What A Pilates Seminar Taught Me

Better postureLast week I attended a mat based Pilates certification seminar/workshop and I swear, learning has gotten so much cooler once I became an adult. I totally took for granted my college education and my grades can show for it. And everything I took back then, Cost Accounting, Business Law, Finance I&II… are all a distant, convoluted mess of numbers and outdated rules that it makes me wonder what I was thinking when I was in college. I think I was just passing the time with something I was slightly interested in. (My parents are only slightly disappointed that I still can’t balance a checkbook!)

Anyway, learning is so much more fascinating to me now and what I learned in this seminar is totally changing the approach I take with my clients. Leslee Bender was the instructor and she completely motivated and inspired me towards this change. She is the creator behind the Bender Ball and it completely changes the way people will look at core training. For example, many traditional ways to “sculpt” ones abs is to do crunches right? Well she explains that the muscle you’re mostly working here is in fact NOT your abs, but instead your hip flexors. And 9 out of 10 people already  have tight hip flexors. So the opposite of what you’re doing is actually what you should be doing. (I realize this may sound a little convoluted but in the upcoming weeks I’ll do my best to go into greater detail so you can understand how to apply this thinking to your own workouts. You may end up changing the whole system!)

Leslee also showed us how she can create a workout by looking at people’s feet and posture alone. She can determine what muscles are tight, which ones are weak and which ones aren’t even engaged properly. Like I said, fascinating stuff and I am all about finding as many books and articles on this so I can better serve clients who need to restructure their own bodies before they can effectively exercise them. For example, simple rotation exercises can help someone with kyphosis, or strengthening ones glutes can help them relieve back pain and reduce externally rotated feet. It’s amazing.

So in the upcoming weeks I hopefully can shed some more light on this fascinating way to functionally train your body specifically to the way it works and moves. Functional and corrective exercises can actually help relieve chronic pain in some and reverse the effects of aging in others.

Stay tuned!

Anne Marie Costanzo is a nationally certified personal trainer and owner of Little Black Dress Personal Training. She can be reached at am@littleblackdresspt.com or (914) 841-1121.

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About the Author: Anne Marie Constanzo