Mirrors Do Not Enhance Pilates Movement Learning
Instructors debate the benefits and drawbacks of using mirrors as a teaching tool. According to a small study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies (2009; 13, 283–90), taking Pilates classes in a room with mirrors will not necessarily enhance the subsequent performance of a skill when mirrors are not present.
Researchers at Western Washington University in Bellingham recruited 20 subjects to learn the Pilates star movement (a mat exercise) over a 7-week period. Eleven participants trained with a mirror, nine without. Both groups improved similarly. Investigators concluded that using mirrors to provide immediate visual feedback during learning did not enhance skill performance.
According to Gordon R. Chalmers, PhD, one of the study authors, use of verbal and tactile cuing was kept very similar for both groups, to ensure that the presence or absence of mirrors was the only difference.
One benefit of not using a mirror as a teaching tool is that individuals must rely more on kinesthetic understanding of a movement rather than on visual feedback. This can improve students’ overall sense of position in space and enhance their continued skill development when visual tracking is unavailable.
For the latest research, statistics, sample classes, and more, "Like" IDEA on Facebook here.
© 2009 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.
IDEA Newsletter Sign-up
|Extreme Interval Training
In this course you'll learn goal-focused intervals and over 50 dynamic exercises and drills to create extensive and intensive training formats.
|Cut to the Core
This is a raw, unedited video filmed live at the 2009 IDEA World Fitness Convention™. Cut to the Core is packed full of core-focused exercises that aim to improve the way you look, feel and live.
|September 2011 IDEA Fitness Journal Quiz 4: Plyometric Training
This continuing education quiz is an in-depth look at plyometric training. Plyometric exercises—jumping, bounding, hopping, arm pushing, and catching and throwing weighted objects such as machine balls—are movements that involve rapid eccentric and concentric muscle actions.