with Shauna Hull
(Shauna Hull is an instructor at Plank Pilates)
Top 5 things we should know about you?
1. I love dancing. My classes are always super upbeat, especially my Plank 360. I pump up the music and usually do the class alongside everyone else. Sometimes I burst into song (which I probably shouldn’t) but I don’t care. I even do dance parties at home with my dog and myself.
2. I am a pescatarian. It’s not that I’m against meat, it’s that I’m simply concerned about the hormones and antibiotics involved with food production. Also, the sustainability of food is something I think about: genetically modified foods have particular effects that should be looked more seriously.
3. I teach high school biology and have been for the last nine years. My mother is a teacher and my father is a forensic toxicologist. Science was always an interest and I graduated with my BS in biology followed by my masters in teaching. I now am on faculty at the Food and Finance High School. It’s actually a culinary high school where they learn to cook! It’s a super cool program.
4. I’m getting married in September. It’s happening at the Bowery Hotel. We met in NYC so we wanted to get married here as well. We’ve both lived here for 10 years and thought it would be meaningful to share our life and what we’ve experienced here with our families.
5. My fiancé is the one who got me into Pilates. He encouraged me to come to class then bought me the package to become an instructor.
How long have you been practicing and/or teaching Pilates?
It all started at once. My fiancé had gone to Plank and loved it then encouraged me to check it out. It was love at plank. I decided to become certified almost immediately after my first class. That was two years ago now.
What brought you to Pilates?
I’ve been working out since I was twelve and have done running, triathlons, etc. When I started out with Pilates I realized this should have been my foundation. With Pilates, you learn how to use your body properly, working on each layer of muscle. You strengthen, tone and build flexibility so that you prevent injury. It’s amazing to do as a workout on its own or as a supplement to other kinds exercise. I think it should be included in everyone’s routine.
Top 5 exercises to do between classes?
1. Plank With Knee Pull-ins: Start off in a plank wrist directly under your shoulders the crown of your head reaching in front of you, pelvis tucked under, legs reaching out behind you parallel, engaging your hamstrings so you are in one long line head to toe. Next bring your right knee in towards your chest using your abs to hover your knee off the ground, send the leg back to the original plank position. Be sure to hold your upper body still ( not shifting forward or backward) focusing on your lower abs. Switch sides, pull your left leg in to your chest, keep alternating starting off slowly then slowly increasing the pace until you are almost at a jog. Start off doing this for 15 seconds slowly increasing to 30 seconds and possibly a minute!!!!
2. Forearm Plank with Knee Jogs: Begin planking on your forearms, elbows directly under your shoulders, hands in fists clasped together in front of you, crown of head reaching towards the wall in front of you. Send your right and left leg back to plank, keep your legs parallel with hamstrings engaged, pelvis tucking under engaging your transverse abdominals. Bend your right knee down then straighten it, alternate bending and extending your left leg, toes stay glued to the floor. Make sure you keep your butt down, pelvis tucked. You should feel your belly button pulling in toward your spine as you bend your knees. Continue at a slow steady pace for 10 seconds. Zip your knees together, bend your knees simultaneously towards the mat then send them straight, keep the butt down, pelvis tucked nothing is moving except the knees. Bend and extend for 10 seconds.
3. Forearm Plank With Side Dips: start off in your forearm plank as mentioned previously. Keep your toes grounded as you lift your hips and dip them from right to left, being sure to lift through the center as if you were lifting your hips over a ball. This really targets your obliques!
4. Forearm Side Plank With Pulses: Start in your forearm plank as mentioned previously this time rotate your left forearm so it is perpendicular to your body and lunged up under your shoulder. Then rotate your body so your legs are stacked right on top of left ( you can also modify this by bringing your right foot in front of your left) you are being held up by your forearms and abs. Pull the belly button in and tuck your pelvis so you are in one straight line head to heels. Send your right arm straight up to the ceiling pulse your hips up by engaging and lifting with your obliques repeat 5-8 times. Rotate to the other side and repeat.
5. Child’s Pose: If you did the previous exercises correctly you are probably read for a stretch. Start in a kneeling position. Drop your butt toward your heels as you stretch the rest of your body down and forward. In the fully stretched position, rest your arms in a relaxed position along the floor, rest your stomach comfortably on top of your thighs, and rest your forehead on the mat. Bend your elbows on the mat and place your hands on your shoulders to stretch your arms.
What do you always have in your refrigerator?
I’m obsessed with mushrooms….tons of funghi. Avocados, organic non gmo eggs, spinach. Whole wheat tortillas to put anything on.
What’s Your Guilty Pleasure?
Red Wine. I’m very into Bordeaux. And I like to go out for a nice dinner. Dinner and nice wine has my heart…
Be sure to check out Shauna’s classes on Tuesday nights at 6, 7 and 8 pm.!! You can always count on a super peppy, challenging and musically upbeat class when Shauna’s teaching! She is also available for private sessions.