Posts tagged #Pilates

JPilates Retreat in Tarifa, Spain

Studio Tarifa

As I look out at the rain this morning, I find myself wishing I was back on last week’s JPilates retreat in Tarifa. It was simply the most wonderful experience to spend time with Pilates teachers in such a stunning environment.

I loved seeing everyone relax and de-stress, chat and share experiences with each other, ask any questions anytime. All in the knowledge that we had a week to simply focus on ourselves without all the “extras” that our lives bring.

The villa itself was so beautiful, situated in a nature reserve just 10 minutes walk to an unspoilt beach. The views and the grounds were breath-taking and to be able to teach outdoors, either in the gardens or by the pool, accompanied by birds was incredible.

We were completely spoilt by the wonderful staff at the villa. The food prepared by the two chefs was absolutely wonderful using locally sourced produce and the wine was of course, free-flowing!

JPilates Retreat Tarifa

It was such a pleasure to teach 18 classes over the week. We always began with a version of the 34 Mat repertoire-the perfect way to start the day. This was followed by a small equipment class. After lunch we gathered around the pool for a masterclass in correction techniques or session planning. The day finished with a sunset class in the gardens. Bliss!

Above all, the one thing I absolutely loved was to see everyone fall in love again with doing Pilates simply for the joy of their own movement. So often we feel we need to do things perfectly, or we lack time for our own practise, but over the week the progress everyone made was astonishing. I completely felt the over-whelming love of the Method and I know everyone else did too.

So…. next up Valencia in September! I can’t wait!!




Posted on May 8, 2019 .

JPilates Convention 2017- Inspiration & Innovation

This summer we held our 5th JPilates Convention and it was just amazing!!! Each session was designed to give practical ideas, variations and adaptations which could be implemented immediately into Pilates sessions.

From Glide & Slide to Slave to the Rhythm we explored new challenges using gliders and choreographed sequences set to music. In the Cat Clinic  and Pilates for Breast Cancer Recovery we analysed how to promote better movement, strength and mobility.   The day finished with our Summer Party and it was such a treat to share strawberries and cream and a glass (or 2! )of Pimms with you all.

Sunday was dedicated to the Reformer and we delved deep into the Psoas Connection, built Bone Health and reached dizzy heights with our High Bridges, Front and Back Headstands, Snakes and Twists in the Advanced Moves.

Thank you so much to everyone who attended and we can not wait for next year!!!

Pilates and Stroke Survivors-An Inspiration

831f5e8ed5ac74cbf8fe5dee48d9fb5dThe ability of Pilates to completely change and improve someone's quality of life never ceases to amaze me. It is a true testament to the life-long dedication that Joe Pilates gave to his method that it can improve and enhance the ability to move and function regardless of limitations. In my job as a Pilates instructor, I have met some truly inspirational and courageous people. One of them is my client, Sam. I first met Sam, a 40-year-old stroke survivor at Akasha Wellness last November about 8 months following her stroke. I had received a short email from her neurological physiotherapist explaining that she had weakness in her right hip and trunk and Pilates would help improve her static and dynamic posture. As with all conditions and injuries, it is only when we actually meet and see the client that we can fully understand and consider their exercise programme as no written referral notes can fully detail the extent and effect on the individual.

Sam was driven to the studio by a friend as she was unable to drive herself. She walked with a stick as she suffered from a lack of strength and mobility in her right leg with paralysis in her right arm. Both her right foot and hand were tightly curled with a complete lack of sensation. Sam could not move either limb unaided. Due to the stroke, Sam found it difficult to speak and express herself. As Sam had led an incredibly active life, swimming, horse-riding, tennis and running, the limitations she now faced made her  feel extremely frustrated, angry and helpless.

Pilates was obviously going to be highly beneficial for Sam. Nobel prize recipient Dr Roger Sperry said that the spine is the motor that drives the brain. According to his research,

"90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by movement of the spine"

Not only would the moves stimulate the brain's function and improve her strength and mobility but just as importantly, Pilates would encourage her to trust and appreciate again her body and mind.

