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Teacher Training Blog

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Teacher Training Tip of the Week: Modifications for Mid Back / Supine Arms Series

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 will share 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.

Modifications for Mid Back / Supine Arms Series on the Reformer

It's bound to happen, someone comes into your group class and requires a lot of modifications to the repertoire that you were hoping to cover that day! In today's video, fellow Retrofit Master Instructor Jill Bothwell (off-screen) and I chat about our favourite modifications for the Mid Back / Supine Arms Series on the Reformer. These modifications 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 need the wedge or cannot easily stability the legs in table top while moving the arms. When using the wedge a pregnant client, in particular, will likely feel too much hip flexor recruitment because the wedge puts them at an increased angle at the hip joint. It is also generally contraindicated to have the legs up in table top, unsupported after the first trimester- it creates too much intro abdominal pressure and can increase the degree of Diastasis Recti that the client will get.  Swap the straps for hand weights and mimic the arm movements from the original Arm Series with the feet on the footbar. Keep the spring weight the same (RY - 2R) and add footwork or single leg footwork options if the client can happily accommodate unilateral leg work.  If your Reformer has a tower you could simply do the arm work with springs and leave the legs down.  Of course, there are many other ways to modify this series to get work on the core, mid back, shoulder girdle and arms, but this is a nice quick fix, helping to keep the flow of your group class and without moving the client to a new start position or a new piece of equipment.

Ruth Ruttan Doula & Pilates Specialist, Education Coordinator and Master Instructor

Ruth Ruttan Doula & Pilates Specialist, Education Coordinator and Master Instructor

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. 

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