Enjoy my recent column “PILATES STRONG” in the current Beacon Free Press newspaper Healthy Lifestyle section! November 28. Page 3.

In many way Pilates is Calisthenics along with active stretching. Ab exercises similar to sit ups, upper body exercises like planks and push ups and stretching, even lunges are the types of exercises and movements you’ll find in a Pilates workout. A combination of your body weight and springs provide resistance training that makes your body strong, flexible and stable. It improves balance and coordination. Gives you great stamina and even an increased ability to focus! If done correctly, it rids the body of imbalances and eases chronic pain.

Pilates is emerging as a mainstream form of exercise for women and men. Daily Pilates is recommended by Doctors, Physical Therapists, Professional Athletes and Actors. Pilates has become a foundational workout clients worldwide rely on look great and stay fit!

Pilates can be perfectly suited for your needs and goals. Qualified Pilates Teachers who have gone through accredited training programs, usually 600 hours, will be able to adapt your workout to meet your goals and needs at any level. It’s true, everyone can do Pilates.

If you’re still hesitant to take the leap, most Pilates studios offer introductory packages and specials. In 5-10 one-on-one lessons you will be get to know how to use the apparatus, the names of the exercises and the sequences in a stress free environment. Group lessons are generally taught at most Pilates studios. Mat, Tower and Reformer classes are wonderful additions to your workout.

So if your long runs hurt your knees and feet, if your back hurts and you don’t know what to do, maybe you suffer from Lyme disease, an ACL surgery, preparing for a Triathlon or just ready to feel an overwhelming improvement in your body, it’s time to give Pilates a try!

Purpose of Pilates exercises and proper cueing

Teaching Pilates is a multi-tasking effort. The purpose of each exercise is an important piece to this multi-tasking puzzle. The best time to layer in cues, key phrases and make corrections is while the client is in motion. Explaining proper movement is not the same as the actual “doing” of the movement making the mind/body connection. To develop and improve the technique of appropriate cueing, the cues used should exist symbiotically with the movement of the exercise.

For example ongoing cues to glide the shoulder blades on the back are not the primary goal throughout each exercise. To say over and over to a client the same cue no matter what exercise they are doing will more than likely not have the desired effect. Resist the urge to get caught in this rut.

If the action of the exercise is the Roll like a Ball, at it’s simplest level the goal of the exercise is a massage of the spine with abdominal support. At it’s most advanced level, it’s to prepare the client for a controlled roll up into an exercise such as the Teaser. In order to progress clients from Beginners to Advanced. To advance their skills and teach proper technique from the very first c-curve we must take our cues to a new level with a new purpose and a new understanding.

The same is true for exercises in extension like Swan Dive or where the “Box” should be square such as Kneeling Side Kicks. Should the arms or the legs should be lengthening during the action of an exercise? If so we must speak of that while the client is moving and use specific verbs, cues and key phrases. Is the exercise a massage/warm up or cool down like Seal? Or is it a more dynamic action like Jackknife?

By questioning the purpose of the exercise, performing the exercises ourselves to think and feel the action in our own bodies and to properly cue with that purpose in mind will develop proper and supportive teaching techniques for you and your clients.

The Brilliance of the Barrels

The brilliance of the Barrels and Spine Correctors have helped so many people walk out of last weekends Comprehensive Apparatus training at Power Pilates NYC relieving their pain and creating big smiles. Don’t let it collect dust. It creates Pilates Magic!


-Photo under copyright and trademark courtesy of TecnoPilates.


The Pilates Roll Back

The Method is an art form. Something worthwhile, worth delving deeper into and worth trying to keep as close to it’s originally intended purpose. So many exercises were created by Joe Pilates to work the spine, using the apparatus to find a balanced body. He named this method Contrology.  During The Roll Back, the action of the exercise working side by side with a good teacher guiding you will lengthen the spine and work on correcting wrong posture uniformly. It’s so simple. Standing properly allows for the body to function optimally including the ability to breath properly. They work hand in hand. So enjoy every inch of your Roll Back whenever you have the opportunity! (more…)

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