Using the Reformer and closed kinetic chain exercises has been excellent for Sam as it allows her to push and pull against the apparatus, giving her enhanced feedback and deeper connection with her body. Constant reassurance is needed as Sam has lost confidence in her body and its movement.

After just a few sessions, Sam's foot and toes began to uncurl. By the end of each session the foot would be glowing with warmth and blood flow whereas at the start it was white and cold. Over the months Sam  stopped using the stick and began to drive herself again, which was a huge step in her independence. She was able to now move the leg unaided into positions.

With increased confidence Sam's progress has been fantastic. Her speech is much more fluid and spontaneous and her gait more balanced. She is incredibly strong in her abdominals and back and each session I am continually inspired by her dedication and determination. I hope one day soon Sam will join in the group sessions.

Working with Sam has been a truly incredible experience for me as an instructor, further proving how Pilates can and does help everyone regardless of injury, age or medical conditions.

Posted on October 12, 2015 and filed under Uncategorized.

Be a little more serious and a lot less solemn!

This week I found myself flicking through a gardening images-15magazine in a waiting room, (not my usual reading material but there was not much else on offer!) and I came across an article which really struck a chord with me and my thoughts on some aspects of the Pilates industry. The writer, Monty Don, was proposing that gardeners should be more serious and much less solemn  and I could see how his thoughts could definitely be also applied to some Pilates instructors, especially those who are incredibly vocal on various social media sites and forums.

"Seriousness underpins any endeavour worth doing and every life worth living. But whereas seriousness can be worn lightly, with grace and wit, solemnity carries with it the dead hand of the pedant and killjoy"

This is no more true when reading some of the comments and criticisms of those instructors who see themselves as being superior either in their training or knowledge to other fellow instructors. Sometimes Pilates just takes itself far to solemnly!

As Monty says,

"There is a time and place for solemnity. It is appropriate for births, funerals and grand occasions of state."

whereas being serious in our work shows a mark of respect for the Method, our clients and each other. It  still encourages discussion, healthy debate and (fingers crossed) a little  humour without producing the fear of reprisal and ostracism from the very community which should inspire and encourage us.

It is important to remember that as human beings we live in pursuit of happiness, of enjoyment. For us as Pilates instructors, this means encouraging the joy in mindful movement, the sense of well-being and health in a vibrant yet serious environment not only in our classes but in the Pilates world we live in.

So the only question now is do I subscribe to Gardeners World!

Music- To Play or Not To Play!

images-4If you ask a Pilates instructor if they use music in their classes the answer is often an emphatic "Yes!" or a shocked "No!" The question of whether music enhances or distracts during Pilates is often a hotly debated one. Some may argue that it distracts from  the precision of the exercises and  the search for the mind-body connection especially for those new to the method, whereas others believe that music can immediately create the calm ambiance and focus which can be hard to achieve initially.

Music causes  incredibly powerful and profound effects  involving several response mechanisms. These include:

  • The psychosocial response- the spiritual and psychological response we have to music
  • The cortical response- creates visualisation and imagery
  • The limbic response-how we react emotionally
  • The thalamic response-automatic body response to the rhythm of the music
  • The corporeal response-our physical reaction to the different sound vibrations.

In the light of these responses surely music would help deepen and enhance our mind-body connection, breathing and awareness?

Music should always create and support smooth movement sequencing, integration of breath and enhance inward focus. It should never intrude, detract or dominate the class.

MFP Logo (For Jo)Lisa Horner, the co-founder of Music for Pilates, definitely believes in the importance of music in Pilates.

"I personally love using music in my Pilates classes. I find it creates a calm relaxed atmosphere so clients can really focus on the areas that we are working on, giving them that whole mind-body experience that Pilates requires. As a teacher I also find it calms my soul which reflects in my voice helping the clients to work in a more intensified, slow, controlled rhythm. This is why it is so important to me to find that right music, which was surprisingly difficult and frustrating. I would find a lovely piece and then right in the middle a random squawk or screech from an unrecognisable animal or a deep boom from a Didjeridoo, shaking you and the clients out of your serene place. There is also that "small" problem of paying for a PPL licence or finding music that is licence free. My husband Perry, is an international song writer and music producer, so it only seemed natural to create our own licence free music, forming "Music for Pilates". We set to work tweaking the bits I knew would not work and testing in my own classes, until we found the balance of rhythm and calmness just right for Pilates."

