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Workshop #2337

Pilates for People of Size

1 hr 45 min - Workshop


Join Madeline Black in a workshop that addresses the potential issues of working with a person with a larger body. She introduces effective exercises to improve muscle strength while protecting the joints, and she adapts the Apparatus and Mat movements to maximize the benefits of Pilates. By focusing on what they can do instead of what they can't, you will help your client realize that moving is fun and enjoyable.


- Learn about the challenges of working with a larger body

- Learn how to give a basic assessment and how to develop a program that will keep them safe

- See how modifications and props can be used on the Mat and Apparatus so your client can experience the joy of movement

What You'll Need: Spine Corrector, Cadillac, Reformer w/Box, Mat, Wedge, Yoga Strap, Yoga Block, Pilates Arc, Knee Pad, Overball, Fitness Ball, Pilates Pole, Reformer Box, Theraband

About This Video

(Pace N/A)
Dec 11, 2015
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Chapter 1

What It's Like to Work with Someone Larger

So today we're seeing a more variety of body shapes and sizes coming into our Pilati studio, looking for what [inaudible] provides the healthy body, meaning people want to improve their posture, they want to get a stronger. And what we're experiencing now is larger people coming and they can be called obese. Some people are extremely heavy, so they're in the obese category. Some people are just large and some people are very tall. So we're talking about proportions in body sizes and weight of the Lens. So it's challenging for the [inaudible] equipment and the pilates teacher to work with this demographic of people.

So this workshop I called the abundant body, um, because I wished to, uh, change people's perspectives, uh, about their feelings around someone being a larger person. Not everyone is going to be the little skinny model that we see in the media today. It's, it's, they're usually not very healthy, uh, and it's just not realistic to whatever your genetics are. And, uh, your body, what feels good for your body, the healthy feeling. So you might be a large person, but that's normal and healthy for you. And that's okay. And that's why instead of saying that it's a category of obese or larger, overweight, uh, it's more that your body is just a larger, abundant body, a little more of a positive spin in terms of someone's emotion and psyche, uh, relating to their body. So we're here we're going to, uh, discuss what it's like to work with someone who's larger, a lot of issues around not only the equipment and mechanical things, but issues of what, how we could support these people so that we can be better teachers and give them a positive experience. Uh, give them the joy of movement that we all experience, uh, something that maybe they don't feel in their bodies as well and also how to feel movement. Um, so there's, it's a pretty complex, a lot of talking about this, um, more so than movement.

But we will move into looking at the apparatus and, and give you some tips on how we can adjust, uh, the weight of the body in comparison to the springs and all of that. So the challenge for, uh, holidays and a larger body, of course, it's just some physics of the longer lever and the weight of the limbs. Um, maybe the design of the apparatus is such that maybe that reformers not long enough or wide enough. So we have issues with our apparatus and then there's their physical, uh, condition that we have to take in to perspective. There's some people who are very large who are healthy and fit, you know, so just because they don't look like you're a [inaudible] dancer type body, they're strong, healthy, and move well. So with that group, maybe, perhaps it's more about adjusting their size in terms of the equipment and then how to counterbalance with the springs. On the other hand, if you have someone who is more in the realm of unhealthy and not fed, very deconditioned, also very large, becomes more of a challenge because of what their body is not able to do. So working with this clientele, I want to suggest that, that you really think about, I know we have to think, I can't do this and I can't do that. And that's gonna, you know, so instead of thinking about what they can't do, first and foremost, think about what it is they can do.

And so here's where your practice and studying this because you want to practice doing some of these adjustments that we're going to use with props on the equipment and also being really aware of your words that you use, um, that you're being supportive and also making them feel like you can move, you can do this. So get all the things in your head beforehand. I can't, they can't do this. Okay, I know they can't do this. And you know, and then just kind of shelved that and then only focus on those things because that will give them a real positive feedback and give them a sense of movement. So they have very specific and also very personal needs. Uh, and each person of course is unique in terms of what their needs are. So there's still the evaluation that needs to be done, you know, with the client that comes to you in your first session. All right? Don't be in a hurry to like get them moving. So the very first time they come into the studio, even if you're doing a class, you should try to speak to them. Don't let them just like jump into a class.

So you want to be able to do, uh, an evaluation and assessment. But nothing, I'm going to go through what that's gonna look like. Very simple. So we understand their history, right? Their health history. So, you know, with a larger person, how deconditioned are they? Do they have diabetes? Do they have a heart problem? You know, what are their joints like, you know, do they have a knee problem? Their back hurts. All of these considerations that we have to take into, um, thought in process in terms of developing your programming. So it's not so easy to just say, well, it's this format you're going to do for this person. So with this population, you really have to use your critical thinking skills and you have to, uh, be able to evaluate and then make a decision how you're going to design a program. You know, for this person, just for yourself when you first meet the person.

I also want you to be thinking about how you can be completely nonjudgmental. That person, uh, has to really feel that there's zero judgment against them because they're judged constantly. So that's a real deep, personal, uh, emotional part for them. And it's extremely difficult to walk into a Palladia studio for some of like that they're just, just the sheer fact that they walked in right is a huge step for them. So, you know, welcome them. Be Warm, nonjudgmental, and be authentic if you can't, um, you know, kind of only a little bit, but really, really be authentic to the person, really meet them. So there's a little more heightened awareness. You need to have them.

Maybe just somebody who you're used to working with, you can get a little more relaxed with, but be really conscious about supporting them. Uh, through that, we had a, um, just actually just before I came down here, we had a new client come in and, uh, she was sitting, we have a little sitting area and she's brand new. She has a form that she supposed to be filling out. And, and I happened to come by the studio to pick something up so I wasn't even supposed to be there. And she's sitting there and I can hear a class going on in the studio, like we have these like clear walls. So I could see there was activity and you could hear a lot of, um, it was like a class, you know, someone was like, yeah, do it again and you know, this, Rah Rah, you know, this kind of thing. And this woman was sitting in this chair and she was holding the clipboard close to her chest like this, and she was looking down like this.

And so I walk in and I go, hello. I said, our, you're here for a session. You know? And I was trying, you know, and she's just like, literally it was like, yeah, I dunno. I, uh, I don't know. I think I'm going to leave. I think she was really panicking and I was like, oh, well are you to see, you know, lily and you know, and I looked at the schedule and that's who she was going to see. And so I sat down next to her and we started talking and, and what was frightening her were three of the teachers. They were teachers in the other room practicing a reform and advanced reformer class. They were practicing because they were about to teach, you know, a new series in this class.

So I looked in and I realized they were the teachers in, they're not clients. So I had to explain to her, no, no, no, no. I said, she said they're going to beat me up and they're gonna yell at me like that. Is that what it's, you know, she was terrified and I said, no, actually. I said, they're, they're just practicing. Those are the, they're teachers. Then she's like, oh, they can do that to me. I mean, so I had a lot of talking to her about, no, what we're going to do is when you meet Lily, she's actually going to be interviewing you. She's going to be looking at your movement skills.

She's going to start you very slowly. We have to get to know you to know what's best for you and you're not doing a class, you know? So she eventually calmed down and then she, and then finally I said, um, and you can take your shoes off now, meaning, you know, she wasn't. And she said, well, I said, yeah, we actually, you know, take your shoes. I said, okay. And she took her shoes off and I kind of broke the ice. So it was really, that first meeting was extremely important and now she's on the road to coming in more regularly. So I really encouraged that you really be conscious about how you meet because some of the, some of the people are a little terrified and intimidated, especially if there are a lot of people in your space. You know, if somebody walks in and people are working out and you know, maybe they're, you know, more athletic looking and you know, and all of a sudden they're like, oh no. So, um, it's really important to have that awareness. And also, I just want to say is you need to practice just total acceptance, right? It's another person, heart to heart and you're completely accepting.

And that's how I felt with this woman. And I was just had total acceptance for who she was and was happy that she was there to start moving. You want to begin now starting to build a profile on this person when you know you can write it out, you know, in a form or just make a note to yourself, but you want to, as you're working with a person, you know, first time, second time you start to build this personal profile of them. Um, and you want to be able to not only have like their history of their injuries, but I would also suggest that, you know, at some point trying to figure out maybe a relationship to food for them because if the person is overweight and they may have come in looking to lose weight and losing weight is, you know, a more complex and that is not our expertise. You know, we're, we're not nutritionists. Uh, you know, we teach velocities and what, what the Polonius is gonna do for them, of course, is to give them the strength in their joints and their spine in order to do more exercise to go walking more. Right. So they need to do some cardiovascular work even if they, you know, but if their joints are hurting, their back's hurting, they're not to want to move.

So we're giving them the gift of pulling themselves a little bit together and the joints and getting stronger so that they can actually go out and do more activity like hiking or walking, uh, to help burn a little bit more of the calories. And food is an important issue. I would bring it up. What if the person's goals like we have on our form, you want to ask them? I always ask for five goals from someone to write down five goals. And it's so interesting to watch someone fill up five goals because sometimes somebody writes one, you know, I want to be slimmer.

That's it. They won't. They and I, I actually, when I sit and talk to them, I actually say, okay, you only have one goal. You have any other, you know, desires. Well, you know, I have pain, I would like to get rid, you know? So yeah, I, you know, I get them to do five. And some people, it's interesting, they write five and maybe six and maybe seven. So it tells you a lot about the person's psyche. You know, if they fill out all five and they're all really good goals. Or if someone writes, you know, I want to save the world, you might be like, okay, well we're actually here to do physical movement, you know, but it gives you an insight into their psyche to be looking at what their goals are, you know, and how many they give you. So, and if I have a client who says, I want to lose weight, you know, and they're an abundant body, then you know, and on our form also says, you know, how do you describe your eating habits? So we have that in our intake form for everyone. So every client fills that out. So you give a little idea of what do you eat, what do you skip a meal and do you have breakfast? Do you have, you know, what do you generally, what's your, you know, we even have on our form how much alcohol you drink. And in our area, in wine country, that's, you know, oh yeah, two glasses of wine a day. Well, okay, that's normal. But you know, someone's trying to lose weight, you gotta Kinda cut the sugar out. Right. So, so if it comes up, I would say, you know, to try to get a perspective of what their food, what their relationship to food is. You know, is it an emotional relationship?

