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exercise plan Pilates guru Eva Berg reveals the moves that have turned her into a real... flex symbol

It's not a stretch to say that limbering up can improve your overall health and help prevent injury, says the fitness expert behind The Secret Pilates Studio

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Reformer Pilates guru Eva Berg of The Secret Pilates Studio shares her top tips to get us flexible again

Reformer Pilates guru Eva Berg of The Secret Pilates Studio shares her top tips to get us flexible again

Reformer Pilates guru Eva Berg of The Secret Pilates Studio shares her top tips to get us flexible again

With a name and figure like Eva Berg - she's got to live in the Hollywood hills, right?

Not quite, but her impressive list of clients include celebs Lorraine Keane, Glenda Gilson, Alison Doody and Sophie Anderton - and they are just the ones she can reveal.

Ireland's leading Pilates expert Eva has a gorgeous wood structure studio in Dublin called The Secret Pilates Studio, which featured on RTÉ's Home of the Year.

And she insists that being fit doesn't mean you have to run 10k every day.

"When most people think of fitness they automatically think of running or weight training," says Eva. "However, flexibility is a very important component of physical fitness, especially if your work involves sitting at a desk most of the day.

"If your muscles are tight you will be at greater risk of injury, whereas flexible joints and muscles allow your body to stretch and bend more easily, helping prevent injury.

"Stretching in the morning helps to ease out aches and pains and stiff joints from the night before. It also increases blood flow and prepares your body for the day ahead."

Having trained extensively in California and Norway, Eva returned to Ireland in 2000 to establish her stunning studio in Rathmichael.

Her expert tuition - frequently operating on a waiting list basis - has been in huge demand among those in the know ever since.

"Pilates exercises are geared towards improving flexibility and, if done correctly, regular stretching can greatly alleviate lower back pain," continues Eva.

"An added benefit to a good daily stretch workout is that it can help hugely with bloating.

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Some of Eva’s famous clients include Alison Doody

Some of Eva’s famous clients include Alison Doody

Some of Eva’s famous clients include Alison Doody

"I incorporate a lot of de-bloat stretches into my daily 20-minute online workouts, which you can do early morning, lunchtime or before you go to bed. Try it!"

Now, in recognition of the hard work and dedication of HSE workers throughout the pandemic, the personal trainer is offering all HSE staff a month's free membership for The Secret Pilates Studio, giving access to her new daily online routines and extensive catalogue of home workouts.

Visit thesecretpilates.com or follow @secretpilates online


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Position 1: Cat stretch

Position 1: Cat stretch

Position 1: Cat stretch


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Position 1: Cat Stretch

Position 1: Cat Stretch

Position 1: Cat Stretch

Position 1: Cat stretch

Come onto the mat in a box position. Place your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.

On the inhale, sink your lower back as much as you can, but keep the neck long by looking straight down at the floor. Try not to sink the area inbetween your shoulder blades. Keep the core engaged by drawing the lower part of your stomach inwards as if you are wearing tight jeans.

Then, on the exhale, round your spine upwards as much as possible towards the ceiling stretching the spine and shoulders.

Repeat 10 times and follow your breath

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Position 2: Bridge

This position is designed to increase spine mobility and release tension in the lower back.

Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet spaced hip distance apart, with your arms resting lightly on the mat.

Gently lift your bottom up on the inhale, and when you come to the top of the movement slowly melt the spine one vertebra at a time back down into the mat on the exhale.

Repeat 10 times

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Position 3: Hip flexor stretch

Position 3: Hip flexor stretch

Position 3: Hip flexor stretch

Position 3: Hip flexor stretch

Your hip flexors can become tight from sitting down for extended periods of time.

Kneeling on the right knee take the left foot forward and press your body towards the left foot holding for 20 seconds as you exhale. You can rest your hands on the bent knee.

Repeat on the other side

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Position 4: Upper Body Raise

Lie on your stomach. Keep your chin dropped down towards your chest.

Elbows are on the mat, slowly press into the mat with the palms of your hands until the elbows are off the floor and your upper body is raised but your hip bones are still in

contact with the mat. Keep your shoulders down and relaxed. Hold for 10 seconds.

Repeat five times

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Position 5: Seated Spine Twist

Position 5: Seated Spine Twist

Position 5: Seated Spine Twist

Position 5: Seated Spine Twist

Designed to stretch the lower back through rotation and elongation. Sitting on a chair slowly and gently twist to the left holding the left side of the chair, elongate through the spine, keep the core engaged and stay for 20 seconds.

Repeat on the right side

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