How to progress your Pilates workouts

Let’s have a peek into a daily Pilates session with Andrew Firth…

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 Hmmm. Your gluteals don’t seem to be firing properly. That’s okay – we can work on that. Let’s just do a few activation exercises…

Okay, so you can activate your glutes now. Great. Now let’s intensify the stresses we place on them, so that your glutes develop some new strength and mobility.

What’s that? Our strength work is getting a bit too easy? Alright then, let’s start working your glutes without activating your lower back, or your quads for that matter. Let’s train your body how to do true hip extension. Let’s develop some skilled body mechanics.

 Great. Your glutes are strong, you can extend your hip joint correctly, and you’ve got your lumbopelvic area under control. Let’s work for muscle fatigue now. It’s time to crank up the resistance, the load, the repetitions, the sets. A couple of new exercises wouldn’t hurt either…

 Awesome. You’re a hip-extending dynamo. Your glutes are practically superhuman – a superb Level 8 out of a possible 10. But did you realise that your abdominals are lagging behind at Level 6? Let’s work your transversus abdominus a bit more now, and don’t forget your obliques! We need more chest lifting, more roll backs, more long stretches, and more long-lever positions. I’ll just incorporate those into your routine…

 You’re strong. Flexible. Energetic, and invigorated. Your abs and glutes are equal now; both are firing at a sky-high Level 9. But we haven’t talked about your shoulder girdle for a while. Let’s spread the love a little – First off, let’s talk about your thoracic spine…

Pilates is much, much more than a few isolated exercises to be learned once and quickly discarded. It is a system of movement, driven by goals and fuelled by education. Forget grunt for the sake of grunt; learn what you’re supposed to be doing, ensure that you’re doing it properly, and THEN grunt to your heart’s content!

Want to learn more about your best Pilates workouts? Drop in for one of my classes and we can talk!

Andrew Firth

Pilates Instructor at Clifton Hill Pilates and Rehab