Posts tagged #Exercise Referral

How to encourage clients to practise Pilates at home.

"PATIENCE and PERSISTENCE are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavour"  So states Joe Pilates in Return to Life, yet how do we encourage this diligence in our clients? Joe Pilates insists on us never taking "the night off" and not succumbing to momentary weakness and Mary Bowen recalls how he required his clients to commit to a minimum of three sessions a week. We all know how such commitment to the system would produce incredible results but realistically many of our clients attend only one or two sessions due to financial, time or other restraints. So how can we encourage our clients to practise more in order to progress and address any issues? An easily accessible and effective way is to give them short videos to do at home and here is an example of the Swan Dive taught at a low level as a 3 minute fix.


It is simple to record, upload and edit on YouTube and even though I hate to see and hear myself on camera, clients love it-so lights, camera, ACTION!!

I would love to hear how you encourage your clients to practise more!

Never Stop Learning!

At the beginning of any of our courses or workshops I tell instructors that we never stop learning, to question everything and to ask anything! This is the most crucial founding principal of JPilates training- to constantly learn and enhance our teaching skills and knowledge and to realise that we can not know everything. When a client asks a question or has an injury or condition that you are unfamiliar with or unsure of, it is much more professional to admit that you need to further research the subject and to promise to get back to them once you have sought further advice or knowledge. (You would then email or phone us if you wish!!) Guidelines and research constantly develop, evolve and sometimes contradict and so it is imperative that we keep up to date with changes and have a reliable source to refer to.

Each year I allocate time and finances to attend courses and workshops to further my own knowledge. This year I am looking forward to a workshop from the fabulous Amy Taylor Alpers and the Pilates On Tour Convention. I'll definitely share with you my thoughts on both events after.

Continual professional development needn't be expensive. It could be attending our monthly Instructor Only Classes or another instructor's class in your area and evaluate (to yourself of course!) aspects you enjoyed and areas which could be improved. Webinars are a great way of developing your knowledge of specific areas such as Scoliosis and we are always open to new topics for us to present.

For more information on all our qualificationscourses and workshops please visit or contact

Ouch! I think I've pulled something!

UnknownLast week an extremely worried and concerned instructor contacted me. She is an excellent, highly experienced teacher who for the first time had a client injure themselves performing an exercise during the class. She wanted to make sure she was following the correct protocol, firstly to reassure and care for the client but also to meet the legal requirements expected of her. So what should you do if this ever happens in your class? Care of the Client

Of paramount importance and your first priority is the client. Following an injury ensure they are suitably cared for and seen by a medical profession if necessary. Within 24 hours follow-up with a telephone call and, if you feel it is appropriate, a card wishing them a speedy recovery, reassuring them that any missed sessions with be refunded and that you are looking forward to seeing them back in classes soon.

Write an account of the incident and record any action which was taken. If possible and appropriate ask the client to also sign and date. Having a brief class plan outlining the exercises taught should also be added.

Evidence of the Screening Process

You need to ensure you have the correct health & screening documentation prior to a client beginning any exercise programme. This highlights any potential areas of concern which may require a medical professional's consent and ensures they are fit to exercise. This is often in the form of a written questionnaire such as the PAR-Q ( Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire) It is good practice to ask your clients to re-do their par-qs every twelve months to make sure the information is correct and up to date. You can create your own par-q and I recommend basing it on the widely recognised Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology Par-Q.

When working in studios or health clubs you may not have access to the screening information so it is of vital important that you verbally screen the clients before the session begins. Questions should include, are there any injuries, is anyone pregnant and is anyone new to Pilates?

Know Your Limits

As a qualified Pilates instructor you are trained and insured to teach Pilates. Be aware of the boundaries of your qualifications especially as classes such a HITT Pilates are becoming more popular. Unless you have additional qualifications you should not teach high impact moves such as squat thrusts, burpees and so on. Nor should you offer specialist classes such as Pre & Post Natal or Children's classes unless you hold the relevant qualifications. Always check the restrictions of your insurance policy for the age range and type of client you are covered to teach.

Remember accidents and injuries do happen in classes and often it is not the instructor's fault, but you need to make sure you have all the correct procedures in place.

As always I would love to hear your thoughts and any questions!

3 Steps To Correcting Forward Head Posture

forward-head-postureForward head posture is arguably the most common postural fault we see. Ideally the head should be in a well-balanced position maintained with minimal muscular effort where the ear lobe is directly in line with the middle of the shoulder joint.  Faulty alignment is where the ear is forwards of the shoulder and can be due to factors such as prolonged sitting at a desk, extended use of computers, incorrect sleeping positions and sedentary lifestyles. Every inch the head moves forward equates to an extra 4.5kg causing not only neck, shoulder and upper back tension and pain, due to the muscles of the neck and upper back are constantly contracted and strained, but it is also associated with headaches, nerve compression, fatigue, increased blood pressure and a reduced ability to breathe (click here to read more about Posture and Breath). Forward head posture can pull the entire spine out of alignment as when the head moves forwards the centre of gravity shifts causing the upper back to move backwards which in turn causes the hips to tilt forwards leading to not only head and neck pain but also mid and low back issues. In order to correct forward head posture we need to  mobilise the cervical vertebrae, releasing the tight neck extensors and strengthen the neck flexors.

Self myofascial release are very effective in reducing restrictions in this area.

Myofascial release1. Lying supine with knees bent. Place a tennis ball to the side of the spine in the upper back area. Use a block or cushion to support the head and keep the pressure from the tennis ball manageable. Find a sore spot and hold the position for 10-20 seconds until it releases. Then slowly move to find another sore spot. Two tennis balls can be used on either side of the spine.

To mobilise the cervical spine lie supine, knees bent with the head resting on a half inflated mini ball, 1. Slowly draw small circles with the nose in each direction 2. Slowly nod the head, imagine you are drawing an arc with your nose

To strength and re-balance the neck extensors and flexors, sit in a neutral position Isometric Neck Exercises 1

1. Place a loose fist under the chin and gently press upwards without letting the head move. Hold for 5-10 seconds then release.

Isometric neck exercises 2

2. Repeat with the palm of the hand against the side of the face.


Muscles Testing & Function with Posture and Pain. Kendall et al

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