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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 17 ANSWER KEY

ON THE FLOOR ASSIGNMENT

ATTENTION: BE SURE TO READ EACH QUESTION AND ASSIGNMENT CAREFULLY AND ANSWER EACH ITEM THAT HAS A “NUMBER” OR A “LETTER” NEXT TO IT.

Q1. Top to Bottom Cueing:

Practice Drill - perform your own workouts this week with an internal dialogue that corrects your form from the top of your body to the bottom and then starts again from the top. For example: During the hundred, you might remind yourself to lengthen the back of the neck, soften the chest, curl up one more vertebra, draw the low abs in and up, press the upper inner thighs together, etc.  Work on your own imbalances and asymmetries.

Teaching Drill: Perform the same visual scans on your clients this week.  Observe from the top of the head to the feet and then start again from the top.  

1. What did you observe in your own body? Were you able to sustain your own corrections? Were you able to identify your own issues?

No matter how long you study you will always have individual issues to correct. Corrections are not automatically sustained. It takes tremendous repetition to build a motor pattern. Repetitive cueing is necessary to coax our clients into sustainable habits and permanent results.

2. How did your clients respond to this cueing strategy? Were they able to maintain the corrections you gave them or did you have to re-state your cues?

Very few clients will take corrections and implement them for the long haul. Your job is to find many different ways to say the same thing in order to achieve the desired outcome.

3. Did you find this to be helpful in your teaching? If so, explain how. If not, why not?

Assuming this “scanning” technique IS helpful you have just uncovered the secret sauce that separates Pilates teachers from all other types of trainers - “Specificity”. Our cueing provides specific information, specific direction and specific intention for each moment in a movement.  This article says more.

COMMUNICATION ASSIGNMENT

Q:  THE BENEFITS OF PILATES

1. Explain the complete benefits of Pilates to someone at a cocktail party.  Go from top to bottom. Be clear but concise.

2. Suggest to a new client what a “complete” Pilates program might look like if they only want to do this as their exercise.  What would you suggest to provide a complete well rounded program?

2a. Would your suggestions change for the student as she progresses? Are your suggestions the same for her today as they will be in 3 or 6 months? Explain. 

  1. There are many approaches to this conversation. Here’s one option.

  2. A full Pilates program should address all the elements of wellness. If you can follow Mr. Pilates original prescription and fit in 3 full sessions a week, that’s ideal. If budget permits - 3 one on one sessions are optimal. Otherwise, some combination of 3 visits a week.  Two classes and a private works or two privates and a class.  In the early days of learning Pilates you really can’t do “too much”. You want to get it in your body and build muscle memory.

    1. As you advance in Pilates you shift into maintenance mode. By the time you are at an advanced level you may come in less frequently or do more semi private training to maintain your practice. That takes quite a while to achieve of course.

PROGRAM DESIGN ASSIGNMENT

Q1. Top to Bottom!

Design a class or session this week on the theme of Top to Bottom.  

Use your Theme Sheet:

Use your cueing and sequencing to identify, instruct and deliver exercises that convey the Top to Bottom.  You can be literal and express cues from the top to the bottom of the body for several similar moves.  Or you can use images and connections to try and teach your client how certain exercises focus on the top of a body part and certain others focus on the bottom.  You could also develop a whole class that integrates top, bottom and middle ideas or moves in any way that inspires you!  Be certain to complete your sheet fully and  explain why you chose certain exercises and HOW this will work to reinforce your theme.

Ideas to spur creative juices going forward.

Class theme that connects the top (or peak) of an exercise or move to the bottom. Do they start and end in the same pose? Is there symmetry in the movement? Does it come full circle?

OR

Class theme that uses the breath (jumping off last week). Where is the top of the inhale and the bottom of the exhale?

OR

Top to Bottom could be a metaphor for the cerebral component of PIlates. Maybe the “Top” of the exercise is the most challenging part the or the moment where you must really mentally engage. Leaving the bottom part as the piece that simply flows easily without too much focus.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!