Music can also be used to choreograph the movements. This is definitely for the more advanced student where the movements seamlessly flow through a choreographed sequence adding more challenge and enhancing the movement dynamics. The Pilates Instructor Only Class on 22nd November will be a fully choreographed class set to some beautiful tracks from Music For Pilates. To book your class please contact info@jpilates.co.uk.
As always I would love to hear your thoughts!

Writing Terms & Conditions- Boring but Essential!

Every so often an instructor posts on the forum or contacts me about a difficult situation arising due to a class member wanting money back or transferring payments which is not in line with the instructor's class policy. It is a well-known fact that many of us do not read terms and conditions when buying a product or service, we tend to skim down the legal jargon and sign on the dotted line, but clearly establishing terms and conditions is an important step to protecting yourself and your business and avoiding unpleasant confrontations. Although terms and conditions may vary for each instructor, here are some basic tips to help you.

  1. Stay friendly! Just because you are setting down rules and policies it does not mean it needs to be written in imposing and legal manner. Keeping your tone friendly and positive not only means clients will read them through but also that if a dispute does arise they will be more open to understanding.

  2. Keep them short, simple to understand and clear, no need for lots of legal jargon!

  3. Clearly explain your policies and procedures with the most important first. The main policies you may wish to include are payment, cancellation, booking and studio behaviour.

  4. Review other Pilates companies T&Cs to ensure you have covered everything needed. Obviously do not copy as yours need to be specific to your company, but they can be a good reference point.

  5. Keep your terms and conditions up to date. As changes happen to your classes make sure they are reflected in your terms & conditions. Good practice could be to have each client re-sign the T&Cs with their par-q every 12 months.

  6. Check spelling and grammar! Like any documentation, terms and conditions represent you and your company and need to give a professional impression.

If you would like any further advice I would love to hear from you!

Posted on September 27, 2014 and filed under Education & Training.

8 Steps to Success When Teaching Pilates in a Gym

Group of women doing Pilates exercises.The versatility and accessibility of Mat Pilates means that as an instructor you can offer classes in so many different venues, from church halls to dedicated studios and of course almost every gym will have Pilates on its class timetable. I have always loved teaching Pilates in gyms for several reasons.

  • Variety of Clients- Teaching Pilates in a gym means that you will experience a wide range of clients exercising for a variety of reasons, with different preferences and needs. It is never boring as each class presents different challenges. It is a fantastic way for a new instructor to gain experience and confidence.
  • Bringing the Method to Everyone- Joe Pilates wanted Pilates to be available to everyone and by having Pilates classes on gym timetables, the Method is open to everyone and anyone. Some clients stumble into the class as it just so happens to be on at a time that suits them, some attend under misconceptions of an "easy" class or a "flat stomach". After the class they often remark on how different it was from their expectations and how they underestimated how completely worked and energised they feel.
  • Financial Although you may earn more money teaching your own classes, working in a gym offers a reliable income as you will receive the same rate regardless of how many people turn up. So even during those uncertain periods of the year, summer and Christmas, you are a guaranteed a level of pay to depend on.
  • Simplicity- Teaching in a gym means no admin, no marketing worries, no collecting payments, no worrying about leases, taxes, bills- life is simpler!

There are some challenges to bear in mind though!

  • Pack them in!- Whereas in many dedicated studios or your own classes you can limit numbers, often in clubs the limit is the size of the room! So instead of having 8 clients, you may have 40. Personally, I love the buzz of a large class but it is not for everyone and you need to ensure the expectations of the class are crystal clear to both the club and the client. It will not be a class for fine tuning technique and addressing injuries rather a balanced class which focuses on flow and movement, ensuring safety of course.
  • Open to All- You will often be teaching range of abilities and ages from an absolute beginner to an experienced client, from a 4 month pregnant lady to a 70-year-old man and so you need to plan and prepare for a mixed level class and be ready to adapt further if needed.
  • Just a Class- It can be frustrating for some teachers if the clients are not passionate about Pilates. Not everyone will be concerned about correct technique or interested in committing to regular classes.

