I don't know about you, but when I look at a new piece of apparatus or prop, I can't really imagine what it would feel like using it. Some people can. Not me. Nope. I like to think I have other talents. 😆
For me to consider incorporating a new piece of apparatus into my teaching, I want to try it. I need to feel what it does in my own body.
I'm also quite picky. Just because someone thought of something new, doesn't mean that it's really that helpful. Or at least, I want to explore why it might be helpful and who of my clients could benefit from it under what circumstances.
When Pilates on Tour came through Boston (before COVID), I had a chance to try the Konnector in person under the humorous instruction of its inventor, Viktor Uygan.
Long story short, I loved it! One month later, I decided to take part in the two-day Konnector training with Viktor.
My big takeaway from that training was that the exercise options on the Konnector are endless. And that's not meant metaphorically. The Konnector - which is basically an upgrade to your existing Balanced Body Reformer - offers literally an infinite number of variations.
(Okay, maybe not truly infinite, but too many for me to remember.)
Here are my 3 favorite reasons to try the Konnector:
If you've been 'reforming' for a while, then you have gotten used to the fact that you have to move both legs at the same time and both arms at the same time.
Yes, I know, you can move only one arm and let the other strap go slack, but it doesn't feel quite as fluid. And it's only possible in a few exercises. And the arm that doesn't do anything, well doesn't do anything!
In real life, we always move our limbs individually. We're not robots with symmetrical arm movements. It's actually sort of crazy to think of the option to move our limbs independently from one another as revolutionary, but it is! Move any way you want? Whoa!
The Konnector is a one-strap pulley system with four loops. Sounds complicated, I know. (Ask Viktor, it took me a while to understand how pulleys work. 🤷🏼♀️ )
The benefit of this system is that it allows you to connect the upper and the lower body, turning every exercise into a full-body exercise. Isn't that one of the Pilates principles? Yay!
Having four loops means you can have your hands AND your feet in the loops and move all four at the same time. What????? (Insert screeching sound that a speeding car makes approaching a red light.)
Not only that, one feels what the others are doing. Because they are connected ... eh ... konnected.
Imagine real quick doing the Rowing Series on the Reformer. Do you know that part where you move your arms from behind your body around the sides and then to the front? And then the carriage hits the stopper. Thonk. End of movement.
The first time that happened it was a bit weird, and over time you knew pretty much when it would happen and you just shortened the movement so that you didn't bottom out.
Well, you probably guessed it: you won't have that problem anymore with the Konnector. You can finally bend over your legs and reach your arms forward as much as you want. Your body moves through the full range of motion and it feels fluid throughout.
Another one of those exercises is Hamstring Curls lying prone on the long box. I have to admit, I completely stopped practicing and teaching this exercise, even though so many people need it. With the regular Reformer straps, you can only extend your knees to about 90 degrees before the carriage runs out of rails. And since weak hamstrings tend to cramp, there is barely any range of movement left. With the Konnector, you can fully straighten your knees, which doesn't just mean a full range of motion in the knee, but it gives those hamstrings a chance to recover between repetitions by fully lengthening (without the loops falling off your feet).
Here is another one of my favs. In this video, I demonstrate how the Konnector can help improve your long sit position:
Intrigued? I hope so! Check out KonnectMethod.com for info on where to "try" a Konnector and - if you love it as much as I do - to sign up for the (virtual) training.
Lastly, you might be worried that you "lose" or "mess with" your regular Reformer by installing the Konnector Kit (only available for Balanced Body Reformers, by the way). You can't just switch back and forth between your regular straps and the Reformer, once it's installed. But let me assure you, you will continue to be able to do all your normal Reformer work, some of them better, and about 500 more exercises! (There I put a number on it.)
Have you worked with the Konnector? Have you wanted to try it? Let me know in the comments.
Confidently teach clients of all abilities, levels, and challenges