Being a Pilates Instructor inherently runs the risk of getting stuck in a “repertory rut”. Most of the exercises are bilateral/single plane which is great for learning, more doesn’t mimic everyday life joint mechanics. I try to remind myself that we are doing Pilates to be better at life, NOT just better at Pilates!
Here’s an internal article I find helpful:
I try to progress my clients to single leg bridging (shoulder bridge) as soon as they are stable, SI joint especially. However, it still does little to challenge the eccentric gluteal recruitment to encourage “loading to unload”. The more I add multi-plane motions, the better results I seem to get.
Here’s my current favorites list:
heel squeeze prone (starting simple)
bridging with pelvic rotation; single leg bridging
side elbow/knee planks, perhaps lifting top leg
scooter on reformer w/moderate resistance so no arms on foot bar
cross-over press chair, standing on floor
step down on chair (small range for knee issues); add pelvic rotation
side skate reformer, add pelvic rotation
Focusing on my eccentric phase and allowing my body to naturally “follow thru” to seems to helping lighten up on my hyper-tonic hamstring gripping, but that’s just what I’m able to feel inside my own body. Here’s hoping my clients are getting it too!