthusiastic , gorgeous and brilliant
  • We have the very best in equipment
  • We have been established since 2006, therefore we are professional and know our business
  • Customer satisfaction is what we strive for
  • Our classes are not repetitive, you’ll never get bored
  • Our studios have the best views ever to create a tranquil and exclusive space for you to practice Pilates in.

My journey has just began and it is the best one in my professional career so far.

I dedicate this article to the best aunt in the whole world – Marinella Brunner.

Kind Regards

Linda Dent

Proud studio owner and instructor









Punchy Pink Grapefruit, Orange and Pineapple Juice

Liquid Sunshine! Sweet yet sharp and full of vitamin A, B,C .

Perfect winter winner.

To make this delicious drink you will need the following:

1 Orange, peeled and broken into segments

1 Pink Grapefruit, peeled and broken into segments

1/4 small Pineapple

and then to make it a little more Punchy you can add one or both of either Mint or Ginger.Grapefruit_PineApple_Orange


Place the Orange, Grapefruit and Pineapple in a blender and blend on a low speed for about 20 seconds then add the Mint and/or Ginger and blend at high speed for 20 – 30 seconds

This drink is FULL of Nutrients and Active Ingredients contained in the Fruit

Oranges: Vitamins A ,B6, C, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron, Riboflavin, Thiamine, Protein.

Grapefruit: Vitamins A, C, Folate, Citric and Phenolic Acids, Bioflavinoids, Fiber, Pectin, Potassium

Pineapple: Vitamins A, B-complex,C, Calcium, Coper, fiber, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, iron, zinc

Ginger is warming and an excellent remedy for travel sickness, morning sickness, colds and flu. It helps the body rid itself of toxins and stimulates circulation.

Mint has a warming effect on the body which becomes cooling and refreshing.

Hope you enjoy!!!