You know, you start to learn that over time. Not that we're going to guide them so much, but if they're interested, you know, I might suggest that they speak. So this is where you refer out if you know a new good nutritionists or have them speak to someone who, who is about diets so that we can stay within our scope of practice. Really a medical clearance. I think if you're starting to look at women who come in and they're 180 to 350 pounds, uh, I highly recommend for your own liability.

And also just to know also for the doctor that it is okay for them to start doing exercise. So I would ask for a medical clearance. Again on our form, we have a, for all the clients, regardless of who who they are, we say that, um, you know, we suggest that you get a medical clearance, you know, to start a new exercise program and assign the client signs that saying that they've been told that, not that I actually have the clearance, but I have some people that I actually say, you know, I think you need to speak to the doctor and we would like to have that document that you're cleared, you know, to do a new form of exercise. Now we're not doing, you know, super cardio in the Palladia so it's not as much of an issue in terms of the heart, but there's still some things we need to know that, that we may not know. You know about the diabetic or you know, they have some kind of issue that we need to be really alerted to so we can support them on that. And men too. So men we're talking about like if you have a man just like 200, 400 pounds. So like we're that big, that end again, get a medical clearance. Okay.

So then another really important piece on the evaluation is to um, evaluate their tolerance of exercise. Right? So generally people who are really deconditioned and have abundant bodies have a very low tolerance for exercise. So how do we do that? How do we, um, well first of all is also interviewing them. You know, asking them what do they do on a normal basis, you know, so nothing, you know, I can't walk cause my knee hurts, you know, I in you can tell they can't sit and stand. This is where the assessment comes into play. So they had generally have a low tolerance.

So you don't want to start like moving them through real fast. Any kind of like routine. And I would keep it to, you know, some really basic fundamentals. And a few resistance work and then see how they feel, you know, the next time they come in and say, okay, how was that? Cause there's a little process of elimination we need to do. So if you do too much, you're not gonna be able to say, hmm, that extra set of bridges we did or you know, this or that really aggravated the knee or their hamstring is too sore, they got too tight or so we don't know how they're gonna react.

So I would just be on the conservative side and know that they have a lower tolerance for exercise and we're going to try to bring, bring up that level to a higher tolerance. And of course in our work, what we do and is a lot of touching, right when we're queuing, we, you know, tap here or point here. So we do touch in plaudits and uh, with this person, they may not be that comfortable with being touched and then also with their body. You know, we, where do we normally touch when we're in a workshop? Yeah, we're doing a lot of this. Okay. So my suggestion is first always ask permission to touch. Okay. And then touch the more distantly.

So like arrest and arm don't be going for their core, which is what we're really used to doing. Eventually until you start getting more comfortable with the person and you can see how there, now what I asked them to do is to actually touch themselves in the trunk. So you could do that so you can have them place their hands in the front of their pelvis, you know, at the lower sternum, something, you know, have them do that. And then, but again, you guide them a little bit more distantly. I think it's, it just feels safer and you want to develop trust with them that, that you're confident in what you're doing and that you're there to help them. You're not there to make them feel uncomfortable or embarrassed or anything like that.

Chapter 2

Breaking Self-Creating Barriers

You have to be aware that people have very deep rooted emotional experience in the past, probably from childhood about exercise. You know, if you're a been a heavy person your whole life as a child growing up in school.

I mean, just think about the gym in school and the playground and not being able to be as physical as some of the other kids are being teased. So there's this, uh, emotion around their early experience with exercise. So it's probably, you know, they hate it. Maybe, you know, because of this emotion that they had been through being judged so much and perhaps not being able to do as well with other kids. You know, like peer pressure can't run as fast. I can't climb this. Or, or maybe they just actually just hate to exercise. So be aware of that connection to their emotion behind this is where I think Palazzos is a really great for that because it's not the thing we would have had as a child, you know, in their environment. It's more usually the gym, you know, kickball, running, soccer, you know, this type of thing. And so with the Polonius, I think it's a good entry to them to start to shift their perspective about exercise and actually come to learn to love, to move and to love their bodies a little more. We want to reinforce that movement. Moving your body is fun and enjoyable, not torture. And you know that it's miserable that you, it's something I have to do.

It should be something I want to do because it feels good. That's, that's the energy shift we want to do. For someone who has that kind of a low tolerance, negative feeling about exercise, I think that's more important than the actual exercises that you're doing. So how do we do that? Well, we make them feel successful, right? So you choose things that they again can do. And also you challenge them a little bit because they need to know, oh, that I don't know if I can do that.

And then they do it and then they're like, wow, I could do that. So, and then it becomes exciting. So there's, so we have, so what you have to do when you're working with a person is to find out what would be a challenge but not a defeat. Yeah. So choosing your exercises carefully, knowing that you can challenge them and that they're gonna succeed. So w we'll be trying to work with that a little bit. And you know, uh, so by doing that we want to figure out what motivates the person, right? What motivates this person. We each have like a different motivation. Some people like I described, would have a motivation of looking at someone saying, Oh, you want me to kneel on that carriage and push back and put my weight on my arms. They can knee stretch, right? Something that just cat, right you want, I dunno if I can do that like that. If that's a challenge or you know, that person might be like, no problem. All right.

So that's not so much of a challenge and not so interesting. You know, what's the motivation for someone? Well the fact is that I can climb 10 sets of stairs, you know, steps up the stairs. So that's exciting. Or, or that's not motivating to me. I don't care if I do 10 you say I'm more interested in, you know, having a nice stretchy feel that that's motivation for me. I have some clients like that, right? They'd rather go for like, oh that feels really good. That's my motivation. Not How many reps or you know, how high can I go or how hard this spring is. Like you don't have, right. Your clients are like, no, I want this to be harder.

That's their motivation for doing it. Some people are more like, no, that feels really good on my spine. I want to do that one to see that's their motivation. So each person's different. You have to, that's where getting to know them, you have to figure that out, you know, for them and see and you try, it's, it is all trial and error, but you pay attention to what their, like enthusiasm is after they've done the movement or you know, or if they feel a little defeated or oh that's okay, we'll do it again next week and you'll be better next week. Oh, I don't know if that's such a good motivation, you know? So that's where being really careful on what you're picking, you know, for, in terms of program designed for them, uh, is really important. So we want to keep the motivation in a positive light. Um, and then the big piece with, uh, with this population is teaching them to actually self reference in their own body. You know, so I'm in my body and I can reference my body, which means I can feel something. So a lot of times you, you know, they might be doing a movement and you can see that their hamstrings are working, their quadriceps are working, you can actually see, you know, it's happening and yet you say to them, wow, can you feel that? And they go, no, I don't. I don't, we have clients that say that any way. And you're like, how could you not feel that hamstring contracting goes, wow. You know, there's, we know what that feels like, but they don't necessarily, they don't have that reference. Right. So it's like, how do we get them to feel it? Well, have them touch themselves, right?

So when they feel that hamstring contracting, you know, they're like, oh, is that what that feels like? You know? So, you know, it's that kind of, oh, okay. You know, so then say, yeah, that's what a hamstring feels like when it's contracting. Most people will feel a stretch, you know, when they feel, you know, when they stretch out, that way they'll feel that as opposed to a muscle contraction. So it's a different field that's a different field. So you might say, well you know what a stretch feels like. Yeah, but this is what a muscle feels like when it's contracting. And I think the best way is to have them do their own touching. And another way to get into some self references. Um, this is uh, you know, the perceived exertion scale that's used usually in the, in the gym.

You know how, but I think we could use them too, even though we don't actually use that in our methods so much. And that's what instead of giving them like a, it's a one to 10 scale. I think originally the perceived scales one to 13 or something. I don't know why such an odd number, but, but if you just use one to 10 and so what you can say is one is sitting on the couch watching TV, that's a one K and a 10 is full out movement. Whatever that is for that person maybe full out is like walking across the parking lot and the grocery store, like that's full-out as opposed to running a marathon.

That might be full out for me. Right. But so what's full out for them? You know, just say whatever full-out movement is for you and you might want to say what would be the most exertion you, oh my God. You know, walking uphill. Okay, that's your 10 you say, so now they know, Oh I know what it feels like to sit in the couch and I know what walking up that hill that I do that it was really hard for me to do. That's my 10 so you might try to do a movement where you know you're perhaps doing a bridge, you know, and you say, now I want you to do is do it as a number three. So try to just do it. And so they try to do it as light as they possibly can, right? They just lift and come down and nothing really. And then say, okay, now we're gonna do the same movement again, do it as a six. What would that look like for you? What would be a six?

Or maybe they go up higher, right? Or maybe they move a little faster or maybe they hold it longer, right? If I hold the bridge longer, that's more of a six than a three. A three would be up and down, right? A six would be now hold it, hold it, wait till it feels like a six. Okay. And now come down. You see, so now they're like, wow, now see there's your challenge. So they challenge, oh my God, I could barely hold that. He goes, well that's your six, right? So this way, it's a couple of things. It's a, it's a challenge.

They have a goal and then they're learning what does it feel like? Remember Joseph Pilates, don't do five pounds a effort for a 10 pound movement quotes. So here we are teaching them this, the differences between when we want them to move in a three and when I want them to move in a six or maybe an eight. Yeah. So this is where teaching them how to perceive the exertion, uh, I think it's extremely helpful. And not only that, the, that idea that they're able to do a familiar movement as three and then make it a six, what does that do for them? They're in control, right? So now all of a sudden they're like, you mean I can control my body? I mean, that's a huge psychological piece for them because sometimes I think with the food and the overweight, it's like you feel out of control.

Like I can't control my weight and this is the just the way I am, you know? So it's, it's that idea of like, oh, I can feel my body and I'm in control of my body. Right? So those are two really big, uh, psychological, emotional pieces for them. And I think the scale really is a useful for that. So, uh, for, you know, it's the same for all people to, I'm not going to keep saying that because, uh, there's modifications we're going to do physical things we have to do and based on the size and the weight of the body. But in general, for every person, I think there's this deep kind of psychology that goes on anyway, no matter what your body type is like in terms of your relationship to the exercise. So, you know, all the exercise in the world is not going to create, you know, a longterm change. This is what [inaudible] is about. Change, lifetime change, not just, Oh, I've lost 50 pounds and like three months later, I'm now 60 pounds heavier than I was before. You know, so how do we, how do we create a longterm change, a lifestyle change, you know, for this person.

