Tag Archives: core exercise

Ashley Benson Pilates



Core strength/core stability is the ability of the abdominals, back muscles and pelvic floor to support the spine and keep the body stable, safe and balanced.  This is a fundamental in any physical activity and is key to preventing injury and performing at full potential in sports.

We have to be intentional to gain awareness of and develop the powerhouse muscles. It requires us to slow down, get quiet and concentrate.  It’s difficult to feel and control deep muscles, but when you do, your perspective on movement changes. The hands and knees demo below is an exercise our clients do to help build a strong core base.

We add TYE4 to help understand and feel the body positioning. It also requires more muscles to fire from the start 🔥 I made Kelsey Feltman try it with and then with out TYE4, and this was her feedback:


  • gives boundaries
  • gives feedback to help with form
  • resistance (much harder work for abs, triceps, quads, and hamstring)
  • arms and legs reach longer
  • feel muscles firing immediately
  • brings you back to home base automatically


  • lighter
  • easier but less controlled
  • harder time telling if hips are tucked
  • no boundaries
  • have to do more reps to feel muscles
  • easy to not be aligned

TYE4PARASETTERMINISHEADFLOATER workshop coming to the Nashville area!  Details will be posted soon. Perfect for chiropractors, massage therapist, trainers, coaches, instructors and everyone else who helps people improve their body.  Also great for individuals.  Let me know if you want early bird info.. comment below, message or email ashley@ashleybensonfitness.com

More on TYE4 PhysicalMindInstitute.com 🤙🏼


[This is from a guest post I wrote for Fitmark September 2013 – see it here.  Now, over a year later, I’ve continued using  Tye4 personally,  with test groups and with my clients.  If I had to rewrite this post, I would not change a word.  More on Tye4 here ]

There is a new fitness love in my life, and it’s called Tye4®. I attended the Official Tye4 Launch and Training Workshop in New York this summer and am now teaching five Tye4 classes a week and can’t stop talking about it! This new fitness tool has my creative exercise juices flowing and has given me a fresh excitement and hope for the health, strength, and the repair of our bodies.

The Tye4 is a wearable resistance. It’s a harness that can be worn higher or lower on the chest, depending on preference, with easy adjusting straps. It has a bungee that attaches to both feet separately, and one that attaches to both hands.

tye4collage.jpgIt was invented by Joan Breibart, Founder and President of the PhysicalMind Institute. She introduced the first Pilates certification program, the first Mat Work Pilates Video in 1991, ‘Working Out The Pilates Way‘ and other books, articles, and inventions that have helped the Pilates Method evolve and benefit our generation.

I teach two different classes: 1. Tye4 Fusion and Tye4 Pilates. The Tye4 Fusion class is a combination of aerobic, barre, strength training, Pilates and stretch. I start with a dynamic warm up that loosens our spine and hips and awakens the body to move. Using Tye4 gives us something to push or reach through (a closed kinetic chain) and enables greater stretch and lengthening. We move from warm up to full on sweaty, aerobic exercise. I give high impact options for some of the moves, but it is optional. The beat of the music is fast and we have fun feeling a full body burn.

Next, the music slows down and relaxes our minds so we can put full focus and concentration into the Barre moves. Here I use the Tye4 to assist in leg lifts and balancing. We don’t over work the hip flexors and because we are able to hold balance so much better and longer with Tye4, we feel a beautiful burn from our glutes all the way down into our calves in the stabilizing leg! I LOVE THAT! Honestly, this is where I start sweating! Hard work.

After Barre, I take my class through a series of strength moves, including pushups and plank. Again, using the Tye4 is changing the game! We use a front cross leg bungee variation when doing a modified pushup. The leg bungee cross “reminds” the body to keep the core engaged during the movement, and the crossed hand bungees provide resistance! I no longer have to nit pick on form. It just happens with Tye4! And modified or “girly pushups” create such a surprising burn!

I wrap up our class with Pilates down on the mat using Tye4 in each exercise. We now can move with more control, stabilize with more awareness, and stretch deeper. As I’ve heard from a few of my clients, “I can really feel my muscles now.”.

I agree with what About.com had to say about the Tye4, “What is so great about the Tye4 is that the lines of resistance feedback to the core of your body. This is very Pilates approach to fitness. It’s an effect we get from much of the larger Pilates equipment like the reformer, but getting that direct feedback with something as portable as the Tye4 is unusual.”.

Tye4 was invented in the Pilates world, but it is a creative, effective tool that can be used with many other types of fitness.

For more information, visit TheMethodPilates.com and ‘Like’ my my FaceBook page Nashville Fitness for the latest updates on classes, workshops, and Tye4 talk.

So far, I’m getting great feedback from every one of my clients who have tried it out. It seems to be quite addicting! If you can’t tell, I’m really excited about Tye4 and I hope you take some time to look into it. Maybe it’s something you can incorporate into your exercise routine or use to bring your clients to a new level of health!

Stay fit,
Ashley Benson
Fitmark Ambassador 2013



We just spent a great week in the cool little German town my parents live in – New Braunfels, Tx.  It’s a tourism town and a GREAT place to visit!  There are two rivers that run through the town, and I couldn’t help but use both of them as a backdrop for your next workout videos :).  First, we filmed behind Bubba’s Big Deck at Gruene River Co., right on the Guadalupe River.  It’s a gorgeous location with it’s huge old trees, the river rapids and the interesting wildlife all around.  In the summer months, this is an awesome place to tube the river, kayak or just hang at the bar and watch all the river traffic pass.


