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Correcting the Supine Spine Twist

Q: I have a question about the Supine Spine Twist. When the student has rotated her hips to one side and the opposite shoulder is lifting off the mat, should I correct the shoulder? Is it better to use a verbal or tactile cue?

A: Excellent question! Before I give you the answer, I’m going...

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Hip-width apart or fist-width apart

Q: I noticed that some teachers are now cueing to keep the feet “one fist-width apart” instead of “hip-width apart”. Why is that?

A: Great observation!

Have you noticed what happens when you tell your students to “place their feet hip-width apart”? I encourage...

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How Do I Keep Track of Repetitions During Teaching

Q: I'm having a hard time figuring out how long to teach a movement. Should I mentally count how many times the class has done the exercise? Shall I count repetitions, watch the clock, or observe how everyone is moving?

A: I bet you know the answer to this yourself. I'll give you a moment to read...

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How Can I Stop Flaring My Ribs

Q: I have a hard time pulling my ribs in. I love to flare them. How do I overcome this? How do I help my students to keep their ribs down?

A: Let's look at a little bit of anatomy first. Which muscles attach to the rib arch? Internal obliques, external obliques, rectus abdominis and the...

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Arthritis versus Osteoporosis

Q: I know arthritis is not the same as osteoporosis, but it does affect the joints. Would flexion and/or extension be limited for someone with arthritis? Perhaps should I suggest they take a Buff Bones class?

A: Arthritis is in fact different from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis means that bone...

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How To Deal With Joint Replacements In a Pilates Class

Q: If someone comes to my class with a hip or a knee replacement, and I don't feel like I have all the knowledge to keep them safe, would it be unreasonable to ask for a doctor’s note before starting a Pilates program? I personally would suggest training with someone with more experience.

...

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The Optimal Pace To Progress Beginners

Q: When I correct a beginner student, should I keep it basic and just gently build on getting them moving correctly?

A: What an excellent question! Here we go:

Not all beginners are the same.

Let's look at these three potential Pilates beginners:

  1. Student A has never taken a Pilates class before...
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How To Effectively Cue the Abdominals and the Pelvic Floor

Q: I'm wondering about effective cues to activate the lower abdominals and the pelvic floor. For example, in “The Hundred”, using cues such as “belly button to spine” or “bring the sit bones together” can create excessive pelvic tilting and/or the rectus...
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Watch The Moment of Return

Pilates is all about control, don’t we know it.

In this video, I’ll talk about how co-contraction of agonist and antagonist around a joint makes your movement fluid and your joints stable.

Often we focus on the first part of the exercise, pulling on the bar or the strap, and then we...

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How Do I Encourage Focus in My Students Without Sounding Like A Hippie Guru?

Q: When I begin a class with breathing it sometimes feels more like a yoga or meditation session than preparing for movement. How do I get clients to leave the world outside behind and start to focus on the class? How can I help them stop the mind from wandering without sounding like a hippie...

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