Teacher Training Tip of the Week: Modifications for Kneeling Abdominals Facing Back
Modifications for Kneeling Abdominals Facing Back on the Reformer.
The other week fellow Retrofit Master Instructor Jill Bothwell (off-screen) and I chat about our favourite modification for clients who come to group classes and need a lot of modifications, like pregnant or injured clients. Today we'll be talking about Kneeling Abdominals Facing Back on the Reformer. This modification would be appropriate if a client is pregnant and past the first trimester (typically their belly is beginning to show at this point) or for any clients in a group class setting that can not easily be on hands and knees. It is also generally contraindicated to have a pregnant client on All Fours after the first trimester- it can begin to put too much weight on the lina alba and can increase the degree of Diastasis Recti that the client will get. (Short amounts of time on hands and knees is fine as long as the client has good core recruitment) If your client can tolerate unilateral legwork, you can move Kneeling Abs to a single leg variation. On a Yellow spring have the client take a lunge and stay square through the torso, then flex deeply at the hip to 'sit back on their heel' and slowly release back to the lunge. Keeping the toes hooked slightly over the end of the carriage can help the client pull the carriage forward without the knee taking any extra pressure. Be sure to provide something to hold onto if you do not have an infinity bar that can move to this end of the machine. Of course, there are many other ways to modify for hip flexor torso integration, but this is a nice quick fix, helping to keep the flow of your group class and without moving the client too far from the start position or to a new piece of equipment. In fact, this is a great one for your whole group class to try!
Ruth Ruttan is the Education Coordinator for Retrofit Pilates in Toronto, Canada, a Master Instructor specializing in Pre & Postnatal Pilates and a Birth & Postpartum Doula. Each week Ruth shares tips, tools and reminders for Pilates instructors and students with the intention of keeping us inspired, asking questions and always seeking to improve our teaching and our Pilates practice.