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One Class, Three Levels: How to make your mat class work for large groups

 
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by Linda Farrell 

When teaching Pilates mat to large groups of people with different abilities, I make sure to break the exercise down into Teaching Pilates mat exercises, Linda Farrelldifferent levels. For instance, I start with level 1, which is the the exercise in its most basic form, and then progress with advanced variations for level 2 and 3. For example, during Single Straight Leg Stretch I start the traditional way—arms reaching for extended limbs, and cue for a modest range of motion.  I then cue to increase the range of motion for level 2, and then to reach the arms over the ears for level 3. I get very good results this way, as the beginners are challenged enough for level 1, and my advanced practitioners are thrilled to have new challenges and variations thrown in to the mix. 

Props are another way to address the different levels in the room. My advanced students can enhance the resistance level of an exercise like leg beats by using a Magic Circle or Triad Ball. Similarly, I can make an exercise like Leg Circles easier for a beginner by letting them support the leg with a hand-held resistance band or exercise strap while they circle.

For over 12 years, Linda Farrell has been presenting Pilates mat at fitness conferences, and in various media. She is the founder of Lindafit Pilates, offering Pilates Mat certification, and continuing education in New York City.

 
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 at 11:01AM by Registered CommenterJessica Cassity in | Comments3 Comments

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Reader Comments (3)

That's a geat teaching tip! I often do this in my classes and get wonderful results. Plus, it's very important not to address stiudents and "beginners" or "advanced"; in my experience it works best to call them level 1, 2 and 3. Although it's frustrating when you have very advanced and brand new students at the same time.The new students want to copy the advanced ones all the time!
February 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAlejandra Laserna
Great suggestions on varying mat exercises to make them appropriate for varying levels. I avoid using terms like "Beginner, Advanced, Level 1,2,3." People generally know where they are, based on their education and experience in Pilates. When teaching a multi-level mat class, I use terms like, "If you want to make this more challenging, do the following," or "If you want to make this less challenging, do the following." This seems to work well.
March 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Chesen
Great suggestions on varying mat exercises to make them appropriate for varying levels. I avoid using terms like "Beginner, Advanced, Level 1,2,3." People generally know where they are, based on their education and experience in Pilates. When teaching a multi-level mat class, I use terms like, "If you want to make this more challenging, do the following," or "If you want to make this less challenging, do the following." This seems to work well.
March 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Chesen

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