An Interview with Our Pilates Instructor: Lisa Grodsky, CPT, MSPT
From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.ac., DNBAO...
This month, Lisa Grodsky, CPT, MSPT had a moment to sit down with us to talk more about Pilates and answer our questions about exercise!
You’ve been a Certified STOTT Pilates instructor since 2004. What are the differences between STOTT Pilates and other types of Pilates?
STOTT Pilates is a progressive approach to Pilates, based on the same principles of the original method of Joseph Pilates, incorporating modern knowledge of the body and including modifications to address special populations.
You learned the value of Pilates through your own rehabilitation from knee surgery… could you share you story with us?
I tore my ACL skiing and part of my physical therapy treatment included work with a Pilates instructor to work on range of motion and strength.
What do you think are the greatest benefits of your Pilates class (Tuesday nights @ 6pm)?
The class is mat-based, which focuses primarily on core strength and spinal flexibility. The benefits of this combination are improved posture and developing a stronger base from which the limbs are moving.
You also work in outpatient orthopedics with an emphasis in sports medicine… so is your training more preventative or therapeutic?
My training is a combination…my clients come to me for both prevention and treatment of their injuries as well as for general health and fitness.
Now people are presented with a wide range of choices when it comes to fitness and weight-loss. So who do you think need STOTT Pilates most?
Anyone and everyone may benefit from Pilates! I see people who are recovering from an injury, runners, golfers, gymnasts, prenatal clients, and then the average every-day person that wants to maximize their results with the time they have to exercise.
What are the most common issues/problems you’ve seen from your clients/patients?
The most common problems are low back and neck dysfunction, followed by knee, hip, and shoulder.
Apart from training your clients for a better body, do you also coach them toward sound mental health? How do you advise your clients about stress?
There is not a significant spiritual component to Pilates but there is a huge emphasis on the mind-body connection along with breath work. If clients come in and need to unload about something…we end up talking through a particular problem but without any sort of structure!
Now let’s talk more about Pilates in general. Some people confuse yoga with Pilates… what are the differences and similarities between the two fitness practices in your opinion? Are they more appropriate for a certain segment of people?
I can’t speak much about yoga but people do ask me this all the time! The main differences, in my opinion, are that Pilates focuses more on core strength while yoga focuses more on flexibility. Additionally, yoga generally has a spiritual component while Pilates does not.
How long does a whole program last for your training? Can people practice Pilates without professional guidance? My training included a 40-hour matwork training and a 50-hour reformer training, plus practice and observation hours in addition to completing a Masters in physical therapy. I don’t believe people should practice Pilates without professional training-it's better to begin with a trained individual to maximize the benefits of each exercise AND avoid injury.
What are your greatest professional accomplishments and setbacks in your own point of view? To date, my greatest professional accomplishment is pursuing Pilates and incorporating it into my physical therapy practice. I feel that this sets me apart from my colleagues in both settings. So far, no setbacks!
What are the biggest challenges, in your opinion, for a person who strives for better health and shape?
The biggest challenge is encouraging clients to be patient and stay motivated to stick with a program, whether it is a physical therapy rehab program or a Pilates fitness program. Many people are looking for the “quick fix” but that is not realistic when it comes to health and fitness.
What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
Helping people get back to being active and doing what they like to do.
Why did you choose to come to OMBE? What are the pronouncing differences between OMBE and other similar health centers that set OMBE apart?
Having done all of my training on the West coast, I saw the value in combining alternative forms of care with traditional treatments. I enjoy being able to combine my experiences as a physical therapist and Pilates instructor to help my clients and OMBE allows me to do this.
What do you think makes you stand out among all the Pilates instructors out there?
I think what sets me apart from other Pilates instructors is my rehabilitation background and knowledge of anatomy.
Certified Pilates Instructor & Physical Therapist
Lisa Grodsky received her Masters degree in physical therapy from University of California, San Francisco in 2003 and has been a certified STOTT Pilates instructor since 2004. She first discovered Pilates in 1999 while in physical therapy after knee surgery and quickly learned the value that it had in the outcome of her rehabilitation.
The majority of Lisa's physical therapy work has been in outpatient orthopedics, with an emphasis in sports medicine. She has worked to combine Pilates and physical therapy, as she believes they are effective together in gaining and maintaining strength and flexibility, preventing and rehabilitating injuries, improving posture, and increasing athletic performance. Lisa uses Pilates in her practice with clients who have spine, hip, knee, ankle, and shoulder conditions. She works with marathoners and triathletes, in individual and small group settings. She also develops home Pilates and exercise programs for clients to maximize what they learn in the studio.