One is to introducing them to [inaudible] and making them of course, love it and want to keep doing it, you know? But also if we have to, um, or they do actually, they have to deal with their own personal, um, professional lifestyle and, and their social factors that lead to the weight gain, right? So it's their own relationship with themselves, with their work, with their family. What's the social life, you know, what, you know, if they are with a family that's eating, you know, fried chicken and French fries is their favorite meal, you know, you see, so it's a social effect that they have to, you know, take the time to actually look at that and see if they're to want to make this, if they want a longterm change. So it's not just the exercise, it's all those aspects. And again, that's where we can then be a source for them. Especially if you have your network near your studio. You have practitioners that you, you know, are good in terms of therapy or you know, nutrition and all of that, that you can give them a source, you know, if they don't already have one.

When you're working, uh, with the abundant body person, it's a person. So give them the space to, uh, open up a little bit to you to kind of share maybe, perhaps some issues they might be having in terms of like, I was just stating like in their life or in terms of food or, you know, so if you just, just be open to that possibility and just listen. You don't have to comment, you know, you just listen and you can just repeat, you know, I hear what you're saying. I understand that's really tough. And you know, you don't even have to comment, but just, just to create the space that they know they're being heard. You know, just by simply listening, we'll also kind of build into that confidence for them to continue on. There are barriers, uh, that people have, we all do resistance, we like to resist things or we want to avoid things. Yeah. So avoidance is not the answer, but it's your feels better to avoid any kind of barrier.

So what kinds of barriers that they might come up with? Right. And we, you know, I see this with the most clients to home programs. How many times do we all teach a home program to someone and then they never do it. They're not compliant. You know, I have one collide, I think I've done a whole program for her maybe three, four times. And I finally sit there and you know, I'm really done redoing this for you each time because you're actually not doing it. So why bother? You know, I don't know. How else did you know to get her to do that? So, but then they were like, well, I don't have the time. Ah, there's a barrier. Time management, right? That's one childcare. Um, you know, I don't have a babysitter and you know, kids, you know, you know, so that's another barrier. Could be childcare. Yeah. So if you don't want to do it, it's a self-creating barrier. So if you, if you really want to do something, she's saying you do it.

But I know the emotional part around that is that I do want to do it, blah. You know, so it's just being creative. If you're listening, right. If you're listening to them and they were telling you this and maybe the light, you know, softly make a suggestion, you know. Okay. Time management. So you, I understand you're under pressure at work and you have to sit at that desk in front of the computer. So here's the, why don't you set the timer on your computer or on your phone and for, you know, every hour, let the little bell go off to remind you to stand up and do a few squats, right? So you stand up, you know, hold the chair of the desk and you do 10 slow squats, walk around the room, sit down and go back to work. Or the thing goes off and you are still in your chair.

You stand up and you, you know, stretch your back, you know, show them something they can do, uh, at the desk or on the Cheddar. Hopefully they would get up out of the chair, you know, to do something. Um, there's this little, um, tiger claw movement I've taught people to do. If you're sitting at the desk and you're, you know, just cause you've been like this, so you can do this with me. You just reach out. So these are your claws. So you get that. You're going to grab something with your clause and you're going to pull back and squeeze your shoulder blades together and really bring that and bring your head back too. So really you're climbing something.

You gotta have a lot of tents. Yeah. And then relax it and go out again and then grab and pull to tightening. You see you've got your arm, your hands are tied to your tightening arm muscles. You feel that and then you're squeezing the shoulder blades together. Squeakies are, you could be eagle almost. And then relax.

Do it one more time and pull. Yeah. And then you can breathe out and just squeeze, right. And then relax. Now feel your back. Yeah, I mean, can imagine if you've been sitting like this so that, you know, that's some way that that's a little, when I took what, three minutes and just say, set a timer and do tiger claw or stand up and do a few squats throughout the day. It's not about exercise. And I try to tell the clients that too. It's not about that I have to do one hour or I have to do 45 minute workout, otherwise I'm not going to work out. You could do a five minute workout, you know, a little bit each day. So the time management thing, you can kind of nip that, you know, excuse me, but they actually need to be doing some movement every day, not just their one at one time a week or two times a week. Pilati session. They must do something every day. I think we all, I must do something every day, the analytical mind. So, even though they're a little voice in their heads going to say, oh, I really got to finish this last sentence, or I got to get this, you know, memo off, I gotta get this email off, just five minutes or three minutes, it's not going to be the end of hitting send, you know? Yeah. So that you say, no matter what, I'm just going to put that little brain that's talking to me that way.

Put it down, do this and then go back and hit send. Yeah. Yeah. It's hard to do, but that's a skill to teach. And this is where you're like becoming almost like a life coach, you know, in, in terms of encouraging them to stick with it, to be more compliant. Oh, another good one is, uh, you know, grocery shopping, right. So where do you park your car? Close. Really? I that's, you know, park the car, you know, cause we've heard this in the right.

Take the stairs. Well, I've suggested, uh, if the grocery store as well as, how about moving a little faster through the store, you know, instead of like strolling in and looking, you know, if you have a list and you know what, you know, go fast in the store, walk faster, grab that Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah. Don't go and try to maybe time yourself. Gee, normally it takes me 30 minutes to do the grocery shopping and I did it in 20. Look at me. I Dunno, I mean just trying to be creative on suggestions for them on a daily basis.

Chapter 3

Basic Assessment

So let's move into, uh, some just basic, uh, assessment, uh, that we need to really work with. So alignment, um, I'll just give you some, just an overview of what's common, but not everybody's the same. So, uh, but generally when you have that kind of weight that your skeletons holding onto, they are really dominant, uh, on the lateral side of the body tightness.

So all their action is, you know, on the lateral side of the body. So in looking at them when they're standing and as they're moving, watch for that cause most likely that's what you're going to see as the most dominant, uh, action in their body here. So then what we have to do or do things to, uh, lengthen the lateral body and bring them more towards the center, you know, to engage more the midline of the body, you know, which is hard when they're so tight on the lateral. Right. And then we're gonna, you know, of course that also I'm doing this so it's alignment of the legs, which is what we do, right? That's not new information. Right. Um, so generally what we'll see, uh, in their posture is a more lordotic kyphotic posture generally.

So, um, the pelvis will be more anterior, right? Which I, I don't do that very well. So you want to go more anterior in the pelvis, they have very tight hip flexors and like I said, the lateral side of the body. And then because of the weight challenge, you know, of the, of the front, it's gonna pull this way and then the back has to counter cause otherwise they'd fall forward. So then you see the thoracic spine go into more flection. So that's a general kind of pattern, um, with somebody with a much bigger body.

So we want to look at that Kyphosis, Lordosis and also look at their pelvic position. So what kinds of movements skills would be best for this population? It's just generally is, uh, we have to take in consideration their joints. Yeah. So can they just looking at them, bend their knees and straightening their knees. So if they have that lateral compartment here, the lateral side of the body that's tight, you might say that they're going gonna bend and go this way, kind of of a, you know, pulling this way or you know, they might do this. Right.

So that's depends. So they have that knock knee alignment because of that tightness here? Or is it so tight in the hips up here that the external rotators say they're tight this way? So it could be either possibility here through the legs. So if you just ask them without cuing, just have them stand and just bend their knees in straight and you'll just, you'll notice where, where they tend to deviate towards through that. So that's good information. Of course, just looking at their pelvis, even from the side, you know, that, that there.

And then I would try to see how can they get to the floor and stand up. That's a tough one for many people. So you may meet someone and say, I'm not even going to ask them to do that, to go all the way down to the floor. Like how would you get to the floor and how would you stand up? Ask them how would they do that? Right. And they might go, Ooh, I can't do that. That's really hard for me. That's it. They already got the information. Or they might do something where they, you know, go wide like this. And then they kind of can squat down and then, oh, you know, and then they're there. You know, now [inaudible] I don't think I can get back up. You know, or they do or they, you know, they're able to get on their hands and go wide.

Usually it's y you know, and then stand up again. So even that motion actually, you know, for a larger, heavier body is pretty great cause they go, how much weight has to go into their arms, you know, and then it has like a plank and a up. So, so pretty much if you're a person can do that, there's different choices. But for most they're not going to be able to do that. So you could ask them to sit in a chair and stand up and see how they do it if they can easily go down into a chair. Okay. So I think I'll grab a chair and you could use a chair and then also use something lower if the, you know, you could go for the reformer box.

So what do we want to look for? Maybe? Um, do you want to see a side view? Let's, can I see a couple of you just sit down in a chair. I wouldn't want to come up for, let's just watch how she does that. Very nice. And then stand up. Great. So what was nice was that she led with her pelvis.

The sit bones went why she sat down. Right. And then coming forward she got nice neutral pelvis and good hip extension. That's basically what we want to be able to see. Right. But can you mimic something different? What would you normally see? Leaning too far forward. Yeah. Good. And arching the back.

Yeah. Yeah. Another version. What I see and you see there's an elderly people as well, right? Is they don't flex in the hips. So they go, they kind of, you know, they're going to, they're talking a little bit. You see, and so then what? Of course, how am I going to sit down if I don't do that? Right. So they go like this and then they came. They are just, they kind of fall into the chair and then to get up it's, you know, they have to use their hands and you know, it's kind of, so that pelvis, you know, it's usually a posterior and then they, and it's all in the knees and it really hurts the knees. So even just watching the person sit down and stand up, you can give them some helpful hints on how, and there's your squat, you know, so even if you just coach them even, and even if they had a higher chair, maybe, you know, you could put a pillow or something, a bolster on top of the chair you say just to get them to do just this much just and then hit the, you know, hit the bolster and then stand up and then sit and work on their form. And then there's their squat. All right. But to practice, to be able to sit into a normal size chair, right, is an important skill.

