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The Real Pilates Standards of Training are distinguished by our focus on 4 key elements. Your weekly assignments are designed to develop your skill in each of these areas as well as your Anatomy, History and more.

WEEK 9 ANSWER KEY

ON THE FLOOR ASSIGNMENT

Practice the language ownership in a session. Use “your” and “we”. “Grab your box”, “Put your pad on”, “Let’s do your Stomach Massage” and more. Teach your sessions this week with a focus on your language.

Q. What did you discover? What do you think is required from an instructor to be able to conduct a session this way?  How do you believe the experience changes for the student?

Instructors should be comfortable in “team” or “partnership language. Approaching each session with shared goals and objectives will naturally result in language that mirrors your intention. Be sincere in your objectives and your students will respond enthusiastically. When a student experiences genuine empathy from a teacher, the results are profound.

Q. While teaching this week demonstrate quickly getting into Pull Up on the Wunda Chair.  Did it help? What did you learn while demonstrating?

Maneuvering your apparatuses with grace, ease and control is a wonderful example for your students. There is an automatic “slow down” when dismounting the Chair and this is a terrific opportunity to reinforce safety while simultaneously instructing in the exercise mechanics. This exercise requires sure footing and demonstrating it, will reinforce that for your clients.

ALIGNMENT ASSIGNMENT

Observe from behind, side and front while teaching the Table on the Wunda Chair this week.

Look through the mirror (to see your client from the side and behind) - when teaching the Roll Back on the Cadillac this week.

Q: What did you notice or see in clients this week by changing your viewpoint?

The Table: Observing from the side allows you to confirm that the shoulders through the hips to the knees are all in one straight line. From the front, check that weight bearing is even from side to side, on the feet and at the hips and shoulders. From the back you can see if the knees are the same width as each other and if any twisting or rotation is occurring.

Roll Back:  Observing through the mirror is the easiest way to see the articulation of the spine in the Roll Back. If your client is stiff or tight in any segment of the spine  - you will see that reflected in the mirror. Similarly if you can see your client from the foot end or the top of the head you will observe any asymmetries at the legs, hips or shoulders. My favorite thing to look at from the head end towards the mirror is the bar itself. Is it straight? Is it straight relative to the poles? The mirror can answer those questions.

HANDS ON ASSIGNMENT

Practice your hand placement on the Spine for different clients during the Wall: Series and the Short Box: Twist and Reach.  

Assisting a client's Teaser with the Push Through Bar with your Hand on the Push Through Bar on the Cadillac. Make sure you are guarding for safety and are using the bar for leverage.

Q: Facilitating a client’s tempo during Pumping on the High Chair with your foot on the carriage. How can you help them with your voice?

Q. Demonstrate quickly getting into Backstroke on the Reformer this week with all or most of your clients. Does it help? What did you learn while demonstrating? What did you learn from your Hands On Practice?

Wall: Series: Using your hands to cue the articulation of the spine and the activation of the Powerhouse in the Wall and the Short Box: Tree is key to helping them really feel the connection of the Abs to the Spine. Working the trunk this way is necessary for progress in the rest of the system.

Teaser with Push Through Bar: Be sure you are cueing them to control their rise and descent and the articulation of the spine throughout. When they are fully lowered onto the Cadillac, give a gentle stretch by pressing the bar lightly backward and by hooking your hand onto their hipbone and lightly pressing away.

Pumping on High Chair: While these are brisk they are not so short and tiny that the spring doesn’t move. Make sure there is a good stretch on the spring for each and every rep. As a guide the pedal should lower about half way down for each pump. Your accent is on the UP!

Backstroke Demo: This is a difficult exercise to mount.  Even more complex is how to get off the apparatus. Swinging yourself up to one side is a move that is repeated through the program. There is also a high degree of shoulder mobility required to maneuver the straps overhead and behind you. Be cautious with clients that have shoulder and neck issues. You may have also noticed that the boxi is small and high. It feels very precarious to clients when learning this for the first time. Be sensitive.

COMMUNICATION ASSIGNMENT

Imagine yourself with a new client who tells you they want a program they can do while traveling since they travel a lot for work.

Q. What would you say to them? (Hint: Keep it simple)

Q2. How will this influence your plan for the next hour you are scheduled to work with them?

ANSWER #1

THE MAT IS THE ANSWER. THE MAGIC CIRCLE IS ALSO IDEAL FOR TRAVEL.  PICK YOUR BASIC 7 BEGINNER MOVES OR YOUR FAVORITE MAT MOVES (IN SEQUENCE) AND BUILD THEM A PROGRAM BASED ON YOUR PERSONAL WORK TOGETHER. GIVE THEM THE CUES THAT THEY NEED FOR THEIR OWN BODY TO CUSTOMIZE THE WORK.  TELL THEM YOU WILL ASSESS THEIR PROGRAM WHEN THEY RETURN! THIS LEVEL OF PERSONALIZATION AND ACCOUNTABILITY MAKES PILATES UNIQUELY EFFECTIVE. FOR THIS SESSION, FOCUS ON THEIR PARTICULAR BODY NEEDS SO THEY CAN INTERNALIZE THE CORRECTIONS AND ISSUES THEY SHOULD WORK ON WHEN THEY ARE ALONE.

SYSTEMS ASSIGNMENT(S)

Pilates is a system.

Q. This week practice reviewing each session you do with a client during the last 5 minutes.  Show them the class card and check off exercises they have done. Share with them their progress and show them what the Exercise card means.  Use this time to explain how each of the apparatus help to train you on the other pieces of equipment and how Pilates is a system.

REVIEWING THE SESSION IS A TERRIFIC TOOL TO REINFORCE THAT PILATES IS A SYSTEM WITH ALL NEW CLIENTS. SHOWING THEM THE LIST OF MOVES IS A TREMENDOUS MOTIVATOR. THE LIST OF EXERCISES IS HUGE AND PEOPLE DON’T REALIZE HOW MUCH THEY ACCOMPLISH IN AN HOUR SESSION. SHARING WITH THEM THE LEVELS OF ADVANCEMENT WILL HELP THEM TO HAVE SPECIFIC MEASUREABLE GOALS.

PROGRAM DESIGN ASSIGNMENT

Q:  Create an Intermediate session for an existing Intermediate student that you inherited from another teacher.  She is a young dancer and is complaining that her right side is stronger than her left side.  She can’t turn or jump well to the left and she wants to be more even.  List all the exercises you would do, in order from beginning to the end in a 55 minute session with any special focus on your cueing included.

This is a terrific program to begin dividing your exercises into those you can use to assess and those you can use to train. Rather than jumping into choosing exercises that are one sided, look to the exercises that require symmetry and use them to really assess what’s going on with this dancer. Is she really weak on one side? Is she overly tight or crooked in some moves? For each exercise listed consider whether it may be a better assessment tool or a better training tool?