So here are 8  tips to success,

  1. Arrive early to meet and greet any new comers or beginners
  2. Verbally screen the class and then observe their movement in the prep phase so you are ready to adapt exercises later in the class.
  3. Take time to observe the class as a whole.
  4. Be clear and concise in your cueing and directions
  5. Don't over talk technique but still be safe
  6. Constantly offer adaptations and rests
  7. Always start and finish on time as there may be other classes scheduled directly after yours.
  8. Remain professional to the gym-remember you are part of a team.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

 

 

 

Cover Class Etiquette!

I love this weather! As the days get warmer and we start thinking of sun, sand and sea, the dilemma of whether to keep our classes running or take a summer break arises. Many studios and instructors keep their classes running so there is always an increased need for cover instructors. Covering classes is a great way to broaden your experience by teaching different clients in new studios, to create new links with companies and instructors and to earn a little extra cash. But is there a code of conduct for covering classes? Here are a few ideas to make sure you always appear professional and avoid some of the pitfalls:

1. Be early- you will have time to chat to the group and break the ice. It also allows you time to screen for an injuries or conditions.

2. Do not criticise their instructor- a sure way to alienate the group, all clients love their instructor! Just explain that there are many variations of the Method and yours may be slightly different.

3. Do not give out your contact details-poaching clients is in bad taste!

4. Do not apologise- starting the session by apologising for not being their regular instructor can set you up as "second best" which you aren't.

5. Try not to be judgemental- avoid saying "what do you mean you don't do this?" or "have you never done this move?"..

6. Make time after the session to answer any questions.

If you can add to the list please let me know. Our Facebook forum is a great place to post or take up any cover class requests. To join the forum please request on the JPilates page.

Posted on May 20, 2014 and filed under Education & Training.

Shoulders- please do not melt down!

shoulder tensionWhen I first trained in Pilates I remember being told to draw my shoulders back and down, to melt them down in a soft V and many other cues which were meant to encourage shoulder stability and correct alignment for those who carry their shoulders up by their ears. But does creating downward tension actually help elevate the upward tension in the upper back and neck? These cues also tend to encourage scapula depression which in turn tends to block thoracic mobility. Try this- begin to do The Spine Stretch, firstly draw your shoulders down in a V shape and then try to flex the spine. Can you feel how restricted you are? Does the movement feels very forced? You can also try this in Roll Down, Roll Up from seated and so on..

Then I attended a class with a wonderful instructor who cued "easy shoulders". Suddenly I could move so much more fluidly, with improved articulation and the movement felt completely different.

We can find so many other cues similar to this where the shoulders are encouraged to relax, to soften, to open outwards from the mid back. Even bringing the focus away from the shoulder and cue lengthening the neck, elongating the spine and having heavy elbows.

So now we are encouraging dynamic stability not rigidity of the scapula (this is the same for the pelvis-no fixing- but that is for another blog!) To explain further, as we lift our arms overhead the scapula should rotate upwards, the humerus should slightly depress and externally rotate (this is called scapulohumeral rhythm. If we try to fix or depress the scapula as we do this, we cause a huge amount of unnecessary tension and potential harm. Again try it- raise one arm up focusing on keeping the shoulders relaxed and feel the fluidity of movement then try it again with scapula depression-ouch!

Mark Leyland explains the biomechanics of motion in more detail in his fantastic article The Pilates Shoulder

So over the next few classes try some cues to relax your shoulders- stop drawing them down and let them go! Free your shoulders!

I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback as always!

Visualisations-Do Yours Work?

visualisation-secretThe success of a Pilates instructor is strongly linked to their ability to communicate with their clients. An integral part of teaching Pilates is in the use of visualisation to convey movement, positions and alignment. Visualisation is an incredibly powerful tool in helping to create the mindful movement required to reap fully the incredible benefits of Pilates. Visualisation can either be direct- anatomical or biomechanical cues or indirect- metaphysical cues. Both types of visualisation create a strong link between the mind and body but need careful consideration.

