When I started my Pilates journey I was a certified personal trainer who had just discovered that I really loved being part of peoples’ health and fitness journey. Very early in my fitness career I found myself feeling like I didn’t know enough. I found myself hungry to learn more about movement and how the body worked so I could help educate others on how to use movement as a tool in their health care system. When I stumbled upon Pilates I was introduced to an amazing world of educated instructors who inspired me, who taught me Pilates exercises and most importantly taught me the fundamental concepts of movement and how to start using those fundamentals to create efficient movement and balance in my body (and eventually my clients bodies).
I realize that not all fitness instructors want to teach Pilates but I truly believe that if fitness instructors would take some time to study Pilates in their own body and learn just some of the basic movement concepts we teach in Pilates they would find themselves having a whole new toolbox to teach whatever type of movement or class that they teach. That toolbox of being able to teach safe, effective movement would create less injuries, more retention( ie clients sticking with it!) and overall happier clients.
Just as an example here are a couple of fundamental Pilates concepts and some insight into how incorporating these into a body can affect just about any type of movement:
- Core Engagement : Learning how to properly engage your deep abdominal muscles (transverse abdominus) and how to initiate body movement from this engagement is a skill that so many people have not been taught to do. Even if they’ve read about it or think they know how to do it…if they haven’t practiced it on a regular basis while doing a variety of movements they are probably not doing it! So many people think if they do a typical “ab” exercise like a crunch or a sit up enough times that will strengthen their core…. this is usually not the case. As a movement instructor just being able to teach and cue your clients on how to find this engagement can completely transform how they move and how their body feels!!
- Body Alignment: Our bodies are so amazing and are designed to work most efficiently when in alignment. Our bones when in alignment are designed to give us a support system that allows our muscles to work in a balanced, efficient way. Unfortunately, most of us fall into poor posture and poor alignment patterns and we often don’t even realize it. And even when we realize it we don’t know how to bring ourselves into alignment and what it should feel like. Having a fitness instructor who can gives you cues on how to bring yourself into alignment and how to move in alignment will help create balance in your body, prevent injuries and help you get the most out of every exercise and movement you do.
Being able to teach movement and incorporate teaching skills like proper core engagement and body alignment is not necessarily an easy thing to do. As an instructor it takes not only knowing the concepts but also knowing how to use your words and your physical cues to best guide your clients. And just like it takes practice to learn how to do those skills in your body -it takes practice as an instructor to learn how to incorporate that teaching into every workout or session you are instructing.
If you are a fitness instructor who is looking to learn more I would love to hear from you. As a Pilates teaching studio we offer lots of options designed to help teachers at all levels and experience expand their movement knowledge. I believe in the power of mindful, educated movement and want to help as many people as possible spread that amazingness with others!!!!