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About Advanced Exercises...

"A person can be new to Pilates and execute advanced exercises. It is the HOW and DEPTH of the work which dictates the Student's level -not the exercise."       -Kathi Ross Nash

Recently, this quote popped out while reviewing teaching materials. In one way it inspired me to broaden the exercises I make accessible to students, and in another way it gave me a reminder of the intentions I set for client's sessions. I make an mental "road map" for all my clients to help them reach a particular destination.

In many ways I agree with this sentiment, and I also add a caveat that a student may not be ready to go there (yet). If the body will not (yet) benefit from the exercise or risk injury, the exercise is not yet appropriate. When working with clients, I create goals that are based on the individual body needs that will naturally bring someone to more and more advanced exercises. I don't see an advanced exercises as a higher level, per say, but as an exercise that is more complex and can give greater benefit.

I think EVERY exercise in the Pilates method is a challenge, or it should be. This is a nod to the quote -it is the HOW and the DEPTH of how the exercise is executed. They are that way ON-PURPOSE! The challenge of Pilates engages your mind, and challenges you to improve your control and concentration in a really unique way. Pilates benefits the entire body, mind and spirit. It can not be done by reading a book or watching a video. You have to actually do it and experience it in your body.

Pilates cadillac exercises
Hanging up on the Cadillac

So while a beginner MAY be able to do an advanced exercise, I would like to share with you this: the foundational exercises we all start with are your building blocks. They are giving you the strength, control and depth you need to build up to more complex and challenging feats of skill. Please do not skip out on them or "tune out" while doing them. We can always go deeper into an exercise no matter how many times its been done. The skills you are learning now will help you in the future.


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