Some clients do not connect to cues such as the pelvis as a clock or bucket, it can cause them to disengage or alienate them. On the other hand , should our cues be scientific, anatomical terms such as transversus abdominus, glutes, thoracic spine? It is essential that as an instructor we need a thorough, in-depth understanding of anatomy but is it really necessary for our clients?

The importance of good cueing is especially evident in group sessions where many clients may not have the knowledge or indeed the interest in learning the anatomical language required to fully understand these visualisations.

As instructors we develop our own repertoire and style of visualisations which work for us and our clients but we should always be aware of the effectiveness of these cues.

Many exercises begin with the instructor cueing activation of the core, our postural muscles. But it it is important to consider the fact that we do not have conscious control of these muscles- they are controlled sub-consciously by our nervous system in anticipation of movement. Most of these postural muscles work at a sub-threshold state so actively cueing them can interfere with their function in organising the spinal segments and actually cause accessory muscles to contract. As you are reading this you are naturally holding your head up, you do not need to think about it. So how do we overcome this?

The answer lies in cueing the bony landmarks such as hip bones, sit bones, pelvis and so on. Often these landmarks are used to set up positions,  anchor the sit bones, hip bones in line with pubic bone, but take this a stage further and use them to cue the movement itself.

For example, let’s take the Roll Up at a low level.

Roll up1.Seated on the sit bones, with the ribcage directly above the pelvis and a sense of length through the spine
2.Keeping a stillness in the mid back, exhale and move the hip bones away from the thigh bones
3.Inhale to return, lengthening to the start position
Try it now...

Can you feel how the deep postural muscles activate naturally with the movement? Why not try to teach your next session without cueing muscle activation using bony landmarks only? I would love to hear if you found improved movement  and some new visualisations.

Image from www.67notout.com

Pilates Studio in a Bag

Are you looking for some inspiration and fresh ideas for your classes? Would you like to expand your existing repertoire and explore the Studio Equipment exercises but find that you just don’t have the time, space or finances for a Reformer or Cadillac?

Did you know that we can fit a whole Studio in a Bag?!

The Studio in a Bag Workshop explores classic exercises from the Equipment repertoire demonstrating how with small equipment e.g. foam rollers, mini ball, dynabands etc. you can incorporate these moves in your Matwork classes adding further variety and intensity.

Get a feel for the workshop with this short video: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_4lxKfOKOQ]

Contact us at info@jpilates.co.uk for further information.

Great feedback, from one of our lovely Instructors:

"Fantastic day! SO many ideas to take away to use with the small equipment already in my kit bag. This was the day that got me thinking about the value of equipment training even for a matwork teacher!!" Michelle Ormrod, Pilates Instructor

Practise What You Preach!

I recently heard someone say,"Never trust a Pilates instructor who doesn't do Pilates" and this made me think of just how much time I allocate for my own training and personal movement. I thought to myself, " Well every time I teach I am focusing on my own posture, activation and breath and so I am constantly aware of integrating Pilates into my daily life and movement but in actually getting out a mat and performing the exercises well.....(blush!)"

As instructors we fully appreciate the immense benefits of practising Pilates, we see the vast improvements in our clients' movement, posture, strength, flexibility and sense of well-being. So surely we should make time to enhance our own movement and ability? We all have incredibly busy lives especially as many of us work full-time and/or teach Pilates in the evenings and weekends, have family commitments and so on. Also I find that in teaching so much Pilates, I tend to train different elements on free days to balance my exercise programme.

However Pilates is different from other training systems, its incredible success lies in its functional ability and relevance in every day movement. As Joseph Pilates said,

"Contrology is designed to give you suppleness, natural grace, and skill that will be unmistakeably reflected in the way you walk, the way you play, and in the way you work"

So for inspiration and assistance, last month I began to post on Facebook and in the JPilates forum video clips of 10 minute routines for you to do each day. The routines are intense as you will only perform a small number of repetitions and they are designed with instructors in mind so please modify if you need to. I will keep adding to the series and hopefully we can all reap the fantastic benefits of Pilates and practise what we preach! As Joseph Pilates said,

" Make up your mind that you will perform your Contrology exercise ten minutes without fail"

Below are the first two routines, to receive notification when new ones are posted please subscribe to The JPilates Youtube Channel here [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fEANylIcic] [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoXCMo6UZE4]

(For all those dedicated instructors who do train each day-apologies!)

