Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
... Knees and Toes!
If you are anything like me, that song will now be playing in your head, over and over and over again... it has literally stuck with me since my last inspiration for my latest MBMPilates class term theme.
We have been focusing on different parts of the body each week, to layer and improve piece by piece. It helps reinforce good technique and body awareness. We have only 5 weeks this term and it's something you can either put into practice (if you teach) or even if you practice Pilates at home or in classes. The main target of each session is still full body and pelvic floor work but we are just shifting the focus more onto different segments of the body and swapping out a few moves to concentrate on them even more.
Week 1 - Concentrating on stretches to the head and neck, focus on lifting and extending through the back of the neck. We incorporated more neck activation and opening across the front of the chest.
Week 2 - Focus on shoulders drawing down away from the ears, resetting the shoulders back into shoulder girdle, we added Dolphin Pose into our initial warm up routine to strengthen and improve stamina into the shoulders. We also concentrated on activating the arms and lengthening away in any moves we did.
Knees (and Hips)
Week 3 - Focus will be on hip hinges and strengthening, mobility, stabilising through the pelvis. Lengthening the legs and strengthening via squats and more challenging single leg balances. (Let's just say I was limping after a few of those sessions back to back!! quite tough!)
Week 4 - Focusing on the feet. Flexing and pointing the toes, self massage with trigger point balls and improved toe and foot flexibility. Learning to utilise the feet more in Pilates and especially in balance work.
Knees and Toes
Week 5 - A blend of week 3 and week 4 working a lot more on the lower body, stretching and strengthening.
Each week I send out an email to the clients so they know what our focus is, this applies to my classes and regular private Pilates clients. That way we are all on the same page and our energies are all combined towards a common goal.
Try to incorporate some of these focuses on your own practice (or teachings) and you will soon see more understanding and body awareness as it layers up piece by piece.
Go forth and focus!