March MATness Day 17: Shoulder Bridge

More than halfway through March MATness!

Source: giphy.com

Today’s cue is all about getting into position to start the movement.  Now, if you’ve read the Shoulder Bridge instructions in Return to Life through Contrology by Joe Pilates and tried to wriggle into position the way he prescribes, you’ll know it’s a like trying to get into a pair of really tight jeans.  If it looks like your client is missing the boat on the setup, or is getting frustrated by the discomfort of it all, try a different approach.

Encourage your client to come into a traditional Pilates bridge first.  From there, come onto the tippy toes and walk the heels towards the sit bones.  This will cause the hips to raise and create space for the arms to find their place underneath the hips.  Once the hands are secured and comfortable, ask the client to begin to walk the feet away slightly.  Then comes the challenge – ask the client to put the heels back down on the floor without dropping the hips.

Even if this isn’t entirely attainable, the mental and muscular exercise of just having the intention of doing so, will help maintain muscular activation that will keep the client from “falling back” into the hands and dropping their weight entirely onto the hands.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram (@worldisyourstudio) to find yours truly taking on the March MATness challenge day by day.  And sign upfor 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.

Turn on the High Beams – Editing Out Transverse Movement

Here’s an imagery cue that works well in so many situations.  Supine, standing, even during movement.  It’s so versatile that you can probably use it about 5 different ways in 1 class.

Photo by Mikes Photos from Pexels

Headlights.  When your aim is to edit out transverse movement, this is the cue for you.  Think of headlights on a car.  Both shine in the same direction, straight ahead of the car.  You can’t disassociate the car from the headlights.  Where the car points, the headlights point.  And vice versa.

Imagine that the hips bones are mounted with headlights and just like a car, those headlights must shine directly ahead of the body.  Hip disassociation exercises lend themselves particularly well to this cue.  Leg Circles I, Shoulder Bridge, Bridging w single leg variations, Standing Balance I/II and others enjoy improved form and more benefits are reaped when this cue is used.  In supine, headlights shine on the ceiling directly above; in Standing Balance I, towards the wall or mirror just ahead; and Standing Balance II, the floor just below.

Feel free to play with this one and see which exercises it improves for your clients.  Often times introducing it towards the start of a class is a good idea because you can refer back to it with other exercises you didn’t even realize it would be helpful for!

 

Copyright © 2018, Cueing Theory, All Rights Reserved.