Shhhh! Don't Mention The Pelvic Floor!

shhhAs Pilates instructors we understand the importance of teaching correct activation of the pelvic floor muscles to our clients. We know that the pelvic floor musclesare an essential part of spinal stability, working interdependently with the other trunk stabilisers (Sapsford 2033). Yet in spite of its fundamental importance in spinal health, posture and every day functions there can be a tendency to be vague about how exactly to activate the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is shrouded in mystery, for some it can be embarrassing, for others non-existent and not only for our clients but for ourselves as well. Surrounded by women in a group session, does the one man really want to be told to "draw up his testicles?" Also if we can not feel or see the muscles working it seems to be a blind act of faith to just believe it's working whilst quietly questioning " Am I doing this right?" So how can we effectively activate and train the pelvic floor whilst sparing the blushes? The answer could be in changing our cueing from isometric contractions to dynamic training, by using myofascial tracks and the co-contraction with the diaphragm.Try these examples and see if you feel the pelvic floor activate.

  • When standing, lift up the inner arches of the feet.
  • Before lifting into the 100 imagine squeezing a small ball between the knees without reducing the space.
  • In the Shoulder Bridge hover the heels off the floor.
  • On exhalation sound gently sound "HHHHHHHH"

More ways of cueing the pelvic floor through dynamic movement will be explored on the Pilates-The Next Step workshop. For more information on our courses and workshops please visit www.jpilates.co.uk or contact us at info@jpilates.co.uk

References: The Female Pelvis Blandine Calais-Germain Pelvic Power Eric Franklin                                                                                                 Image form www.bostinno.com

The Best Job In The World!

Coach helping people with Pilates exercises.The decision to begin a new career as a Pilates Instructor can be very daunting and nerve-racking, like many others, a change in career is never taken lightly and we spend a lot of time contemplating whether this is the right option for us. But for me and lots of other instructors that I work with, it was the best career decision we have made. There are so many benefits to becoming a Pilates Instructor, for a start it is great to be your own boss! Being able to pick and choose your hours is fantastic and enables you to be very flexible when working around family and other commitments, allowing you to adapt your hours in order to fit in with your lifestyle.

But it is much more than that, teaching Pilates is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling job. When a client tells you that they no longer suffer after living with constant back pain for years and are now able to perform daily activities with much more mobility, endurance and strength, you know that you have contributed to enhancing their quality of life. Or when a client leaves your sessions with a greater sense of well-being, motivation and positivity or where you can observe that your classes provide essential social interaction for an elderly or post natal participant you know your work is done!

Pilates attracts such a wide range of clients, from pre natal to older clients, from those suffering with injuries to elite athletes, this means your work is never dull or boring but fantastically interesting and diverse. Every day our classes and clients present different challenges, each participant has varying needs and goals which we can help them achieve, ranging from postural imbalances to sports specific targets.

As Pilates instructors, we never stop learning. We learn from our clients, we learn from our peers and we are constantly updating our knowledge and evolving our practice. New research is published regularly providing inspiration and ideas to improve and provide greater depth to your teaching helping you to inspire others.

So if you have been considering taking that leap of faith, become a Pilates instructor it will be the best decision you ever make!

For further information on Pilates teacher training please visit www.jpilates.co.uk or contact us at info@jpilates.co.uk

Posted on January 2, 2013 and filed under Education & Training.

Pilates & Pregnancy- The Effects Of Relaxin

The physiological changes which occur during pregnancy are largely under the control of the endocrine system. It is the role of the hormones to create the right conditions to maintain the pregnancy and nourish the growing foetus. One of the most influential hormones is Relaxin. The key purpose of Relaxin is to relax the musculoskeletal system by softening ligaments, loosen joints and stretching muscles and tendons. This allows a gentle but effective expansion of the pelvis creating the necessary space for the growing foetus and facilitating its passage during delivery. The effects of Relaxin are not just confined to the pelvic girdle, it increases ligamentous laxity throughout the body decreasing joint stability in the hips, spine, knees, ankles, feet, shoulder and so on.

