STUDIO NEWS - What Causes Muscle Cramps

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Exercise Science researchers have been investigating what makes a muscle cramp and when it does, what occurs during the cramp. Cramps were thought to be caused by a few things, including extreme temperatures and an imbalance of fluids or electrolytes. The electrolyte imbalance, including sodium, potassium, calcium & magnesium, was initially suspected because these electrolytes are involved in generating electrical currents in the body. These minerals can also be lost during moderate-heavy sweating.
More recent research suggests that muscles can also cramp due to a neuromuscular cause. Simply put in layman’s terms, spinal nerves normally fire intermittently rather than in a constant or sustained pattern. And protective impulses from the Gogli tendon organ governor, cause muscles to relax under excess tension.  But when they, the Gogli tendon organ governors, don’t function properly, especially with fatigue, muscle groups that are shortened for prolonged periods, like calf muscles when sleeping, cramps occur.
In addition, while dehydration &/or electrolyte imbalance may cause cramping, fatigue seems to be the common denominator in studies on cramping.
To treat cramping, in addition to paying attention to dehydration and electrolyte consumption, the most accepted treatment is static stretching. Research supports static stretching along with correction of muscle imbalances & posture to relieve cramping. Those correctional objectives are part of Pilates.



Pilates Footwork
If you read this short article, you’ll find out what I’m looking at as I stand behind the Reformer while you perform Footwork, the 1st exercise I normally have you do after your warm-up on the Reformer. You’ll also find out why I use Footwork & how the exercise, with all its various foot positions, can help you.

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Video Highlight - Bend & Stretch on the Tower
The exercise is the same as on the Reformer except the direction of the resistance, from behind instead of the front near the feet. You will notice that  I have the springs set high, much higher than I normally work you. The higher the springs, the more resistance is created, the more difficult the movement, the more you work.
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Bend & Stretch on the Tower
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