Pilates for Chronic Low Back Pain

Pilates for Chronic Low Back Pain

As Pilates instructors, we have all encountered individuals who suffer from back pain. Back pain is ubiquitous – 8/10 people will experience it in their lifetime.   It has significant financial costs and is challenging for conventional healthcare to treat. Pilates is an excellent modality to combat back pain.  The slow pace of the exercises, the emphasis on proper breathing and the focus on alignment make Pilates a practice that is both therapeutic and strengthening in design. Pilates for Relief The routine presented is made up of Classic Pilates exercises with modifications as well as simple stretches.  They will not only help during an acute exacerbation but can also reduce the likelihood of the pain becoming a chronic... Continue ...

Teaching with a theme within a Pilates instructional field

Teaching with a theme within a Pilates instructional field

The Pilates teaching field has emerged over the past century and has encouraged instructors to find a means of presenting material designed by Joseph Pilates. There are valued standards of presentation, some adhering meticulously to a specified regime and others using the prescribed formula that evolves from individual needs. Finding the means to describe and teach this information reinforces the common goal of finding essential tools of communication; this is the objective that unites the Pilates teaching field. One of these tools is to use a theme throughout the class to reinforce one or more ideas and communicate effectively to the Pilates student. With this in mind the work becomes enhanced, which is then implemented... Continue ...

Pregnancy Resources for Pilates Instructors

Pregnancy Resources for Pilates Instructors

I found out I was pregnant with my first child one week before I began my Pilates Teacher Training Program. After consulting with my doctor and instructor, I decided that I would continue with the program while at the same time researching the effects of Pilates during pregnancy. I learned all about diastasis recti (it can’t be prevented, but it can be minimized), kegals and splinting. Some Pilates Instructors treated me like a porcelain doll, too fragile to be moved, and others adjusted my lessons so that we did every possible variety of arm and leg exercises possible without abdominal engagement. Three and a half years later, there are many more resources available for both instructors and pregnant woman. Jennifer Gianni,... Continue ...

Teaching the ABC’s of Pilates

Teaching the ABC’s of Pilates

We’ve all seen it happen. Some clients can only afford a handful of private Pilates sessions. Oftentimes, these are the bodies crying out for help with pain, misalignment and poor body mechanics. After working with thousands of clients from all walks of life, I’ve developed a unique teaching style that serves both the short-term client and the ongoing client. It uses a system of A-B-C vocabulary that is easy to remember and quite empowering for teachers and clients alike. Here’s how it works. Begin cueing with A, then move to B, then move to C. A = Anchor Point These help us manage body mechanics. We anchor each movement to make it more efficient and effective. Example: arm movements need to be anchored at the armpit,... Continue ...

The Psoas is NOT a Hip Flexor

The Psoas is NOT a Hip Flexor

  The psoas is not a hip flexor – okay, there I have said it! Usually I warm my students to this idea before I spring it on them. However, I guess I am feeling bold. Whether or not you agree with me that the psoas is something other then a flexor muscle, I invite you to test out my reasoning during your next practice. The iliopsoas, fondly known as psoas (so-as), is the core muscle of the body and it is the only muscle to attach spine to leg. The psoas is formally categorized as a hip flexor. Flexors are defined as muscles that close a joint. Major flexors are located in the front of the body. Because the psoas moves from the deepest core at the 12th thoracic (or 1st lumbar) vertebrae diagonally forward through the... Continue ...

Pilates and Rolfing

Pilates and Rolfing

Pilates and Rolfing are made for one another. They can interact synergistically to create profound change in the body and mind – in how we relate to ourselves and how we relate to the world around us. They both speak to many of the same aspects of living an embodied life: breath, strength, freedom, coordination, intention, and awareness to name a few. In the hands of a skilled Rolfer™, Pilates clients can deepen their understanding of the possibilities of the form and of their own bodies. What is Rolfing? As with Pilates, there are many misconceptions out there about what the work really is (“You know, Pilates, that super-intense ab workout on medieval torture machines.”) Despite what you may have heard, Rolfing is... Continue ...

Zen of Teaching Pilates – working through a negative mindset

Zen of Teaching Pilates – working through a negative mindset

There is a reason Pilates is called “mind-body” work.  Not only does the mind work in conjunction with the body to create flowing movements and firing specific muscles, it also sets the tone for how a session proceeds.  But what happens when your client’s mind is: Dead set on being negative Insistent upon speaking, through complaints or otherwise, throughout an entire class Convinced he or she does not or will not move beyond the comfort zone of familiarity Any of the above situations can set the tone for a long 55 minutes. Running out the door isn’t an option when a client comes in with a huff and a, “I guess I’m ready for you to torture me now.”  This is where the instructor’s mind-body work begins. Even... Continue ...

Motivating the Motivator

Motivating the Motivator

Encouraging, motivating, supportive and instructive.  That’s what we, as Pilates professionals, are for hours on end, day after day.  While we thrive on teaching our clients and watching them grow with the Method and seeing their bodies transform, this business can be draining.  Being energetic and “on” all the time without recharging our own batteries is a recipe for exhaustion…and boredom. Signs of boredom at work are fairly obvious: Not wanting to go in to the studio Experiencing general malaise Being snappy at co-workers or clients Repeating exercises that have become stale to you. Before you decide to chuck your training out the window and become an accountant, try some of these motivating techniques on... Continue ...

Pilates workout with the X-iser Machine™

Pilates workout with the X-iser Machine™

Wouldn’t you like to have the ability to add cardiovascular work to your Pilates classes without foregoing the Pilates workout? Here is a way to add cardio work while complementing the Pilates workout in addition to helping clients feel better, increase their endurance, burn more fat and save time? The X-iser Machine™ is a stepping device used for an exercise protocol called Sprint Interval Training (SIT). This method of exercise can help you and your clients accomplish all of the benefits listed above and more! X-iser Machine™, offered through Corrective Wellness, is a stepper that can be used to build both upper and lower body strength and endurance while saving you valuable time. The machine was used in a study conducted... Continue ...

Kathy Corey of West Coast Pilates

Kathy Corey of West Coast Pilates

It’s been nearly 30 years since Kathy Corey founded West Coast Pilates and made the leap from fitness trainer and journalist to Pilates instructor, educator and innovator. Whether she is training students, instructors, doctors or university professors, Kathy’s unique methodology of teaching Pilates is world-renowned. Kathy began her career with Pilates as a determined writer would – with in-depth study, many interviews and hands-on practice of the Method itself. What differentiated Kathy from others was her opportunity to do all this work with the original Master Teachers who taught with Joseph and Clara Pilates in their New York studio. As the Publicity Director and feature writer for the Institute for the Pilates... Continue ...

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