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Let's say I've got a new client who is fit, a dancer, gymnast, martial artist, personal trainer, aerobics instructor.
Even though Pilates is about stabilizing the core first and then moving out from there, or coming from the inside out, you can teach from the outside in to trigger and train the core into its proper engagement.
Here is a pattern I like to teach, where I might be headed to the reformer, but I want to make some smaller connections first.
I call this my low chair.
When you put in a mirror you internalize the corrective nature of the exercise.
This is called the "foot/ankle" and the ball of foot and base of knee just below the knee cap are your two anchor points. The spring tension is not for resistance, but in order to more clearly sense alignement. With the mirror, the eyes reinforce the feeling of straight through the ankle.
Dorsi flexion/press through your heel and plantar flexion/press through the ball of your foot. Close anchors (the ball of foot to knee is not very far apart in the body), tension to make alignment more perceptable. Stay in plane as you point and flex your foot.
Pumping. The closer you sit to the front edge the better. In these shots the talent could move much further forward, to the point of the heels eventually being directly below your trunk.
Like this.Not like this.
both springs on high selects the maximum support the chair has to give. (the pedal supports the most weight)
So what's wrong with this picture? Out of range. Too big a reach. Accute angle on the knee. How do you fix that?
block the pedal to reduce the range
The "up/down" exercise. Inhale up, exhale down. Keep the line straight through the ankle, hips square, innner thighs closing like fine scizzors, clawing the top foot directly towards the bottom foot's ball, to create tension that triggers more uniform usage. To make it harder:
I like to anchor diagonally so if right foot is down long, that means left hand anchors diagonally, one arm up, inhale up exhale down.
Then no hands.
Shoulders well worn. Shoulder sliding off. (bad)
So, the progression of exercises, foot ankle, pumping, and the up/down, gets less and less anchored, always forcing the issue of maintaining alignment through the ankle. from the hip down through the ball of the foot.
These efforts are usually familiar to dancers as demi point and martial artists as front snap kick.
Now, to do the same thing through the wrists that we just did through the ankle.
This alignment through the wrist.Not this.
This. Not this.
When you find what's aligned through the wrist, that feeds back up into the engagement of the shoulder, just like alignment through the ankle worked its way to the hips.
After this, I'd do some leg circles on the cadillac before going to the reformer. The load time on this file shows as 68 seconds. Did you have to wait too long?
What is the point of this session? What role do the springs play?