But it tells you a lot about their ability to move their hip joint and where their pelvis in sacred Mar. Yeah. So just watching that as good information in terms of your assessment, the other places to um, you know, watch their, uh, shoulder. Um, you know how the Titan out there, if their arms are very heavy, you know, uh, the joints, that shoulder joint tends to be tight and the elbows tend to be more hyperextended. Same with the knees, like the tips are tight and they tend to have really loose hyperextended knees in general. So I would look at that as you're looking at their assessment. So can they, can they reach behind their back? Can they do that as if they were unzipping pants in the back or something like that? Right. You know, it's that sometimes that's not so possible.

Can they reach higher as if they're undoing their bra here? Yeah. Can, can they reach up this high? Yeah. So what is this range of the shoulder? Can they touch between their shoulder blades? You know, that test here and here. How much range do they have there? Right. So I did want to know that because of the arm work that we do in arm support work and this range. So we have to improve this range. If it's really restricted, I think there would be enough information, uh, right there to have, you know, how can they get to the floor and can they get up? Can they sit?

How do they sit in a chair and stand up those mechanics, right? And then the shoulders, I would look at that and then just their general of their posture. Oh, they look hyper extended in the elbows and knees. Where's their pelvic position? That's plenty of information. You don't have to do a 30 minute intake in terms of, uh, their assessment. So it gives you enough to know how you would want to start working with it.

But because of this Lordosis Kyphosis, we're going to want to try to, how are we going to get that pelvis to come up? We're going to have to do a lot of opening up in the front of the hip, right? Because with this tightness here, we're going to be inhibiting the glutes here. All right? So the first step we're going to be working on is to try and get that pelvis more upright. You know, which means we have to open the front of the hips because of their body size in their trunk, the arms, the way they hang on the trunk. Right.

They're not real cool like well the way my arms are hanging here, they're actually, they tend to be a little wider here. So the arms become kind of a little awkward as to where they should be placed. You know, where should, if they lie down on the equipment where, where did their arms go? Cause they're gonna want to be out here. Yeah. So I think guiding them and just being saying, you know, why don't you place your hands on your pelvis, you know, or bring your hands. Like if you're on the reformer, you can hold the, the shoulder rests, you know, something where you tell them what to do with their arms, uh, is very helpful. And then have them, um, also try to get their arms to rest so that, let's say you're lying on the back, the arms are going to be a little cause they're kyphosis, right.

And their body weight. So when they lie down, the arms are going to be a little bit up like this. So they might fall back. So I would support the arms so that the arms can be rested so they can actually feel we're going to start to work with the upper back. So we talked about opening up the front of the hips to bring the pelvis up. But how are we going to get that upper back to start to feel the scapulas to feel the upper back extend and if the arms are like this heavy, heavy and hanging this way. Yeah, the back is in a protracted and the muscles are on the stretch. So how do we bring the upper back into engagement in the shoulder blades?

We have to do something with their arms support. That's what we'll look at, will support them somehow and put them in a position where they can actually feel their back. Their joints are, uh, really challenged, not only by the actual body weight itself, but also how they stand. So because of the weight, you know, going here and then the upper back going here, the weight tends to be more shifted, believe it or not, on the feet, on the balls of the feed. So the feet, their feet, the feet, joints, uh, can be really stressed. Uh, so the question is like, how much can we work to teach them to have a little relief, you know, in their feet. You know, he kind of foot exercises the fence, you know, prehensile on the reformer and that kind of thing. But as they start to shift their posture, their body weight will go more towards the midfoot and the tea and the Talus and the cuboid bone as opposed to more forward on the toes. Right. So even just thinking about what kind of work can I do for their feet could be helpful too. Um, and they tend to hang a on their joints, right? So, right. So if, if I'm in a Lordotic kyphotic posture, right? I'm just, I'm on my joints. There's no the core, right.

I think they come to [inaudible] because they were told it will help with their core. And the core will actually bring integrity into their joints more instead of hanging, hanging into the joints, which can be very painful and stressful. All right, so here, here's our, the body challenges, right? We have the weight of the limbs. So how heavy the arms are, how heavy are the legs, and how do we use our equipment? So if someone has a really long heavy leg, do you think one of our legs springs is going to hold the leg up now?

Right? So you put these legs, springs on and their legs on the table, the spring's completely stretched and you're like, okay, you see, so it's the weight of the limbs. That is a challenge, uh, for them and for us. Right? And also the length, you know, some of the people are very tall and big, have very long legs or arms, and then some, sometimes they're a little shorter, you know. So looking at that, the length, not just the weight of it, their girth size, how wide are they? Can they lie on the reformer? Yeah. Are they able to sit on the chair? How wide? Right? So, uh, and then for women, it's breast size. The breast sizes, uh, can be a real challenge in a lot of different ways. One, the weight coming forward and the neck.

So if you have like 30, 40 pounds each pulling this way, the neck and the upper back, it's a huge challenge to how are you going to strengthen that back to hold that weight up. That's a, that's a big one. Uh, and also if you think about it, if you're lying on your back and you go into like a bridge, where are those breasts going towards your face? Yeah, it's, it's a challenge with that. Um, gluteal size, right? So if you have, uh, you know, large glutes, where's the lumbar spine? So when I lie down on the table, I'm on two bolsters. Where's that lumbar spine? Ooh, it's way up there and we're already lordotic. But on top of it, I've got two bolsters that I'm having to sit on. So how am I going to able to work the core and how am I going to get that pelvis in a better position and get that lumbar spine to come back towards the table more? That's where props come into play, right. So yeah, uh, the height of the person of course, who could have a very tall person, you know, on top of it. Um, so, so I know I'm kinda starting to focus on what they can't do.

We need to know what they can't do. You just don't do it to them and you don't tell them they can't do this. But also with all that body weight, when they lie down on their back, they can't breathe. Imagine you have a a hundred pounds sitting on your chest and you're lying down on a mat. So a lying down supine is really not recommended for very long, if at all. You know, very little. So that's a challenge for our equipment.

We do a lot of it lying down. Yeah. So, and then flection is not to do any kind of flection. It's not about strengthening the abdominals. It becomes a complete gut issue there. It gets in the way. What do you mean to flex? If you imagine a physio ball in your stomach and you're gonna try to flex over it. So flection is another piece that's kind of a can't do list.

But we want to strengthen the core. So this is where our challenge is going to be. So the knees, uh,

Chapter 4

Developing a Program

or one of the joints because it's a compression joint and they have all this body weight on the knee joint is where it becomes a real exertion. So I read that there's three to six times a person's body weight on, on the knees while you're walking three to six times of your body weight. So here you are saying this person you need to get out and walk. Hmm, maybe not. You know, when here we are saying, yeah, why don't you park your car far away and walk to the grocery store. But if they have like a lot of issues with their knees, maybe you know they should stationary, bike or you know, something else, you know to think about that much weight on their knee joints.

And then for us to really pay attention to maybe that we don't do too much squats because of the pressure on the knee joints. All right. So that's another question. And because of the, uh, because of this too, I would actually in another like should consider not doing list, you know, is a unilateral leg thing, one leg at a time because of even more increased weight on that joint. So I would stick to a bilateral, uh, work on the needs of your thinking, like foot and leg work, you know, which at least that supine. We do it short, not for too long, and we'll prop them up so they can breathe, right? But to think about trying to stick to bilateral at first and not start doing these one legged challenges so much. Okay. Um, and they have joint stress that, you know, we don't experience, like I'm talking about the knees, but also their ankles, right? So if you remind yourself, this is a kind of stress, you and I don't experience.

So we want to not increase that by making them do a movement that increases that stress on those joints. So we want to try to work as proximal as we can. Yeah. Okay. The spine. So same thing, all that body weight, more compression, especially in not only just lying down but sitting, there's more compression on the spine when you're sitting than you are lying down. Right. So again, I think moving around in different positions more frequently than maybe we're used to just to keep changing up, you know, sitting for awhile, lying down briefly, you know, standing say, cause there's a compression on the joint of the knee. So not doing any one of these positions for too many times in a row. So keeping them, which means a lot of moving around. Okay. Um, so I already discussed the hyperextension of the knees. Um, so we want to increase, uh, their awareness too.

So they have a lack of awareness, which we should be alerted to, not only in terms of us trying to, uh, teach and to be more aware, you have to be aware that they're not aware of when they're, you know, if you hand him a strap or a spring or a bar, they're not that aware. So this a safety issue, not only for them but for yourself, so that they don't all of a sudden like let go of that bar, even though you told them not to, you know, because they don't have maybe the awareness, you know, of what this bar is going to do or that this spring could actually let go. And you know, so you know, so it's their not only their physical awareness like feel this muscle contract and be in your body, but it's actually mechanical. Like they're, they're not aware that this bar's gonna let go. And so the safety, you know, issue. Um, and, and other than gift that eventually after a few sessions, when you start building your program that we can create for them, which I think is incredible, is that how to feel flow in their body movement afoot, right? Cause with their weight and they're out in the world.

What do they have to do it? They're kind of hurling themselves from side to side or, you know, how did they moving this mass, you know, as they're out there, there's not a sense of flow unless you're in the water. Maybe you see in swimming, you get a sense of flow, right? But how about just being out? So thinking of that too, that if you start to, when you're developing your program to put together, don't keep changing it all the time. You don't think that they're getting bored because they're probably not.

And they need to get a sense of flow and understand what's going to happen, you know, going on in the sequence. So sticking with a sequence for quite some time so that they get comfortable with it and you can change it up, you know, again by the exertion level or you know, changing the breathing goes slower or faster, you know, but try to keep your, uh, sequencing familiar to them so then you can get a flow going from one movement to the next. And that's a lovely thing for them to experience. Uh, an actual flow in their body. All right. And, um, they generally have poor balance because of their body weight. So balance, so balance training for them, very important. You know, and it doesn't actually mean stand on one leg forever and see if you can balance. But doing again when I said don't do stick with bilateral, you can, we can do unilateral kind of work with both feet down.

So it's not just, and we're going to do some of that. It's not just, okay, how long can you stand? This is a lot of compression on the need for someone. But if I can do something that's challenging my balance but I still have contact with both feet or maybe my hands and there's still that, um, going on, we want to think about training and then think about your muscle groups that we want to work with. Balance, right? Your feet, feet have to have good contact. Yeah. For balance. Strong hips, not, not tight ones, but strong hips. Yeah. And, and a sense of where you're standing. Yeah. In your posture. So keeping that in mind. And they tend to also have poor appropriate reception, which you've already kind of discussed their body and space and you know, like the bar letting go. So there's a little bit appropriate reception. As they become more aware, their nervous system's going to start to tune into that a little bit better.