According to the University Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Adelaide, South Australia, a pregnant body is designed to increase the length of ligaments and soft tissue by a maximum of 10% although some women may be more susceptible to the effects of Relaxin. The body will only return the ligaments and soft tissue by 10% after the pregnancy state. This means that if the length of ligaments and soft tissues are increased by more than 10% there is a high risk of instability after pregnancy.

The two areas particularly affected by Relaxin are the sacroiliac joints and the pubis symphysis. The pubis symphysis is the bony junction connected by a tendinous seam. As the growing baby requires more space so the pelvis expands by a widening of the pubis symphysis, facilitated by Relaxin. The pubis symphysis may separate between 4-7 mm but it can widen by as much as 12 mm.  The pubis symphysis also relies on the correct alignment of the sacroiliac joints for alignment. The sacroiliac joints function to resist the anterior tilt of the pelvis accentuated by the increased lumbar lordosis due to the growing weight of the baby. As Relaxin loosens the ligaments which support the joints instability and hyper-mobility may occur. This has far-reaching consequences for the stability of the spine and hip. As Pilates instructors it is essential that we consider these consequences. Exercises should be of low intensity, focusing on stability and strengthening work of the pelvic and lumbasacral area. Glut strengthening work is highly beneficial to encourage a more supportive role. In some case where pubis symphysis dysfunction is present, loaded ad/abductor work and prone hip extension should be avoided.

Diastasis Recti is the common, painless partial or complete separation of the rectus abdominus as a result of the widening of the linea alba to allow for the growth of the baby in the final stages of pregnancy . Relaxin allows the connective tissue, the abdominal fascia, to soften and reduces the cohesion of the collagen fibres. Any exercises which put direct pressure on the linea alba either from within by increasing abdominal pressure e.g. curl-ups or from without by gravitational resistance e.g. poorly executed swimming on all fours.

As stated earlier, Relaxin affects all areas of the body so flexibility work needs to be carefully monitored with an emphasis on correct technique, postural awareness and controlled, dynamic movement.

Resources

JPilates Pre & Post Natal Manual

Pre-and Post-Natal Fitness- The American College of Exercise                                           

Image form isischiropractic.co.uk

Posted on November 19, 2012 and filed under Education & Training.

5 Steps to Choosing the Right Pilates Teaching Training Course

Deciding which is the right Pilates Teacher Training Course can be bewildering. There are an overwhelming number to choose from making it extremely difficult to decide which is best for you. Here are a few tips to help find the right certification programme to suit your needs. 1. Go to as many different Pilates classes as possible: Being instructed by a variety of teachers will allow you to experience different teaching styles. If you particularly like a certain way or type of teaching ask the instructor who they trained with and if they recommend the training programme.

2. First Impressions...Try to meet the director or principal tutor of the company and if possible observe them teaching a session. This will give you an excellent idea of whether their method of delivery is going to suit your learning needs and keep you motivated.

3. Time restraints and course content: Decide how much time you have available for your training-a course can be like a part-time job! Do weekends or weekday training suit you best? Find out how much additional home learning is required as well as the course length. Some companies offer on-line training, assess carefully if this is how you wish to learn. Some material such as Anatomy and Physiology can be learnt independently but I believe it should be strongly supported by face to face tuition. Pilates especially is best learnt and understood in person.

4. Financial options: The cost of certification can hugely vary. Look for payment plans to help spread the cost of the training.

5. This is just the beginning! Certification is only the beginning! The real learning starts once you are instructing your own clients. Look at the continuing education programme offered-are there any workshops or short courses to enhance and further develop your knowledge? Do they offer continual support or an instructor community where you can raise questions or share experiences?

If you would like any advice or help please feel free to contact us at info@jpilates.co.uk and visit our website www.jpilates.co.uk for full details of our courses and workshops.