Quality is a habit. By Nuala Coombs

Quality is a habit. By Nuala Coombs

Quality is a habit

When I saw this quote from Monsieur Squarepants it not only made me laugh but also made me think  about how difficult it can be to communicate with clients. We want them to do well, to progress and  gain confi- dence for the more challenging movements.

Structure & Clarity

When you’re preparing your class – even if it’s just on the drive or walk in – you need to  be clear about what you want them to understand or take away. Whether your teaching group  or individuals it’s always a good idea to have a main focus. I’ve never been the teacher who meticulously writes down a lesson plan but I always have a theme in mind. That said, I teach individuals or duets so I have the best opportuni- ty to observe my clients closely – if my theme for the session is not appropriate, because of how they present that day I can always revise my
Once you have your focus it’s a good idea to draw atten- tion to it throughout the session  – even for an exercise that may not be immediately obvious. For example if you want to help clients improve their ability to lengthen their spine, an exercise that requires them to lift  their head may not immediately spring to mind.
It’s a common sight to see clients struggle to flex their upper back when they’re asked to lift their head. Taking into account their posture, lifting the head may not be the best option, howev- er, for those who can or who may want to master it – “lifting the head” is not  the best cue, although I’m sure we all use it. This is more about flexing the upper back to lift the head and shoulders – when the upper back is sufficiently flexed it will bear the weight of the  head – avoiding overuse of the neck flexors. That’s one consideration – however the second relevant point with regard to lengthening the spine is how they return to the start position. Instead of just letting the head drop back to the floor you could cue them to consciously lengthen the spine when replacing their head.
Here’s the sequence I use. If this is a area I want a client to understand I would have them in supine, knees bent with their hands behind their head.

Full text available in 'Pilates4you Journal «The Pilates Englishman»'


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