So that's another part that we can do is improve their appropriate reception. Our concept of long lever, we know that from, you know, our training where if you have your core and the longer your legs are, the more challenging it is to the core and you shorten the lever up and now you're right. It's not as challenging as if you know, but they have a longer lever and it's heavy. So we have to try to create a more proximal work for them so they can't be doing the legs out straight this way. It's too much weight and pull there. There's not that connection to the core. So I'm going to show you, uh, some ways of kind of taking the weight of the legs out of it, out of our movements so that they can feel the work in, in their core. So, um, they have longer torsos and arms as I said. So as an example, um, our proportions on the equipment for like short box series for instance. Okay.

So they get on, they sit on the reformer. Their legs are probably, you know, if they're tall, they're going to be touching, you know, the wood, which is not a bad thing, but instead of the strap, right. But if their torsos really long and you're asking me to start to lean, that's a much longer lever than perhaps somebody with, you know, a shorter torso. So you not only have to look at how they're doing that movement, but maybe suggest something like, well why don't you use your arms at first to support? Cause it's much harder. The amount of weight that they're doing that compared to me doing it is quite big. So it's, it's, if they have their hands on the box and do a lean back, you know, for the short box, that's a lot of work for them. Even though their hands are down, you know, to start that way in the range of motion of course can be a smaller range.

You can struggle into a bigger range and then eventually maybe just do this range, you know, and then the, you know, so you start challenging them that way. So think about things where you can kind of shorten their lever more so than what we would do for, you know, a smaller client because it's actually much harder. So I have a list of, um, props and some, uh, modifications we want to consider. So it's, you may want to go shopping if your studio doesn't have, uh, these, uh, props. Okay. So, um, think about your therabands and your yoga belts. If you use yoga belts, they have to be longer. Okay. Therabands have to be heavier. Uh, I suggest a yoga belt because it's stiffer, you know that there, unless you're doing an exercise with the band itself. But if for instance, if you're doing a hamstring, uh, motion or leg circle and you're using the band therabands not gonna hold it, but a yoga belt will, but it might have to be longer than, you know, so you have to, they do, you can buy them in different lengths. So I would go for some longer, uh, belts or take two and put them together.

Okay. Um, so if they're not able to support their own legs with the strap, you know, or the band, you know, just because of the sheer weight of it. W I'm going to show you, we're gonna do a little mat sequence of props, right? But we can use the physio ball. It's a great tool to take the weight of the legs. So, or a box and reformer box things that we do have in the studio. Um, so balls are great.

A props wedges, so you can buy a variety of, of wedges. Uh, there's this size wedge. Yeah. And that's something we can do to prop up the upper body a little bit because again, when they lie down there almost suffocating cause not only the kyphosis and their head forward position, but you've got that body weight. So putting them on an incline, uh, serves them to breathe better. So purchasing some, uh, I like this, this type of pillow wedge on. There's certainly other, uh, wedges on the market. Um, you can also get a affirmer wedge too.

That's not like a pillow yoga blocks we're going to be using. Um, which I find, um, almost better in some ways, especially for bridging as opposed to a ball because the ball is kind of, it can move and the block is solid and they can really keep contact with the block and maybe want to get like a cork cork block. The woodblocks. I like those too, but the wood is Kinda hard on your, on your tissue here. So, um, but I would definitely have blocks. You'd want a polar stick. That's something we usually have. You can just take your stick out of the wonder chair, you know, or the roll back bar or some, a lot of plots. She does have the, the stick right, that we use. So that's important to have. Um, and as we go through, uh, what I'm going to show you with how to do this propping with the props, right?

I want you to, um, if you're gonna consider using them, practice it. Don't just say, Oh, I just saw that. Uh, all right. So if you see something that, oh, I saw that in the video, so therefore I'm going to do that to my client. No, no, no, no, no, no. Try It yourself first. Get a volunteer, practice it because you have to be very confident that it's going to work and it's not going to be awkward. You've been in that situation where you're like, oh, the ball did work here, but now with your, it's kind of squishing and it's rolling this way and it didn't quite work. And it's not only awkward for you, but also for the client that you're, you're futsing around and they're thinking, oh my God, like this is not working for me now. They take it personally.

It's not that the actually you don't know what you're doing, it has nothing to do with them. They're actually thinking I'm too big. So therefore she's having a really hard time. That's not what we want. Right. So practice, practice these on a friend, you know, to really confident, you know, and then use them. Okay. All right. Cause we want to keep that positive energy going for them. Uh, and we want to be authentic, right? And supportive. So safety. There's another reason to practice this because if you're using a physio ball and putting their legs on it and all of a sudden they roll off the table or something, you know, that's not good safety for them, but also safety for yourself. So I want to talk about that because, uh, the abundant body needs a sis, right?

You might have to help them get up off the reformer. You might have to help them from roll up to get up. Yeah. How are you going to do that without hurting yourself? So it's your own biomechanics that's really important, right? So you can hand, you know them, you know, like a, an a lamb, like your hand or a shoulder. I sometimes do that. Give them a show.

So I'm not taking my hand and trying to pull 'em up. You know, maybe they need like just to lean on my shoulder to, you know, something until you're more approximal in your own body, you know, as opposed to reaching with your hand. And we're gonna use a poll. I'm gonna show you how to get up, uh, and using that as an assist. Not just holding a pole, which is easy to just help them that way. But there's a way of getting up off the reformer. We'll take a look at that. Okay. We're going to show some reformer assists. Okay.

So I'm gonna just give you a examples of some good choices and then we're gonna move into actually doing the props now. Okay. So some good choices. Give them plenty of time to get up and to move to change positions. There's no rush. Don't be standing there like, okay, it's taking a long time to get up or, or you've set up the other equipment and it's already ready and you're just standing there waiting for them, you know, be, you know, a little more grounded, maybe added an assist or, and just be comfortable with it. Just give them all the time they need to to change and get up out of equipment. Um, limit your time supine. So for example, their foot and leg work, if you do foot and leg work, that sequence as long enough. All right, I wouldn't add the bridge and add the arm circles and add the dis and added that to the don't do. So I think foot and leg work, just a simple sequence and it's time to sit up. Yeah. And again, we'll be propping for that. Now Matt work, ideally you don't want to do it on the floor.

So if you have a raised mat like this is perfect. Use the Cadillac, right? Hopefully you're reformer. It's nice to have the common cold reformer so that they, you know, the studio reformers is a nice, okay, they got a squat down, right? And that's okay. But on the floor type of reformers that have no legs, no, I wouldn't jump into that. So start thinking, going to do mat work on a raised surface and eventually you go from a clinical reformer to a studio reformer and right. So it's important to consider. Uh, so the headrest, I know we have the head rest up for some of the exercises, but they need more than just a head rest up, right? So they would need to have, you know, uh, uh, some kind of wedge, a towel, enough to bring it up so they can breathe. All right. Um, I like using the, um, the more solid spine corrector that black, um, denser one that fits on the reformer. It's a great back support and a great body support.

So if you don't have one of those, you may want to consider buying, uh, one of those. And we're going to look at that too. So working on a more solid surface, like the wonder chair, you know, or the Cadillac cause it's more supportive than the reformer, right? The reformers, not that support. You know, it moves, which is good training. So, but not like, like if you want to do chest expansion for instance, maybe sitting on the reformer, even if you're sitting on a box, it's moving. Maybe that's not supportive enough. You have to judge that, do it on the Cadillac. Just use the springs and do chest. It's not moving underneath them. So think about how much support, um, that they need and how much challenge.

So I feel maybe you do chest expansion on the Cadillac and then you're like, okay, here's your challenge. We're going to do it on a moving surface, the reformer. So there's a challenge. Yeah. So keep those things in mind. Okay. So we're going to shift to, uh, looking at the mat and playing with some props. In this section,

Chapter 5

Props and Modifications on the Mat

we're gonna look at the props and we're gonna start with the mat. So what I'm going to use, if you want to practice, you'll need to get these a nearby. So a wedge pillow. We're gonna use a yoga block.

We're gonna use a series of these kneeling pads. So we might need three or four or five, depending on the height that we're going to want to do, uh, as a medium size ball that's a little softer, a physio ball. And then we're going to use a reformer box and the small barrel as well. Okay. So when we are going to lie on the mat, on our back, when you need to bring the upper body up a little bit to help with the breathing. So do you want to come up? Yeah. Come on up. Alright, so let's just take a look. Alright, so we have the client. It's a very simple, I mean you lie down and you just lean on the wedge, right? So yeah, and that would be a little bit this way so that your head's resting on the, there you go. Yeah.

And you can choose how high of an incline you would like to have. Like right now this is at her waist, but maybe you want to move it back and this just takes her trunk and puts it on an angle. So now she can breathe. And here you can do a series of um, movements. So now if the legs are heavy, it would be difficult maybe to bring the leg up. But you can do legs slides here. So just do it sliding, working on the pelvis. And again, you can ask the client to touch their own pelvis so that they can hold the pelvis stable, not see it move and slide them like back. So any variations, uh, in terms of slide that you want to do, right. But it might be more difficult to lift the legs up.

So in that case we can do as support the legs. Uh, first of all with a physio ball. So now she's lifting her legs up. But what if you can't lift your leg up? Yeah. So as a practitioner, I'm the one who's gonna have to do that for you. So one thing would be is if you would move closer to me this way, sideways to the edge of the table. Yeah. Okay. See, so now she's over closer to me so I don't have to lean over. Right. And then I have the ball.

So I'm going to take this leg first because I can get it up on the ball. So depending on how you're going to do that, right, the balls gonna move. You have one hand. Yeah. So I would maybe just push this. It just depends on the weight. Okay. You might have to do something where your whole supporting the ball, use two hands. They can help you son.

And then lift and place your feet flat on the ball. Yeah. And then now they can stabilize the ball hopefully. And you can help lift. Yeah. But just be mindful of again, your mechanics through here so they can rest both feet on the ball. Now I have to make sure you're in the middle. So let's move this over. Yeah. Okay. And we have no more runway space.

