This program is intended to be taught by certified Pilates instructors only! 

STOTT PILATES preferred, but could easily be modified for other methods.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

1.Participate in a strengthening, toning and increased flexibility exercise program.
2.Become familiar with Pilates, its benefits, its importance and the STOTT PILATES Five Basic Principles.
3.Understand the function of the “core”.
4.Heighten body-mind awareness.

Beginner Mat Pilates/Pilates on the Ball:
(Class description for this upcoming quarter starting 1/28/08)
In this class, students will learn the basic principles and techniques that form the framework of all the Pilates exercises, helping them to focus and engage the proper abdominal muscles for maximum results. The goal is to work these deep abdominal muscles to stabilize the torso while moving the rest of the body with ease. This mat-based workout is designed to help participants develop longer, leaner-looking muscles, establish core strength and stability, improve coordination, balance, posture and flexibility, and heighten body-mind awareness. There are 32 different exercises designed to challenge the core muscles (abdominals and back), which are performed seated or while lying down on your back, side or front. Emphasis is on precise alignment, proper breathing and efficient sequencing of movement. Stability balls and flex bands will be added to further enhance the workout. If class progress warrants, they will also be introduced to the intermediate exercises and transitions.

Offered to: 
Freshman, juniors, sophomores and seniors at the Falmouth High School in Maine.

When it is offered: 
Q1 – Q4.  Each quarter is approximately 9 weeks.

How often:
3 x per week:  1– 80-minute period and 2–50- or 60-minute periods.  We are in Q2 and I am currently teaching 6 classes (2 periods, 4 & 6)

Handouts provided:
What Is Pilates and What Are the Benefits (STOTT flyers)

*Overview of STOTT PILATES Basic Principles (STOTT flyer)

Anatomy of Abdominal Muscles

Equipment sometimes used (just to show them and for fun):
Fitness circles, weighted balls, flex bands and new this quarter—stability balls!!!

Sample Overview: Week 1
Discussion: What is Pilates, what are the benefits, why is it important and what are the 5 basic principles (breathing, pelvic placement, rib cage placement, shoulder girdle stabilization and head and neck placement).

Practice:  Explanation of breathing and pelvic placement along with an introduction to beginner mat Pilates.

Warm-Up
Breathing
Imprint & Release
Toe Taps (to test imprint)
Spinal Rotation (either supine or side-lying)
Cat Stretch
Hip Rolls
Protraction & Retraction of Scapula
Arm Circles
Elevation & Depression of Scapula
Head Nods

Exercises
Ab Prep
Breast Stroke Prep 123
Shell Stretch
The Hundred (modified—head up or down, feet tabletop or on mat)
Half Roll Back
The Roll-Up (modified and full)
One-Leg Circle (modify with bent legs if need be)
Spine Twist (modify with bent or crossed legs)
Rolling Like a Ball (prep and full)
Single-Leg Stretch
Obliques
Swan Dive Prep
Swimming Prep
Shell Stretch

Cool-Down
Sitting up or standing, spine neutral, legs crossed, arms down by side.  Inhale, lifting right arm up, exhale, laterally flex the spine (maintaining neutral pelvis) to the left, inhale, reach right arm back up to the sky and exhale, lower arm back down to starting position. Do 2 or 3 times and then repeat on the other side.

If sitting with legs crossed (right over left), arms by your side.  Inhale to lengthen your spine as if you up against an imaginary wall, exhale to flex spine forward, inhale to stay (sending breath wide into the back and sides of your rib cage), and exhale, contract your abdominals stacking your spine up one vertebra at a time as if you were gluing yourself back up against that imaginary wall.  Switch legs and repeat.

Stretch hip flexor muscles.  Standing up, feet hip-width distance apart.  Flex right leg and grab your right ankle/foot.  Stay for a couple of breaths (if you’re losing your balance, try inhaling wide to the back and sides of your rib cage, exhale, contracting your abdominals and try to maintain that connection during your next inhale).

Stretch neck.  Standing up, tilt head to right (right ear to right shoulder) for a couple of breaths.  Repeat on other side.  Flex cervical spine forward (chin to chest) for a couple of breaths.  Take hands and place behind head and press head into hands for a couple of breaths.

Lastly, feet together, taking a nice deep breath by inhaling as you cross your arms in front of your body, bringing them up and over your head (crossing them) and then exhale, bringing them back down by your side.  Do this 2 or 3 times.

End class by thanking them, telling them they did a great job, to breathe deep, stand stall (think keeping your shoulders in your back pocket), eat healthily, drink lots of water and enjoy the rest of their day.

Sample Overview: Week 2
Continue to talk about breathing and pelvic placement. Beginner mat Pilates practice.  *Possibly give them copies of the breathing and pelvic placement handout provided by STOTT PILATES.

