Happy Holidays to All!
So I have to tell all of you that I am totally geeked to be a Pilates Trainer right now! After much blood, sweat and tears about growing the studio over the last few years I was able to finally take a vacation last month (the first in about 6 or 7 years). I think it did some good because after I returned a bunch of new mat class clients jumped on the Pilates bandwagon. It is so weird to have a class full of new people in December!
Since this boom of new people, I thought I'd go ahead and clarify the infamous phrase that I use a thousand times a day.....your point of control. Again, I've taken for granted that my "normal" verbage isn't so normal to my newbies. Take for example the exercise "the hundreds". After I have the client prepare the legs up to the ceiling I usually give the cue "if you are able to advance this exercise, please lower your legs to your point of control". Huh? What's the mean? What's my point of control?
I generally use the imprinted spine when the legs are up in the air (a gently flattened back and pelvis). I tell the client that their "point of control" means to lower the legs down to just that point before you loose that gentle flatness and the back wants to arch and take over the movement. Core work = ab work. Not back strain work. Someones point of control could be lowering the legs a few inches to maybe 45 degrees towards the floor. Since everyone's spine and pelvis sits differently and everyone's flexibility and strength is different, each client will have a different point of control. My super duper lordotic, sway back, duck booty doesn't allow me to do lower my legs to far down in my "hundreds" position when doing matwork. I'm the couple of inches down girl. When I actually get a chance to practice what I preach (Pilates 2-3 times a week) I can get those legs lower to the floor. Until that day, the higher the legs stay to the ceiling the easier it is to keep it in the abs and protect the back from pain. This "point of control" concept can apply to exercises like the hundreds, double leg stretch, double straight leg stretch and bicycle.
Remember, Pilates is all about core strength and in order to achieve this all the exercises should be executed with precision and accuracy. It's not about competing with your mat class neighbor.....even though those advanced clients are quite impressive!