That's another thing to consider because if she should to, if she was taller and the straighten your legs was, where's the ball gonna go. Oh, almost off the table. No, it's not off. You're good. But let's say you were taller. Yeah. To come back. And sometimes these little things we don't think about. You getting all set up and you go, oops. Yeah.

So she would have to be further this way if she was taller, but simply having the leg or maybe they need to rest their legs like this, this way from here. All right. And then I can ask them to do some arm movements, you know, kind of reaches, you know, overhead reaches, anything like that. This is supportive for their legs here. Right. And if we bring your feet back, we can do like a little, uh, double leg stretch. So in a way, feet flat on the ball. Now put them flat. So you're standing. Yeah. So even if they have to stabilize their trunk, they can push the ball away, right? She bought her heels and try to pull the ball back in. Maybe you hit cyst a little bit, right?

And you do the breathing so you can create this kind of a movement for them, which is like a double leg stretch. I would not have them curl up, but they could come back in. Put your hands on your knees. So we need, you know, somewhere to go with their hands so she can go reach away and pull in. So it's kind of like the double leg stretch. And then maybe reach away. Now bring your arms up. Circle. Yeah, and bend the knees and come in. So you break it down that way and you don't even have to go arms over head. Remember your arms, your arms are heavy too. So it could be just a small circle.

Yeah. And the arms will be coming around the side more. Yeah. And coming in and maybe they touch, bring your knees in your ahead, maybe the side you see because of the tissue. How much, how much can you come to midline? You brought that up as a question earlier. It's like, all right, you have the, yeah. You've got the breast tissue, the Girth, and you have inner thigh tissue. So how do we bring them towards the midline? Their midlines are not going to be what we think of us as our midline.

So your movement is going to be more out to the side coming into where that place is. So if we can avoid having them feel, um, discomfort of like, Oh, you know, my stomach gets in the way, or my inner thighs get in the way, it doesn't feel so good to them. So if we can kind of create, so maybe your feet are wider on the ball, right? I mean, our ideal would be, yes, we want to try to get them to engage more in the inner thigh. But if there's, um, tissue in here. Yeah. So not rubbing the legs together cause that's uncomfortable. So you placed the legs wider, you know, and work with it. Just, you know, you can have your legs wider and still be engaging in here, right? So using the ball on that way. Okay. And then another possibility, okay. Is uh, using a box.

So if you didn't want to have, uh, a moveable object, like a ball, you can use your box and just put your feet here on the box this way, right? And then this way you can use like how much hip flection do I want you in. So let's take you wider. You have to imagine your wider right now from here, maybe we start doing a little knee fold unweighting so she exhales, just lift your right foot off the box and put it back down. Try to lift your left foot off the box, put it back down. Let's say just that range. And then eventually maybe the box, you know, goes further out here. So she has a longer, right?

So you judge that and then you can make the box smaller. So use the moon box. So now their feet are down here. Okay. Bring your legs up. Yeah, good. In the box, you can also drape the legs over as well. Right? So having a block like that is very useful. I sometimes will use even my own hand so that, you know, but I don't know if the, with the weight do you want to really hold but it wouldn't be holding, it'd be like just touch. So as you get advanced it's like, so just touch my hand and go back off my hand. Just touch my hand, come off my hand, touch my hand. You're not holding it right.

And then place your leg down. So it's kind of Nice that they not having a box in a prop and they know and they have your hand, but you don't want to be holding their, their leg for that. Okay. Um, why don't you come, I'm going take this away, but actually let's keep that and I want to do is now you have to imagine you have the glutes in a lumbar spine. That's Lordotic. So we have that space under there. So by tilting the pelvis up, bringing it up a little higher, we'll allow the spine to kind of dropped down a little bit more. So, um, the, which might be a little much for you, but we're going to go ahead and try it. All right. So, um, I was playing with these stacking of almost like cards, how you would stack, you know, if you were playing cards. So, so there's a gradation. Now there are smaller wedges, you know, that you can get. Um, but I find that you don't want it too high cause we're not trying to put them in a posterior tilt of the pelvis as much so that there's now weight going into their compression of the spine. So the wedging has to be, um, pretty gradual.

And here's another issue is if I want her to, um, so come roll onto your side to sit up new Jack, swing your legs off and then come sit up. All right. So ideally it's like I couldn't ask her to lift her pelvis up to sit on the mat so that I could scoot under, cause maybe she can't lift her pelvis up. So come stand up and I'm going to put these uh, here on the table so you can come look at me here. Turn around. Yeah. So see here. So what I want you to do when you sit down, okay. Is I want you to place your sacrum on the top here.

So swing your legs around and see if you can sit up on here. Good. And now I'm going to get a pull, actually. Yeah. Turn this way. Good. And hold the pole for a second. Now moovel your sit bones a little bit more this way because when you roll back and going to help you, I want your sacrum on the top of this to move forward even a little more. Okay, good. All right, so, so I'm going to hold the stick for you and you're going to just slowly go down and see if this is going to work. So she's going to go either round back or flat back. You're just lying down.

You don't know how to do any of this. Yeah. So I'm going to try and support you and you're going to come down. Now, this might be actually super hard to do and now you notice I'm holding with one hand. How can I do that with somebody who's like 200 pounds, right? So no, not very well in this mechanics the way I just did it, right? So let's start over. Turn around and come on to your side. Sit Up. So always good to get up that way. So challenges here. So come again. I'm going to come sit. Turn it face out. White, same thing.

And you want to be on this edge of the mat so your sacrum has room. Okay? Now what if we were to take, uh, one leg up like this and you hold the stick and you're gonna just let your legs relax. Good. And you're going to use the leg a little bit, kind of push on the stick. You're going to push it just gently on the stick. And remember, you don't have core strength so much. Okay? And I'm going to support this leg for you. All right? And then you're just going to come down. Push into the stick though. Yeah, that's it. There you go. Perfect. The way you kind of went down, it's okay if they go down quickly like that.

That's an option you want to try again. There's some strength involved here in order to do that. So let's take that away and let's try another approach. Come on up and sit up again. Okay. Now what if the scoot a little more that way. Now what if you went to, so here is an issue with the width of the table. Okay. So I'm going to actually move you closer to me. So let's start over. Come on.

See where practice makes perfect here. Uh, so come on over. Yeah. So I moved you closer to me because I want her to now roll to your side. Come down this way. Roll to your side. Yeah, yeah, Yup. That's it. And then kind of roll down on your side sideways. Roll to your back and bring your legs up. Okay, so that's the least of the three, right? Yeah.

You know? Yeah. Yeah. It all depends on it. And naturally let's, I'm gonna move this a little bit. There you go. Great. So bring your feet back a little more. So how does that feel and remember your arms a little wider. Good. Yeah. Feels Nice on the lower back to see she's not in a postier tail.

So this is a good height for her. You might have to do four or five stacked mats to make kind of like an incline and then her back can actually relax you say, so now we have gravity allowing the lower spine to relax and weave. We brought the pelvis up because you have to imagine again bolsters that you're sitting on and now the lumbar spine has more of a chance to relax there. So that's very helpful. And again, having the head up a little bit for um, the ability to breathe and then you could add the physio ball again and do the legs in this position. You can do marching in this position if they're able to use the box in this position. Yeah. Any questions about that?

Yeah, it's a little trial and error. But again, practice. If now, if I knew that this third variation of getting down onto the mat, here's the best, you know, I would want to know that before I actually work with the client. Yeah. Did you have a question? Okay. All right. So now you're gonna roll up to sit up. Okay, cool. All right, so now just a simple exercise. It's not really a modification, but the person sitting here might be nice to uh, have a ball that's um, maybe a little bigger than this and maybe not as big as this. Um, cause this is, which one is, this is a 53. We have a, um, I believe it's a 45 or 35 centimeter ball.

It's actually a very nice size ball that um, the person can put between their legs. So your ankles just hold the ball. So it's a little wide for her. Okay. But still if it was slightly smaller, and see this is just a little too small, but the idea is that even just simply trying to hold the ball in that position, you know, it could be a lot of work and then relax. Yeah. Okay. And sit a little bit more on the edge of the yeah. Okay, good. And so she can just even hold the ball there and just engage.

Now hold on to remember you're the Lordosis. So we want to stabilize here and just engage the ball with your feet and try to bring the ball up. A tiny, tiny data set. Just the intention and down. So you may not have been lifted, you're just going to unweight it. So just engage the ball. That's enough. Yeah. And relax. Another possibility. You can do that at five, six times.

Now here's a little bit of a challenge. Can you extend your legs a little bit? Just send the ball away from you and come back. And what will happen with that weight? Her back will probably go forward. So here's, I got my hand here against her back so she can have her lower spine against my back. That's enough. Yeah, I mean you could fully extend, but realistically the way of the legs is going to be difficult to fully extend the leg, but at least you're attempting to start to unweight for the strengthening of the leg. So it's not really a modification. It's really kind of a simple exercise. All right. Okay. So now we're going to uh, lie on your side. Okay.

So I would like you to lie that way here. Good. And let's just take a look at your position at first. So I'm, go ahead now if you can imagine the shoulders being quite broad, a girth of the torso greater there would be actually more side bending in the neck plus the fact this is not actually supporting her neck so much. So wedge pillows, not ideal for a sideline position. So come on up and we're gonna use a box to support the leg. So I'm actually gonna have you come to this side and face that way.

Yeah, there you go. And use the reformer box as a support for the leg. So here, great. And you could use a higher box if you needed for a higher, but I'm looking that this leg be a little bit more at 90 and it can be just relaxed and setting here. And we do want to look at, you know, the sideline plum line as best we can. So she's going to start with the knee bent. So we want to engage the inner thigh more.

But in this case of the larger leg, uh, first of all it's difficult lift plus the fact that there can be some compression in the hip with this kind of add duction lift. But here's how we can engage. It's very simple and, and what they are going to do is just going to place my hand here and say slide your foot so that you're pressing on my hand. Like you want to push my hand away. So she's going to keep pushing my hand away, good. All the way as best they can. And then they pull up feeling that you feel that right here. Great. And then soften your knee. And just let your heel retract a little bit.

