Forum / Let's Discuss! / Mat Apprentice , session 7 Article Question.

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On: November 19, 2013 10:41 AM
Casey and Jen, I had this question come up as I was reading today while studying your comments and articles in the Core Connection. Could I ask you to elaborate on the connection you are drawing about the comment I am pasting below. Im not following the Reformer connection. " So next time you start your client with the hundreds on the reformer with most or all of the springs—think again! The core does not bring you into movement. It stabilizes and hugs the skeleton. It protects the skeleton for movement." I'm thinking core activation is coming from developing a smooth breathing pattern with your diaphragm in the body , providing health and better mobility to the body. This way the core and breath linked together is the key to firing the core in movement?... lets talk :) Thank you! btw Loving teaching and practicing . Thank you for everything. Laura Bohon Chattanoga, TN
On: November 20, 2013 05:52 AM
Hi Laura! It is so great to hear from you! This is a really great question that I will try to answer in two parts.... First things first, you are absolutely correct. The core muscles and their ease in activation are absolutely connected to our breath connection. The transverse abs, pelvic floor, multifidi, and psoas all help to create a roomy canister in the torso for the respiratory diaphragm to move freely and easily within. This synergistic dynamic helps to move and milk the musculature (via the fascia) into innervation and activation. And 100's, a breath based exercise can (if done with a different baseline intent) help people stay connected to their core activation while experimenting with sustained breath patterning. Our mentor Marie Jose teaches the "Inner 100". This is where you activate your core connections (PF, TA, Multifi, Psoas) in a supine, seated, or prone positioning, then go into the 100s breath and see how many breath cycles you can keep that starting connection. This is so much harder than it sounds. And no equipment needed! Now on the the second part. The quote from the article. In many schools of Pilates reformer work, it is widely believed that the stronger you are in your "core", the more weight tension you should apply to equipment to challenge exercises like 100's. But we have to remember the movement qualities that the true core muscles like to have around for actual activation. Those are: tension free breath, neutral boney alignment, and little to no resistance. There in lies the rub. If you bring the body into an ab curl with all the springs on the reformer, then you have exited the core body, and have entered into the global musculature. There is simply too much weight tension to have to deal with. And also the ab curl does activate the outer abdominal muscles to sustain that positioning. Which, in and of itself is not a bad thing. Its just a different animal than innervating and activating the true core. I hope this help to clear up any confusion! Keep the questions coming, and I hope to see you soon Laura! Much Love, Casey
On: November 20, 2013 06:24 AM
Love it. Thank you. In conjunction to using the breath and maintaining the inner 100. How do I get more mature (future)clients who are mostly comfortable sitting or laying on the cadillac to find their core connection in sitting if the cadillac in our studio is not available? So... In sitting Position: I would be wanting to look for some of the same body indications on the client that they are not gripping or diffusing tension in order to be A) neutral Spine, and B) Have their core connection happening in the TA. , is this way off base? Getting into small movements from here? perhaps using a sitting box on a reformer , ect with lots of modifications to exercises. ? ( I thought of these question bc I have a friend in her 60's who is beautifully fit bc of her cardio exercise, but is in need of flexibility, core strength, and body awareness. And I would love to develop options for her to work in her body in those areas via Pilates although lying on low surfaces is difficult for her.) I would enjoy do more digging with this question perhaps you could recommend some extra reading? Much Appreciated !! Laura
On: November 29, 2013 07:29 AM
Again, great questions Laura! I regularly use the sitting box either on the reformer, or even on the floor to help all of my clients with the seated position. And honestly, you can even just use a chair or bench that is already in the studio to help with this posture education. This might even prove to be some of the most useful work you can do for clients since people spend most of their time in this positioning! And you are correct, the first thing you would want to check for, and negotiate with, is a neutral seated position of the pelvis. This means you will want them right on top of their sitting bones. I like to call them the feet of the seat! This helps the client to remember that this is where they are supposed to park themselves to maintain the alignment outside of the studio. From there I look for appropriate primary and secondary curves of the spine so that turning on the core musculature will be an easier feat. I find that this seated position is the perfect place to work on and cue the core via the multifidus. When this contraction gets brought to the table it brings with it the pelvic floor and TA. It is a wonderfully efficient method to stimulate the whole of the core system. From here the sky is the limit movement wise. You can do seated arm work, inner 100's, seated mermaid, tons of options! Then, when they gain more control and mobility, they can start to work with the Wunda Chair which is one of the best pieces of equipment to challenge the seated position. I hope this helps with your friend, and any person who needs a little work on these essential skills! Much Love, Casey
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