On Friday, May 4, 2012, I attended a workshop with Brooke Siler titled, “All Hands on Deck.” In it, Brooke shared with us how to deepen a client’s pilates work with specific hand positioning. In a nutshell, Brooke explained, “stability/mobility determines where I put my hands.”
And, there it is, spotting de-mystified! To best “spot” a client, during a challenging exercise, place your hands to aid their stability (or lack of it). Hand placement is also helpful to aid a client’s mobility, to add a bit of extra “stretch,” (if you will) to help them extend further away from center.
I simple example of this concept can be illustrated in spotting the Hundred. In this instance, the instructor would position herself behind the client with one hand close to and/or supporting the head and the other hand directly under the rib cage/bust line. Thus, a client is both stabilized (ribs) and mobilized/lengthened (upper back/neck).
This theory can be applied to any exercise on the mat and/or apparatus. In using this simple (yet extremely effective) rule, instructors can greatly deepen a client’s pilates experience and satisfaction. Thus (as long as you have a client’s permission) don’t be afraid to use your 2 most effective pilates tools—your own 2 hands.
Laura Detert, PMA®-CPT is a qualified instructor of comprehensive pilates by Balanced Body and a Certified Pilates Teacher by the Pilates Method Alliance. She is the owner and operator of Open Studio Pilates in the North Village Arts District of downtown Columbia, Missouri.