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Episode 73: Box Pilates with Sara Benson

By Chris Cooper & Greg Strauch

For years, I've been surprised at how quickly CrossFit gyms have embraced yoga but ignored Pilates. Mobility is a virtue, true; but stability is a necessity. Mobility and stability are the yin and yang of every joint's function. Getting really, really bendy might put you in better positions...but won't help you hold weight there. Pilates can. Yoga is great. But it's hard to introduce into a CrossFit gym, as hundreds have discovered. Doing yoga requires more than a soft mat on your black rubber flooring; it requires an environment that's very different from the "just get it done" setup of a typical box. At least in my own gyms, yoga and mobility programs are usually met with excitement when introduced, but fade to zero within two months. But Pilates was built from the misfit mindset, like CrossFit. You don't have to embrace a 3,000-year-old culture or religion to do Pilates. And you can teach the basics very quickly. Today’s guest is Sara Benson of BoxPilates.com and CrossFit Reanimated. She has been a Pilates instructor for years, but only when her husband Dan got a back injury did he start incorporating Pilates into his CrossFit routine. Now they are starting a course online to teach you how to incorporate Pilates into your own CrossFit gym, how to put together a specialty group, and how to incorporate Pilates into regular stability work. Sarah will be presenting at the TwoBrain Summit on June 3-4, but if you can’t make it, reach out to her with any questions you may have! In this Interview: What it’s like to quit your corporate job and start a CrossFit gym Comparing and contrasting CrossFit with Pilates The importance of pelvic control and how Pilates can help with this issue Plus: Finding the right balance between Stability and Mobility Integrating BoxPilates into your own gym Gaining control and stability within the transverse abdominal region About Sara: Athletics, health and fitness have always been a major part of Sara’s life. Prior to becoming a CrossFit level one trainer, Sara pursued her passion for fitness and helping people improve strength and stability through Pilates. After injuring herself in 2008, discovering Pilates became a blessing and enabled her to return to her chosen sports and make drastic improvements in performance. It was soon after that she discovered CrossFit and the many similarities between the two that complemented each other. It is now Sara’s passion to help people become more active and live healthier lifestyles. She teaches both CrossFit and Pilates and is helping other gyms integrate Pilates into their workout routines and programs. Timeline: 2:45 – Box Pilates Introduction 6:09 – Sarah Benson’s story and how she got her start with Pilates and CrossFit 9:10 – Opening CrossFit reanimated along with a Pilates studio 10:29 – Quitting a corporate job to start a CrossFit gym 11:07 – The difference between mat Pilates and Pilates with equipment 12:49 – What is the difference between Yoga and Pilates? 15:01 – Joseph Pilates and the founding of Pilates 18:24 – Working through full range of motion with CrossFit and Pilates 19:49 – Comparing and contrasting CrossFit and Pilates 22:16 – How does on ramp work for an integrated gym that includes CrossFit and Pilates 25:11 – Stability versus Mobility 27:16 – Lack of stability and how to address it 30:33 – Gaining control and stability within the transverse abdominal region 34:45 – What is the point of improving stability and posture? 36:40 – The importance of pelvic control and how Pilates can help 38:04 – Success stories from Pilates 44:43 – What are the biggest challenges that clients face within the gym 47:10 – How can you start using the Pilates methods in your own gym 48:34 – Box Pilates training program for other gyms to use 49:55 – What is the target user for the Box Pilates training program 51:12 – How to contact

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