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The Truth About Your Mobility That You Need to Know

I won't beat around the bush. Here it is: No-one is flexible everywhere or nowhere. In other words, someone who is mostly flexible still has stiff areas. Someone who is mostly tight can have flexible areas. It's one of those instances that allows us to see the world more than just black and...

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How to Help Pilates Students with Flat Thoracic Spines

We usually picture the upper back as rounding backward, right? But if Pilates has taught us anything it's that each person is different. Maybe you've noticed that some of your students have flat thoracic spines. As you watch them move, perhaps you've noticed that the upper back also seems to...

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How To Avoid Locking Your Knees in Washer Woman I on the Chair

Washer Woman I, also known as Roll Up 1, Hamstring 1, or Hamstring Stretch, helps to strengthen upper body control and lengthen the back of the body. With so many things to focus on in this exercise, we mustn’t forget to keep our knees actively straight but not locked. Locking your knees...

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The Science Behind Pilates

Pilates has such a loyal following partly because it can be customized to help you reach specific goals. Maybe you're a runner who wants to improve their time and prevent injuries. Or maybe you use Pilates exercises to improve specific pathologies like Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. The list goes on...

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Pilates Exercises and Cues to Improve Breathing

When we combine movement with deep breathing, we feel a sensation that Joseph Pilates called an "internal shower". Maybe you've noticed it in exercises like the Hundred. The whole body warms up and feels energized. This is one of the many reasons we feel so great after class.

Deep breathing...

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Understanding Planes of Movement

Anatomy is one of the most important things you’ll learn in your training to become a Pilates instructor. However, there's an aspect of anatomy training that has confused many students over the years. This would be the planes of movement. Having a clear understanding of the planes is...

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How to Lift Your Arms (Using Scapulohumeral Rhythm)

Should you keep your shoulders down when raising the arms overhead?

Careful, this might be a trick question.

Your initial respone might have been. Yeah, duh! Of course! Shoulders should never by up by your ears.

Weeeeeellllllll........

Overhead arm movement might be a bit more complicated than...

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Are You Tight or Are You Tight?

A muscle that feels tight is not necessarily short. On the contrary, often long, over-stretched muscles that are weak develop facial tightness as a substitute for real strength. Lengthening these muscles feels good temporarily, but it’s not going to stop the tightness from recurring. It...

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Lengthen, Strengthen, and Stretch

Words are subjective. I’m sure you’ve tried to name a color, only to hear your friend say, “That’s not purple, it’s blue.” We associate different meaning to different words.

A “good workout” for one person means sweating, huffing and puffing until...

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Turn the Volume Up and Down

First, a short recap about concentric and eccentric muscle work. (I’ve stopped calling it contraction because I associate a shortening with the word contraction, which gets confusing as you’ll see.)

Concentric muscle action is a shortening of the muscle while it’s working....

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