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.


Anatomy Week 9 - CASE 3

Now that you have your overview, we’re going to work through some hypothetical cases you’re likely to come across in your career as a Pilates instructor. You will be given a list of muscles related to the injury and some resources to check out. Feel free to use your own - there are several apps and websites with basic anatomy information. Remember your general rules from the first four weeks, it’s always better to work from logical rules and make inferences rather than memorize lists. That being said, anything that gives you a visual idea of how the specific muscles fit together, and basic attachment points and actions is a good resource to work with. You are encouraged to do your own research regarding the conditions in the case,  just remember all resources are not created equal. Always consider your source!


Rose Tyler is a longtime pilates practitioner and avid swimmer in her late twenties. Three months ago, she noticed pain in her right shoulder, which would ache during the day and worsen at night, especially when she slept on her right side. After trying to carry her heavy grocery bags home from the store, she noticed that not only was the pain more severe but her right arm actually felt weak and unstable at the shoulder joint. After consulting with her doctor and physical therapist, she was diagnosed with supraspinatus tendonitis. She has been working with her physIcal therapist for about a month and is now returning to Pilates with instructions to maintain and develop her shoulder mobility and strength.  

Supraspinatus Tendonitis Resources

WEBSITE*: Definition

*some of this is outside the scope of practice of a pilates instructor (massage, clinical tests, etc.) but good to know as a complete picture of the condition and treatment.

Bone/Muscle List


  • Ribcage

    VIDEO: Ribcage, Sternum, Thoracic Vertebrae

  • Scapula

  • Clavicle

    VIDEO*: Scapula and Clavicle

  • Humerus

    VIDEO*: Humerus

  • Cervical Vertebrae (these will be an attachment site for some muscles)

*These videos are INCREDIBLY detailed! The point is to get a sense of the bones and how muscles layer over and attach to them.

Anterior Thoracic Wall Muscles

  • Pectoralis Major

  • Pectoralis Minor

  • Serratus Anterior

  • Subclavius

        VIDEO: Anterior Thoracic Wall

Posterior Shoulder (Extrinsic Back) Muscles

  • Trapezius

  • Latissimus Dorsi

  • Rhomboid Major

  • Rhomboid Minor

  • Levator Scapulae

        VIDEO: Posterior Shoulder Muscles

Rotator Cuff Muscles

  • Subscapularis

  • Supraspinatus

  • Infraspinatus

  • Teres Minor

        VIDEO: Rotator Cuff

Upper Arm Muscles

  • Biceps Brachii

  • Brachialis

  • Coracobrachialis

  • Triceps Brachii

  • Anconeus

        VIDEO: Upper Arm


  • Part “C” of your Pilates  session is “what the body needs”. Rose has a compromised tendon in her shoulder girdle. Given the information here, what kind of a Pilates program would best facilitate a strong, mobile and stable shoulder?  Be specific.

    Design a session for Rose. Include:

  • AT LEAST 3 different apparatus (Must use  Mat and Reformer, and one other apparatus)

  • Reasons for including or excluding certain apparatus/exercise

  • Which muscle(s) would you make a priority for stretch? For strength?

Remember, Rose is a STRONG INTERMEDIATE CLIENT, not a beginner. Design your session appropriately.