Here's how to do your Studio Pilates class preamble. Simply get your room prepared and have everyone seated on their mat when they arrive with a circle, a butt band and an arm band. Then follow this script provided. Each part of this script is important and it's aim is to make your job as an instructor easier and a better experience and better result for your member and has been refined over thousands of Pilates mat classes.
Welcome everyone to your Studio Pilates class, my name is _____ and I'm your instructor today. Is anyone new to the class...? Great, welcome to those that are new and those that have been here before, we will go over the basics quickly and then get started. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask along the way or simply ask me at the end of the class.
Please remember that this is a workout class and not an injury rehabilitation class. You must always work within your limits, some exercises may have different levels and it is important to choose the level that's right for you. Level -1 is always the easiest and please remember, you may rest at any stage throughout the workout if you need to. If an exercise looks to hard, simply don't attempt it.
You will the feel the muscles working in your class today but you should never feel any pain in the neck back or any of the joints. If you do experience pain, either choose an easier level, or stop the exercise and simply wait for the next one.
There will be several exercises with the head and shoulders lifting off the floor. If the neck is straining then please place a hand behind the head to support the neck or simply keep the head on the mat.
Pilates is not a competition. Please don't feel the pressure to perform each and every exercise and please don't compare yourself to the person next to you as they may have come 100 times before so please work at your own pace.
I'll demonstrate some of the exercises as we go along; please do the exercise with me as I demonstrate to speed things up.
I'll give you the breathing patterns for each exercise as we go along, the breathing is in through the nose - refocusing the breath into the upper chest- and out through the mouth. Please use the breathing to maximise the effectiveness of each exercise.
We have what's called a neutral and an imprinted spine position when lying on our back. Neutral spine refers to keeping the natural curve in the lower back. Most of your exercises however you will do in the imprinted position especially when lifting the legs into tabletop.
The spinal imprinted position simply refers to each one of the lower backbones drawing as close as possible towards the mat without lifting the tailbone off the mat, and you'll hear me refer to these positions through the class.
Ok, let's have a practice of the spinal positions. I'll get you lying on the back with the knees bent. I want you to place your fingers underneath your kidneys and you should feel a small space between the floor and your back. I now want you to flatten the lower back slightly, keeping the tailbone on the floor.....good.
We also have what's called the tabletop position....this is simply when the legs are bent up to 90 degrees in a tabletop position. Let's give this a go...great.
Next is the T-Zone and is short for the transversus abdominus and pelvic floor, deep stomach muscles that stabilize the lower back and flatten the stomach...so good ones to strengthen.
Imagine you have the letter T drawn on the surface of the stomach. The horizontal line of the T connects both of the hip bones and the vertical line of the T starts at the pubic bone and comes up to meet the horizontal to form the letter T. (gesture with your hands)
OK, to activate and feel for the T zone, simply place the fingertips just inside the hip bones and now I want you to focus on activating the vertical axis of the T by drawing up through the pelvic floor as if you are stopping from going to the bathroom, hold this, and then focus on the horizontal line of the T drawing flat and tight towards the mat or the spine. You can also imagine the hip bones drawing towards each other along that line also.
Repeat and explain 1-2 more times
You may feel some tension under the fingers when the muscles engage and then disappear when you relax, if you can't, don't worry as you'll gain in strength and the more you practice it the stronger it will become.
What I don't want to see is that horizontal line popping outwards or upwards. You must concentrate on keeping that T Zone flat especially when we're lifting the head and working our abdominals and remember to tighten and flatten the T zone each time I remind you as this is one of the most important parts of your Studio Pilates workout.
Now let's use these principles for your first exercise...
Proceed to flow straight into the first exericse of your class.