Michele Olson, PhD, FACSM, professor of exercise science at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama, and Cherie Wells, lecturer in physiotherapy and clinical education coordinator at the University of Western Sydney in Penrith, Australia, both lead investigators of multiple Pilates studies, offer the following research-based practical tips on what mind-body fitness professionals should emphasize to maximize Pilates benefits for clients:
Learning to teach multilevel Pilates mat classes can challenge even the most seasoned pros because we have to master so many specific movements and breathing patterns.
To simplify things, I devised the PESTT protocol—five tips for developing a plan that uses specific cuing and demonstrating techniques to keep classes challenging, engaging and safe at every level.
Over my 40 years of teaching, I have come to deeply appreciate the innate intelligence of the body. I have learned to listen to its messages. Out of this appreciation and listening I have developed the 3-Core BodyMapping Perspective
Using an easy-to-remember word as a “checklist” is a fun way to set up your client for success. Here are the six steps I go through when teaching the Pilates repertoire. I’ve found this checklist covers it all–from fundamentals to higher-level exercises.
Many exercises in the Pilates repertoire involve thoughtful and calculated initiation before you even begin the movement. Can’t feel the muscle focus? Don’t understand the objective? Then you’re cheating! The art of providing proper cues to clients is crucial to their success. Let’s explore a few exercises specific to the reformer and share ideas on how best to “tell a story” using a variety of cuing avenues.
“It is the spirit that builds the body.” This quote from 18th century German poet Friedrich Schiller was displayed–in its original language–in Joseph Pilates’ New York studio for more than 50 years.
How often have you given a cue and had a client respond, “Oh, now it makes sense!” or “Wow, that feels totally different!” or of course my favorite, “No one has ever told me that!” A well-directed cue that hits the mark can bring about a change immediately.
What is the best way to communicate with clients? Begin by recognizing primary sensory modalities, and incorporate this knowledge into your cuing.
Tailor your cues to your clients' preferred methods of learning.
IDEA Fitness Journal