So again, push here, push against my hands. So she needs something to push against this. That's a good, and you can, I can see that she's working in through here. So you would just repeat that push through here. I mean she's doing this very well. What clients tend to do, and Ben, especially if their knees are hyper extended, what are they going to do? They're going to kick like a ball. And so I say to the client, no, you're not kicking a ball.

So person with hybrid center knees are not going to necessarily work here, which is where I want it to work and they'll just extend the knee. So you have to cue them. You have to watch that. Don't don't say straighten your knee, but just say push my hand away. And she keeps reaching away and I'm getting ankle. Nice extension of the knee through extending the hip. Okay, so that's working.

This whole inner line that we want to get stronger to balance out that tightness on the lateral line. And then since you have them here, we're going to be focusing more on hip extension so you could come around and have them bend their knees slightly and wherever their need needs to be to be in a comfortable position. It's not going to be a zero hip here. And then I do the same thing, but I want her to push her foot backward, not extending the knee. Right? So tip extension. So just push my hand, just that's it. And come back. You can also put your hand here and say, push against my hand here and just make sure they don't extend the legs. So push here. So now she's engaging her posterior hip and rest. So that's a good modification for some sideline legs.

And sideline is a little bit more of a comfortable position. Right. All right, so we're going to do, I'm going to show you, uh, a bridging using a box. Okay. All right, so come up. I think I'll use, um, a larger box and the smaller one. So if I can have one of those boxes over there. Okay. Now you're gonna lie back. I'm gonna use the um, wedge again.

Yeah. Good. And you're going to be close to the edge of the table this time. And I'm gonna box has three heights. You have this height, this height, and you also have this height. So I'm going to put this here. Let's see, can you place your foot down on it? That's it. Good. Alright, excellent. We'll go over a little bit. Great. So remember now the leg, uh, thickness is much greater and so there's so and be a little more on the edge of the, so it looks like she's in hip Ab Duction, which they would be somewhat, but you also have to remember the pelvis is, this is wider so it won't be as uptight of depth abducted as it looks on her. Right. And this foot here and then if it's possible, right. I just want you to try to lift your, push your foot down on the floor, on the box and this foot and just lift slightly and come back down. Yeah.

And again, use the box and try to lift and if you need to we can use those mats again for the incline. So you could have an incline and you want to see what that looks like. So we will be back to our little deck of cards that were lining up. Yeah. And I'm just going to have her lift. So we're on that incline, which she liked. I did this this morning. It felt really good on my back too. Yeah. And then from here it's a very s that's, it doesn't have to be high because again, I don't want too much strain in the knee, but this way it's, it's two feet pushing, but we're getting extension in here and a little more hip flection here. Okay.

So the way of doing bridge a little bit, not symmetrically bilateral, still bilateral, but one hip, a little more in extended than the other. They need as much hip extension as we can provide for them to open that up and without the lumbars, uh, lifting up. This would be great for anyone with, uh, lower doses of the lumbar, you know, no matter how big your body is or what the body type is, I think it's true for a lot of these exercises. To me it's more structural. If you look at their structure as opposed to just their thickness in their weight. Uh, it's still about structure. So the structure is, oh, they're lordotic and their hips are tight. It doesn't matter how long or thick their legs are, really doesn't, it's still a structure and that's where, you know, that's where I'm coming from with that. Okay. And rest good. One more.

Another suggestion, and this is how do we lie on our stomach, right? So it's a solution I came up with. I actually need the small barrel. Uh, so come on up one more. Okay. All right. Oops. That's okay. Now I do prefer this style of barrel. It's my preference will come off the table for a second. All right. So, you know, there are different kinds of barrels. Um, and this one to me has the, the proportion of the seat angle with the arc, uh, to me is nice and we'd have to try it with the other arcs to see if it is as comfortable as it is with this one.

So what you're going to do is you're going to come around this way and you're going to lie on top. You're gonna put your stomach here in the well and your arms are going to be down here. So you want to be comfortable with your ribs. Uh, so your breasts are off and, yeah. Right. So you have to imagine here and come up for a second. It's your stomach. Yeah. You'll see it looked funny on her cause she didn't have anything to rest on. Yeah. You see? Yeah. It's actually great for pregnant women too.

I mean, not eight months, but no. Yeah, you're Billy got, you know, they're abundant too, you know. Yeah. So you could support the legs if needed, you'd say, yeah. You see. And then here we've got lots of things that we can play with here. You got your hands here, you can work on that tiger paws. Right? We can work on that here. I can have her do a little pushups.

So go ahead and push up a little bit and come back down. See arms strengthening the arms full. Sharp. Yeah, go wider with your arms. You can go wider. You can turn your arms. You could play with all sorts of positions here. Yeah. And down and just sheer by now placing the neck in a good position.

Bring Your Adam's apple back this way. Good. And then use your back to lift. Good. And then stay there. All right. Now if they're strong enough, maybe they let on weight one hand. Ooh. And lift the other leg. That's hard, isn't it? And come back when she's on a ball too. And then other one. Yeah. So you can do just unweight the hand. You can lift a leg like she's doing or not. So you could play with this to progress. But this is a nice way to, uh, lie in the stomach and feel supported with the arc. Okay.

For a person who is really deconditioned, especially with the support of the box and their arms here and being on their stomach and actually being able to hold their body would actually be fun, could be fun. Such a challenge. It's one of these challenges. So can you hold this and breathe? Okay. Now how do we get out of this position? That's the, that's the, that's the struggle. Let's see. No, okay. You'll have to use your arms, so you'll have to push up a little bit. Yeah. And just let them take their time. They can push back and you know, we're not going to choreograph everything for them. Right. Okay. Let's go on to the reformer. All right. In this section,

Chapter 6

Modifications on the Apparatus

we're going to look at some simple ways to, uh, work with the reformer and a couple of props, especially to help with the sliding of the carriage.

But first she has to be able to sit down and lie down on the reformer and get up. So I'm just going to have her set. So we've already practiced how to sit in a chair and I'm gonna have her swing around so she faces me. And then it don't lie down yet. I didn't teach you that. You're such a good student. That's okay. But you're a very good student. Okay. So I'm going to have to have the pole and we're gonna place it under one leg.

And I want this foot down here to brace against the wood frame. So now you can lean. Now I want to make sure you don't hit the shoulder rest. So you actually have to move this way, right? Cause when you lie down, I don't want your head in the upper back, right? So if you have to, you could actually bring the foot out here, uh, if, if your legs are, um, longer, cause you're not as tall. Right? Right. So I can hold this here. So what I want you to do is put pressure of your leg on the stick.

When you roll, you're just gonna lean back and keep pushing onto the stick. And I'm holding the stick and I'm allowing her to come back down nice and easily. And she did that in a very controlled way because she has got a strong core. Right. So normally the person would actually just, you know, go down. Not as slow but carefully. Yeah. So see if you can really let this drop down.

You're pushing it. Just let your leg on the stick. That's it. And then down. Exactly. Okay. And then bring now to come back up, we would do the reverse. So you're hooking this leg. Now you can hook down here because you are not as tall cause she's on the wood frame. Be careful not to hit the metal. Right. And then push into the stick. Use your leg and I help you. Oh yeah. It's very easy. It doesn't take much.

Right. And then go back down. Use your leg. Yes. Excellent. Okay. And take it away. Okay. So now, yeah, bring your legs up a little bit. Okay. So now we have the challenge of the long lever. So if we're doing arm circles, uh, and the arm work lying here, how am I going to support your legs? Cause you can't actually hold them in tabletop. So how are we going to do that?

So why don't you take the straps here. So we're going to pretend you're going to do that. So one choice is that again, if you had a smaller physio ball, I can use the ball to lift her legs up onto just a whole leg on the ball. Yeah, there you go. Okay, good. So if she's not as tall, I can have the ball a little bit more on the carriage. So let's try to lift that up a little bit. So it's on the carriage.

Now if they're taller, it won't be on the carriage, but I can hold the ball here. Now relax your legs. Yes. So that you really are weighted. And remember you don't, your, you don't have the ability to hold your legs out. Now bring your arms up straight. You see? And then she can start like circles. I mean, arm circles. Go ahead and with your legs resting there. So now she doesn't have to hold the legs up too much.

And eventually I could cue her once she has the feeling of the stability to getting a little more stability here, even though her legs are heavy. This is working proximal. I can ask you to kind of think of letting your heels dig into the ball a little bit and just pull it towards you a little bit. Then your knees towards just a little bit. So can you feel it engaging through here? Yeah.

So you can add that as now you're engaged in your legs holding the ball and I don't have to hold it. So cuing her to do that. And then eventually, you know, we could take that away. And then I'm gonna do another version. So bring your legs up. I'm gonna take the ball away. And that is, and this is where your mechanics come into play. So I'm going to put one foot on the carriage here and you can rest your legs on my leg. So again, your legs are a little thicker so your legs aren't gonna really be together, right? Because you have tissue here. So you can rest here. This is great. And then what I can do is I can help her. I can push a little bit with my leg here.

Well I don't even have it so I won't push. I'll let her push. Now you pull, I think the straps were a little long, so I'm just moving with her. You see? And then eventually of course I know I can have you hold your own legs up, but these are a couple of ways to kind of support the legs, which is very difficult in terms of reform our work. Thanks. This section I'm going to show you a couple of, uh, Cadillac, um, modifications, but beyond modifications, it's more about facilitating a more lumbar flection for that excessively lordotic person and the kyphosis. So trying to do roll back when people go flat through the lower back and just succumb to their flection in the thorax. So there's a little feedback that we're going to do.

So we're gonna need the wedge pillow so that the person can breathe. Uh, I went and, um, this is from the dollar store in California. It's a very little inexpensive little back support. What I like about it is mash, which of course then their, their body weight will sink into it. But I can also, if I choose to, I can get my hand under there as well. Uh, so we have some, a back support here for the back and then I'm going to use a yoga belt that we're gonna strap around the thorax around the bra line, like t six, five, six, so that she can feel when she's collapsing into the rib cage and not actually curling in the pelvis. It's a little bit of a dance. Now, as I said earlier, uh, we need to be conscious of how much awareness, uh, this person now has. So I've been training her for awhile so she has some more awareness. So this is a step, a not first session, maybe not the first 10. Uh, but the person has gotten more awareness cause it's a little bit dangerous if they let go of the bar. I'm the one who's going to suffer. So, um, you have to be really careful and trust that that person won't let go of the bar. So that's kind of a given, as you see.

