March MATness Day 27: Boomerang

I can’t help but geek out over Boomerang.  If anything is more my passion than Pilates, it’s MOVEMENT in general.  Boomerang is such a great movement integration exercise.  It’s one of the few in Pilates’ original mat work that explicitly calls for a sequence of previous exercises in a choreographed movement.  Spine Stretch, Rollover, Teaser. All mashed together, yet beautifully highlighted.

Photo by Markus Spiske freeforcommercialuse.net from Pexels

That’s where today’s cue comes in.  Break it down to the building blocks.  Any time you create a movement sequence for a client to work through – and I LOVE to do this for clients – it is really helpful to start with the pieces and string them together for a final few reps of pure flowing movement.  You can refer to earlier exercises in the class if you’ve done a piece of the sequence already, or you can do the exercises in order just before stacking them together to create a fluid a movement.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram (@worldisyourstudio) to find yours truly taking on the March MATness challenge day by day.  And sign up for our Cuesletter to get these cues sent directly to your inbox and be the first to hear about them!

Copyright © 2018, Cueing Theory, All rights reserved.

March MATness Day 3: Rollover

Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash

The Rollover.  Today’s cue is “u-turn.”  This has two applications for Rollover.  Firstly, and most obviously, when we are at the top of the inversion, our bodies should resemble the letter “U” laying on it’s side.  Legs parallel to both the floor and our thoracic and cervical spine that is largely flat on the mat with our abdominals scooping deeply to create and maintain the curve at the base of the “U.”

But the secondary meaning can be helpful for clients who are hesitant to come out of the inversion.  Guide clients as they retrace their steps on the way back down – ask them to actually do a “u-turn” at the top of the inversion and make it a fluid, flowing movement.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram (@worldisyourstudio) to find yours truly taking on the March MATness challenge day by day.  And sign up for our Cuesletter to get these cues sent directly to your inbox and be the first to hear about them!

Copyright © 2018, Cueing Theory, All rights reserved.

Flowing Pilates Exercises – As Easy as Riding a Bike

Rollup, Rolldown, Rollover.  How do we help clients flow these exercises?  What will help them see these as smooth, continuous movements?  Do you see them this way?

Let’s take a step back.  When performing these exercises, we can invoke images of diving up and over a beach ball, pumpkin, Pilates circle, [insert your favorite round object as space-holder here].  These cues get us the proper form on the end of the exercise where our spines are in the most flexion.  But, what about the rest of the movement?  Should it be staccato and choppy?  Does it have a clear starting and end point?  Well, maybe, but I’d argue that you can get more out of the exercise by making it a smooth, flowing, continuous movement.

So, how do we create this smooth, continuous flow and help clients see the segmental spine movement in these exercises as fluid?  I like the image of a pulley system.  The most recognizable example of this is a bike chain.  Have the client imagine that his or her entire body is the chain and it is continuously moving around the cogs of the bike (for those into cycling, you will most definitely take offense to me saying cog here – chain ring and cassette are the proper terms).  Each of the vertebrae is a link in the chain and the cogs take the place of the beach ball in our earlier discussions, maintaining space in the vertebrae as the client reaches the point of where the spine is in the most flexion, and then moves away as the direction of motion is reversed (backpedaling on the bike, in case anyone needs further imagery).  The chain is always in motion, either forwards or back, throughout the entire exercise, bringing rhythm and flow to these full body exercises.  You could even try flowing two of these exercises together: Rollover to Rollup and back again.

 

Copyright © 2017, Cueing Theory, All rights reserved.

Boo! Halloween and Isolating Thoracic Flexion

A seasonal visual today…I’m going to harken back to a previous post and update it for Halloween…because I’m sure your clients are begging for some Pilates images to go with their Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

Source: giphy.com

Remember that beach ball?  We were diving up and over it to maintain space in our vertebra as we isolate flexion in the thoracic spine.  Embrace the season and imagine instead a big, fat jack-o-lantern.  Check back to the beach ball post for all the juicy details, but for quick reference, use this one for Rollup, Standing Rolldown, and Spine Stretch.

Copyright © 2017, Cueing Theory, All rights reserved.