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Constrained by the repertoire?

There comes a time when the repertoire not only becomes a bit boring (to both instructors and clients) but you, as an instructor thinks “I want more, there has to be more”

Many of the participants tha tjoin me on GROW express this feeling upon securing their spot!

Going from any kind of repertoire to a fuller, more rounded workout can seem daunting and overwhelming. I remember a time when, if I didn’t recognize the movement as an exercise and wasn't able to give it a name, I didn’t feel comfortable giving it to a client. I felt a bit of a fraud!

Ridiculous I know, but I have instructors come to me daily with the same concerns. So here it is, permission to break free of the repertoire and think outside of the mat!

You know where you want to go and the teacher you dream of being, but the steps in-between seem to elude you.

As with most things, take small steps, 1% shifts, change and implement one thing at a time and work from there.

Here are my top tips for edging towards being able to teach a workout that encompasses not only Pilates exercises, but also many other useful movements and modalities.

  1. Do repertoire in different positions.

Who knows, alternate positions might even be more helpful to the majority of clients.

A lot of the classical Pilates repertoire is lying supine, flexing the spine. This just isn’t functional for the majority of clients. Sitting on the floor with the legs outstretched in front of you isn’t the most comfortable position for all either.

That being said, some of the essences of the movements and choreography are great.

  • what about obliques standing?

  • So why not try the Saw standing up or sitting on a chair?

  • What about side leg series standing, made harder with a light resistance band around the ankles.

2. flow

Try linking one, two, three or more exercises together to flow effortlessly from one exercise to another. NO mini breaks. The transitions become part of the workout. You could add in a squat or lunge in-between two “Pilates” exercises.

The possibilities are endless here. There are some great instagram accounts to take inspiration from but the best thing is playing around on the mat yourself and at the end of an exercise holding the position and thinking what could easily start from this position.

I explore this concept in The Instructor Blueprint - FLOW edition

3. Include functional/everyday movements (or sports specific if you are working with athletes.)

Most people, most days will need to get up and down off the ground, sit down and stand up, get on and off the tube or bus, etc etc. All those years spent people watching in Starbucks have finally paid off!

Add all these movements into your workout. Maybe getting stuck at certain points and adding pulses. (hello bottom of the squat!)

Think of this point as part of the previous FLOW point!

You might be comfortable or qualified to make larger jumps and steps than the ones mentioned above. If that’s you, then Just do it!!

BUT if you fall into the category that most of us (myself included) find ourselves in, then focus on small steps, 1% shifts and then rest will follow!!

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