Warm-Up (See Page 1 for Warm-Up Instructions)

Exercises
Ab Prep
Breast Stroke Prep 123
Shell Stretch
The Hundred (modified—head up or down, feet tabletop or on mat)
Half Roll Back
The Roll-Up (modified and full)
One-Leg Circle (modified with bent legs if need be)
Spine Twist (modified with bent or crossed legs)
Rolling Like a Ball (prep and full)
Single-Leg Stretch
Obliques
Heel Squeeze Prone
One-Leg Kick Prep
Breast Stroke
Swan Dive Prep
Swimming Prep
Shell Stretch
Push-Up (prep or full)
Cool-Down

Sample Overview: Week 3
Beginner mat Pilates practice.
Hand out a picture and explanation of the abdominal muscles (showing rectus abdominus, external and internal obliques, transverse abdominus and quadratus lumborum).  Go over each muscle explaining where it is, what its action is and how they all work together to stabilize the torso, with emphasis on the transverse abdominus.

Warm-Up (See Page 1 for Warm-Up Instructions)

Exercises
Ab Prep
Breast Stroke Prep 123
Shell Stretch
The Hundred (modified—head up or down, feet tabletop or on mat)
Half Roll Back
The Roll-Up (modified and full)
One-Leg Circle (modify with bent legs if need be)
Spine Twist (modify with bent or crossed legs)
Rolling Like a Ball (prep and full)
Single-Leg Stretch
Obliques
Double-Leg Stretch
Scissors
Shoulder Bridge Prep
Heel Squeeze Prone
One-Leg Kick Prep
Breast Stroke
Swan Dive Prep
Swimming Prep
Shell Stretch
Side-Bend Prep
Push-Up (prep or full)
Cool-Down

Sample Overview: Week 4
Explanation of basic principles 3, 4 and 5: (rib cage placement, shoulder girdle stabilization and head and neck placement).  Possibly provide them with copies of STOTT PILATES basic principles 3, 4 and 5. Beginner mat Pilates practice.

Warm-Up (See Page 1 for Warm-Up Instructions)

Exercises
Ab Prep
Breast Stroke Prep 123
Shell Stretch
The Hundred (modified—head up or down, feet tabletop or on mat)
Half Roll Back
The Roll-Up (modified and full)
One-Leg Circle (modify with bent legs if need be)
Spine Twist (modify with bent or crossed legs)
Rolling Like a Ball (prep and full)
Single-Leg Stretch
Obliques
Double-Leg Stretch
Scissors
Shoulder Bridge Prep
Roll Over Prep
Heel Squeeze Prone
One-Leg Kick Prep
Breast Stroke
Shell Stretch
Saw
Single-Leg Extension
Swan Dive Prep
Swimming Prep
Side Bend Prep
Push-Up (prep or full)
Cool-Down

Sample Overview: Week 5
Beginner mat Pilates practice.  **New to this year is a homework assignment.  The students are asked to Google Pilates to find out what it is, where it originated from, and what are the benefits.

Warm-Up (See Page 1 for Warm-Up Instructions, minus the Toe Taps)
Exercises
*Ab Prep
Breast Stroke Prep 123
Shell Stretch
*The Hundred (modified—head up or down, feet tabletop or on mat)
*Half Roll Back
*The Roll-Up (modified and/or full)
One-Leg Circle (modify with bent legs if need be)
*Spine Twist (modify with bent or crossed legs)
*Rolling Like a Ball (prep and full)
*Single-Leg Stretch
*Obliques
*Double-Leg Stretch
Scissors
Shoulder Bridge Prep
Roll Over Prep
Heel Squeeze Prone
One-Leg Kick Prep
Breast Stroke
Shell Stretch
*Saw
Side Kick
*Side Leg Series 12
Single-Leg Extension
Swan Dive Prep
Swimming Prep
Side Bend Prep
Push-Up (prep or full)
Cool-Down

Sample Overview: Week 6
Beginner mat Pilates practice.

Warm-Up (See Page 1 for Warm-up Instructions, minus the Toe Taps)

Exercises
*Ab Prep
Breast Stroke Prep 123
Shell Stretch
*The Hundred (modified—head up or down, feet tabletop or on mat)
*Half Roll Back
*The Roll-Up (modified and/or full)
One Leg Circle (modify with bent legs if need be)
*Spine Twist (modify with bent or crossed legs)
*Rolling Like a Ball (prep and full)
*Single-Leg Stretch
*Obliques
*Double-Leg Stretch
Scissors
Shoulder Bridge Prep
Roll Over Prep
Heel Squeeze Prone
One-Leg Kick Prep
Breast Stroke
Shell Stretch
*Saw
*Neck Pull Prep
*Obliques Roll Back
Side Kick
*Side Leg Series 1234
*Spine Stretch Forward
Single-Leg Extension
Swan Dive Prep
Swimming Prep
Side Bend Prep
Push-Up (prep or full)
Cool-Down

Sample Overview: Week 7
Beginner mat Pilates with introduction of intermediate exercises and transitions.

