Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Concise Cues

The words we say as a teacher move the class.  A good teacher says very little and is cautious with word choice no matter if its a group or private class.  In a few words an instructor has to provide action, explain what body part is moving (or not) and give a direction.  Most people are visual learners so to be able to process words into movement can be a challenge.  We all interpret phrases different ways.  

A basic way to cue Footwork would be:
"Lengthen the spine away...bend the knees to return"
"Press the knees out...pull the heels toward your seat"

It's also important to make sure the cues you use are more gender neutral.  They should express common images to show us how Pilates relates back to our daily life activities.

100s: "Stand in the air"
Overhead: "Stand on the ceiling"
Coordination: "As a gymnast pressing into the rings (handles)"
"Puncture the mat with your elbows"

Rowing 4: "Park your hands next to your hips" 
"Slide off you pants"

Lifting or Shaving: "Imagine you have 400lb dumbbells to press"
"Raise the roof/Resist the ceiling from caving in"

Mermaid/Side Bend: "Scrape your fingers against the ceiling"
Short Box/Spine Stretch: "Inflate your spine"
Heels Beats/Leg Springs: "Clap your heels for a job well done"

Get creative with  imagery cues or jazz up your normal class lingo by avoiding common phrases such as "pull your navel to your spine".

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Magic Circle Challenge Workout

Take your Mat class to the next level by adding in a magic circle challenge.  Your clients will be encouraged to work their powerhouse throughout the session and best of all this will help improve tricky exercises such as the Teaser.  This routine with fancy transitions will test stability and provide a fun change to the original series.  Below is the 10-20 minute workout: 
  1. 100s (in ankles)
    1. Double Knee Folds
    2. Curl Ups
    3. Add in leg extensions w/squeezes
    4. 100s (leg lower lifts or squeezes for advanced)
  2. Bridge (above knees)
    1. Lifts
    2. Hinge and squeezes
      1. Challenge- on tip toes
  3. Ab Series (in hands or ankles)
    1. Single/Double Leg Stretch
    2. Scissors
    3. Hip Lifts or Roll Overs
    4. Double Leg Lower/Lifts
    5. Obliques- Twists, Corkscrew, Tick tock
  4. Roll Up (in hands)
    1. Challenge- arms stay by ears
  5. Single Leg Roll Up (one foot in pad, hands hold opp. one)
  6. Rolling (hands hold one pad, feet in other)
    1. Challenge- straight leg version
  7. Fold Up Teaser (in hands)
    1. Modified- Single leg or bent knee fold up
  8. Open Leg Rocker (in ankles)
    1. Modified- bend knees
  9. Can Can (in ankles, hands or forearms on mat)
    1. Variations- Hip circles, bend/press, leg lower/lifts
  10. Side Leg Series (in ankles)
    1. Variations- top leg press down/lift ups, both legs lift, upper body lift/reach
There are many other ways to use the magic circles.  Learn more by clicking here.