Continue reading


Write a single exercise on a stick.  Customize your workout  
                                        An example:
  1. If you will be at home most of the day, pick 2 sticks every hour between 7 am and 7 pm and spend 5 minutes performing the exercise… or
  2. On a busy work day, pick 5 sticks in the morning and 5 in the evening… or


You get the idea.  Make this work for you!  The goal is to stay active, challenge your body beyond its normal load and have fun!

Chair Squat – front or side Tye4 triangle  
… add bicep curl and tricep press pack at top of move
Plie’ Squat – side triangle
… hold squat and add heal raises
Reverse lunge – side triangle
… add leg kick
Tye4® Legsdemo video here
Bridge – lay on back holding leg bungee
… add leg lifts
… add hip lift

Tricep press – standing, arm bungee back cross
Tricep dips – arms inside leg bungees ~ demo video here
Arm circles – standard

Push-ups – leg bungees crossed, arm bungees front cross
Plank – arm bungees front cross 

Gluteus & Hams – hands & knees, leg bungee triangles under hand ~ demo video here 
Side series – use bungees for either assistance or resistance
Side crunch ~ demo video here

Pilates roll up – use either leg bungee cross, front or side triangle ~ demo video here
Diagonal roll down – standard, loop 2
Leg circles
Tye4 Pilates Series ~ demo video here
Tye4 Mat Series 


Join our Online Coaching Group ($10/month) and get more full workout videos, workouts, coaching, encouragement and a fun social online space to connect with others in this game to be more healthy and fit! Click HERE  for more info!!


PILATES Rocks!!!

If you are wondering what the heck PILATES is 
or thinking of joining my class,
 here are some facts to convince you that
  • This technique develops a strong core – flat abdominals and a strong back.
  • It will create long, lean muscles and flexibility. 
  • You can develop an evenly conditioned body, improve sports performance and reduce risk of injury. 
  • You will learn to control your body & gain muscle awareness.
  • It can rehab and strengthen joints.
  • Posture will improve 
  • You will see benefits in many areas of your life.
  • It’s a challenging, but gentle low impact way to exercise.
Pilates is an effective method of cross-training, combining flexibility, body awareness, breathing techniques, and improvement in the strength and stability of your core muscles.
These are just a few of the benefits.

Read about Pilates and Arthritis HERE
Read about Pilates and Dance HERE
Read about Pilates in the Workplace HERE
Read about Life after a Hip Replacement HERE
Read about Pilates: Prenatal & Postpartum HERE
It was developed over 100 years ago.
It is not a trend.
Get on the PILATES train NOW!!!
Here I am doing pilates exercises using a 
Tye4® by The Method Pilates.  I am so excited to finish my certification in July!


Here is a quick workout you can do ANYWHERE!
This is a ZIG-ZAG routine which means you will do one strength exercise followed by a higher intensity exercise using the same muscle group.
Workout Options
  1. Get through exercises 1-8 with little to no rest in between.
  2. Perform exercises 1-8, rest 2 minutes, and repeat 1-8.
  3. Set your clock for 30 minutes and begin.  Rest at the end of exercise 8 and then start back at 1.  Write down how many sets you did of each, and try to beat your record next time you do the Zig-Zag workout!
Hey, don’t forget to be safe.
Happy Lifting 🙂


I have recently stumbled upon a new product to add to my workouts:
It is made by HYPERWEAR and I LOVE IT!
  These sand-filled bags come in all different weights and can be used similar to a kettlebell, dumbbell, or medicine ball.  I have to say, however, that the SandBell opens up a new world of exercises that the other equipment just can’t provide.  

 What I love about the SANDBELL
Great for travel.
Buy them filled or empty.
Fun partner workouts.
Great kid workouts.
Stores away easily.
Strengthens stabilizer muscles.
Challenges the CORE in every exercise.
Thank you Lucy for working hard with me
and letting me put put you in pictures 🙂
Be sure to stop by HYPERWEAR and CHECK THEM OUT!  
Also cruze on over and check out the article and video I wrote for their bog on ‘Finding Health as a Family’
They asked me to create a few games to play with kids using Sandbells!  It was really fun!

LUNGE and LIFT Workout!

This morning we did a circuit workout that challenged our

cardiovascular system and our strength!
                                  THE WORKOUT:
  • Remember to warm-up & stretch 5 minutes before you begin.
  •  Be sure to use good form with each exercise.
  • Be creative with the resistance… if you don’t have dumbbells, then use something from your home like a gallon of water!  

1. Back Row w/Dumbbell – 30 sec.

2. LUNGE to the next exercise

3. Bench Dips – 30 sec.

4. LUNGE to the next exercise

5. Bicep Curl – 30 sec. 

6. LUNGE to next exercise 

7. Push-Ups – 30 sec.

8.LUNGE to next exercise

9.Squat Jumps – 30 sec.

10. LUNGE to next exercise

11. Up-Right Row w/Kettle Bell – 30 sec.

12. Sprint back to the beginning.

Repeat 3-4 times!

Be sure to feed your body what it needs after your workout for best results!