Warm-Up (See Page 1for Warm-Up Instructions, minus the Toe Taps)

Exercises
*Ab Prep
Breast Stroke Prep 123
Shell Stretch
*The Hundred (modified—head up or down, feet tabletop or on mat)
*Half Roll Back
*The Roll-Up (modified and/or full)
One-Leg Circle (modify with bent legs if need be)
*Spine Twist (modify with bent or crossed legs)
*Rolling Like a Ball (prep and full)
*Single-Leg Stretch
*Obliques
*Double-Leg Stretch
Scissors
Shoulder Bridge Prep (show full)
Roll Over Prep (show full)
Heel Squeeze Prone
One-Leg Kick Prep (show full)
Breast Stroke
Shell Stretch
*Saw
*Neck Pull Prep (show full)
Obliques Roll Back
Side Kick
*Side Leg Series 12345
Spine Stretch Forward
Teaser Prep
Single-Leg Extension
Swan Dive Prep (introduce a modified full—for instance: start out with prep then go to rocking, and then go to rock and catch)
Swimming Prep (introduce full—start out with prep then go to full)
Leg Pull Front Prep
Side Bend Prep (show full)
Push-Up (prep or full—show both)
Cool-Down

Sample Overview: Week 8
Intermediate mat Pilates practice.

Warm-Up (See Page 1 for Warm-Up Instructions, minus the Toe Taps)

Exercises
Ab Prep
Breast Stroke Prep 123
Shell Stretch
The Hundred (modified—head up or down, feet tabletop or on mat)
Half Roll Back
The Roll-Up (modified and/or full)
One-Leg Circle (modify with bent legs if need be)
Spine Twist (modify with bent or crossed legs)
Rolling Like a Ball (prep and full)
Single-Leg Stretch
Obliques
Double-Leg Stretch
Scissors
Shoulder Bridge Prep (show full)
Roll Over Prep (show full)
Heel Squeeze Prone
One-Leg Kick Prep (show full)
Breast Stroke
Shell Stretch
Saw
Neck Pull Prep (show full)
Obliques Roll Back
Side Kick
Side Leg Series 12345
Spine Stretch Forward
Teaser Prep (show full)
Single-Leg Extension
Swan Dive Prep (introduce a modified full—for instance: start out with prep then go to rocking, and then go to rock and catch)
Swimming Prep (show full—start out with prep then go to full)
Leg Pull Front Prep (show full and let class try)
Seal
Side Bend Prep (show full)
Push-Up (prep or full—show both)
Cool-Down

Sample Overview: Week 9
Intermediate mat Pilates practice and pass out surveys.  Survey results have been positive.

Warm-Up (See Page 1 for Warm-Up Instructions, minus the Toe Taps)

Exercises
Ab Prep
Breast Stroke Prep 123
Shell Stretch
The Hundred (modified—head up or down, feet tabletop or on mat)
Half Roll Back
The Roll-Up (modified and/or full)
One-Leg Circle (modify with bent legs if need be)
Spine Twist (modify with bent or crossed legs)
Rolling Like a Ball (prep and full)
Single-Leg Stretch
Obliques
Double-Leg Stretch
Scissors
Shoulder Bridge Prep (show full)
Roll Over Prep (show full)
Heel Squeeze Prone
One-Leg Kick Prep (show full)
Breast Stroke
Shell Stretch
Saw
Neck Pull Prep (show full)
Obliques Roll Back
Side Kick
Side Leg Series 12345
Double-Leg Kick
Spine Stretch Forward
Teaser Prep (show full)
Single-Leg Extension
Swan Dive Prep (introduce a modified full—for instance: start out with prep then go to rocking, and then go to rock and catch)
Swimming Prep (show full—start out with prep then go to full)
Leg Pull Front Prep (show full and let class try)
Seal
Side Bend Prep (show full)
Push-Up (prep or full—show both)
Cool-Down

Notes and Observations

I have learned that it works best to sprinkle the five basic principles in as we go, rather than hit them with them all at once.  Motivating some high school students can be challenging at times so keeping them moving without too much talking is always good.

Observation and surveys show that providing copies of the basic principles is only somewhat helpful.  Students do better with practice and continued reminders.  I found that providing copies of things can be a waste of paper.

*During weeks 5, 6 and 7, I bring in my fitness circles, weighted balls and flex bands to show them.  I don’t have enough for the entire class so it’s more just for fun and to mix it up.  We incorporate them into some of the exercises. I have put an asterisk next to those exercises. Surveys and observation have also shown that they get bored with doing the same exercises every time we meet, so it’s best to mix it up as much as possible. 
Coming this quarter—stability balls!

When they turn their homework in, it is a good time to review and also talk about some of the equipment that is used in Pilates (reformer, Cadillac, etc…)