So she's gonna sit in a rollback position. If you notice, I have the wonder chair here because I'm going to have to stand up onto it to give her the feedback. So let's take this and wrap it around your bra line and then I'm going to come up here. So I'm not holding her weight. She's actually able to feel how heavy her thorax is and then she's going to not lean into it so much. And at the same time, I'm also giving her a little sense of, I'm pulling this way to try to create a little bit of extension in that thorax. So to feel comfortable, I'm going to take a lunge position. So I feel really balanced so that I don't fall over and she's gonna Start and here's how the cuing is going to go.

So the first thing you're going to do is you're going to start to roll back on the back of your sit bones. And as they do that, so go ahead and lean for me in the thorax, they might lean. So that's too much weight. And the thorax already. So she's going to start over again. That's what it would look like. So without leaning into the strap, just start at the sip bone. Very good. So they get the pelvic motion going first.

There's hardly any weight in my hands here. Now I'm going to move with her and just cue her as she's rolling back. How much weight am I feeling in this drab? She's doing it fine. Give me some in the thorax even more. Yeah, see that's too much weight to see how she got compressed in her spine. Too much weight so I can give her the cue note.

Don't put so much weight on the strap. Continue through the pelvis. So we're working through the pelvis and that lower spine. I'm moving with her. Yeah, as she's going. So there's not a lot of weight here. See I'm not holding her at all. And then she's able to lie down. You can straighten the legs and on the wedge pillow and then take a breath in.

Exhale. So this is the place where if she were to let go would be pretty. All right. So now chin to chest a little bit. And then here I can help if I need to. Maybe I need to do a little assist for her and then cuing the pelvis back. And it feels really wonderful to get that kind of support in the thorax to really get the reflection of the lower spine. Great. Thank you.

Okay, so the next one is just a simple seated push through and there's a couple of, uh, ways to do it. If you have the, uh, an arch, especially the, I like the foam one, the black foam arc, because of the nature of the angle of arc. So we'll take this away. So I'm gonna Place this here and what I'm going to have you do, and we need the push through bar. We'll take this spring. Great. Alright, so you're gonna come sit up here and place your feet on the pulse. So this gives her the height. Okay, now I'll just have to go closer.

That's okay. Have to make sure the arcs in the center of the table is two so that you're not, hey, let's come up and start again. All right. That's not what an abundant body would be able to do. Okay. Come sit up a little bit in straighten your legs. Yeah, if you can. Yeah. See now what this does is, um, give her the height n guess what?

Gravity a slope. So w if you don't have an arc, I mean you could use a stack of blankets, but you don't quite get the slope here. So for the push through, what I can do is we can start with the arms going up. Now if your shoulders are wider, right? We have a wider girth, we can switch the hands to the outside of the, of the bar to get more with. Yeah. And then she can just lean forward with the back nice and straight. So you'd get, here's your hands on, you can touch the upper back. And I like to touch the clavicles right underneath the clavicles. Great.

And if they ha if they're tight in the hamstrings so they can bend their knees and lean. So now we have gravity here. Great. And then she's gonna come back and I like to work with like a leaning back as opposed to rounding. So I don't want her to round her thorax, but I would like her to roll back on her sip bones. Yeah. Without flexing. Yeah. Now you're going to have to change your hands. Yeah. Good. And then that's far enough. Straighten your arms and then push down. No, not rounding actually. Cause I don't want you to round your upper back. Exactly. So you're going to lean forward from the hip. That's it. Good.

And then once you're here you can drop your head a little bit. So I want to minimize the fluction here and I want you to try to flex through here and you can bend the knee and then again you can bend the knees if your hamstrings are tight. Yes, we get a nice curving through here, but not so much here. And then straighten the legs as you rock back. Good. Right. And then bringing the bar up and let's switch your hands again and lengthen up. Okay.

So the emphasis is more of a long spine with decreasing the kyphosis and trying to increase the flection of the lumbar throughout the motion so that she comes back. Great Choice. And now she leans back. Now you want to make sure you're not arching. That's the problem. Come back up again. So you need to come back to the sit bones more. Let your pelvis move back even more back here. Yeah. So it feels like flection but it's not really. And then I assist the bar, red springs kind of heavy to pull it that moment.

So you might want to choose a blue spring or help them, you know, pull and now she's can lean forward. So it's a great hamstring stretch and we got gravity helping and she can bend her knees slightly to take the tension off the hamstrings there and curve here and I can let her look down. So we get somewhat of a rounding but not an over flection of the thorax. And then coming back on the sip bones. Great. And try to see if you can find that lean with the pelvis, leaning back, control the bar. Very good.

And then switch your hands and the lengthening up. So that's a way to to do a nice modification for our seated push through. Okay. All right. And relax. Okay. And then let's get our pads one more time. We can do this.

A little wedge of these pads. So come around. So your sacred, remember we did from the Mat Virgin sacred here. And I'm going to get the wedge pillow again. Yeah, good. Now let's have you go on your side to lie down. Yeah, that's it. But you have to keep your sacrum on the pad, so don't shift like that. Yeah. And then lie on your back. We're going out to your back. Exactly. Good. And the feet just flat this way. Bend your knees and put your feet flat. Yeah, there you go.

Let me adjust this again. That's it. So can you feel that nice position for your lower back? You could actually do this while you're on the reformer, which when we did the reformer, you could do this setup with the pads on the reformer and do foot and leg work, which is, it could be nice for the lower back. And then from here, um, we can do is like thigh circles. So just feel the weight of the leg here. And again, if I need to have a box like we did earlier, I can believe in your feet up into box, but it's nice to be able to do a circling of the leg here, right in both directions this way. Now we could add legs, springs, but here we come as a problem with the leg springs. What's the, the circumference of your thigh and the strap.

So a lot of times that is not an option because the strap is not wide enough and the springs are not heavy enough to support. So I would suggest that we don't do the leg springs on the Cadillac unless you have a Joel, um, loop, you know, that's made for them and there is a velcro piece. Um, but again, it's kind of like that extra seat belt in the, in the airplane, you know, that feeling of like, oh, I need some kind of extra belt. So I'm not sure emotionally how that would sit with the person. Maybe that person will be fine with it, but it would be nice to have the legs supported if you had, um, a really heavy spring and maybe you could even do two springs, two purple springs, around some kind of loop to support the leg and then do nice little circles this way. Uh, it's great for the hip joint in with the resistance and the core and all of that. But that's an option, uh, for you to use or not. So in conclusion, if you want to reach the abundant body population, you have to embrace the whole person.

So recognize anatomically which pilates exercises are appropriate for that particular client on that particular day. Right. Be Flexible in your choices to ensure the movements match the client's physical and energetic needs. Yeah, be compassionate. Don't assume the client weight gain came from over eating right. Don't assume that that's kind of a judgement, as I said, be nonjudgmental. It could be that they had some kind of disease that could be that they're on some kind of medication, you know, that's the weight gain.

So we can't assume automatically that just because someone's heavy, they're an overeater and see beyond the weight and help create a positive experience. I think that's really important. And know they have the same bones and can be palpated just like any other body. Give an association between exercising and activity of daily living. Right.

So they have an experience as we spoke about sitting in a chair and standing up, making that a daily living exercise, you know, um, protect your own body, use your good biomechanics and safety at all costs. Yeah. Treat them with respect, truth, fairness and integrity and introduce other health aspects. Right. Such as walking, if that's appropriate for their knees, you know, or maybe even if they were to do something for a cause, you know, there's sometimes a relay for life, you know, where they walk in the community to raise money. So if they do some kind of exercise, that is a purpose for a greater cause, especially for their community. They might be more interested in training to do that.

So if they're going to do a two mile walk to raise money for leukemia, they might be like, okay, that's my goal and I'm going to do this. So then you're part of making that happen and that's a real positive outcome. Yeah. So be creative and enjoy working. Hi.

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1 person likes this.
Awesome workshop, I'm so glad you created this video Madeline! I've been wanting something like this! However, if I'm working with a senior client who is very overweight and tall it makes it extremely awkward for them to get on the reformer because they cant flex their hips enough to get their legs in front of them and roll back. So I typically don't use the reformer. Some suggestions for working with very overweight and frail clients would be helpful!
Hi Jenna, you probably do not have a clinical size reformer, it is much easier to get on and off it. The is plenty of movement possibilities on the Cadillac and Chair. Recommend for frail client are the basics, review your fundamentals. Best of luck to you.
4 people like this.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Madeline and PA for doing this workshop. I loved your introduction and ending message to bring compassion to abundant bodied people. I hope PA is able to devote more classes to this subject since there are so many alignment issues to consider -- particularly for fuller figured people who are active enough to do more. (I am curious about foot and leg work for people with fuller thighs who are unable to connect at the heels, for example.) One of my biggest takeaways here is to embrace (and fun with!) modifications and this workshop has given me lots of food for thought in that regard. With gratitude ...
1 person likes this.
Thank you for presenting this workshop! Not many of my clients come to me with flawless, youthful, fit bodies, but they all have such enthusiasm! I have struggled to come up with modifications for them and sometimes I fail drastically in my exercise choices. These will be great additions to my toolbox. Keep them coming, Madeline and PA!! You rock!
Thanks Barbara, I am happy that you are passionate about helping your clients and that we can spread the health!
1 person likes this.
Thanks, these are great ideas.
Thank you Madeline! I just had my first session with a 320lb. man today and all of your insights (as always) were very helpful. I especially love modifications with the wedge pillow + being sensitive to their feelings around all of this. Mahalo!!!!
Sarah, I am so happy you were able to give your client a great experience! Keep up the great work!
1 person likes this.
Great workshop, great information that is very applicable to the daily life of a Pilates teacher. Thanks Madeline!!
1 person likes this.
Thank you Madeline for a really helpful and informative workshop. I have applied much of what you said this week with clients and ALL of it has been helpful. Thank you for the kindness and thoughtfulness you encourage and the very helpful exercise suggestions and modifications.The wedge pillow you used - where can I find one? I looked online and couldn't find. Thank you.
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