Scoop of the Week: Michael Fritzke & Ton Voogt Rock My Powerhouse!
I love it when Pilates workshops cause me to look at Pilates or my approach to teaching from a whole new perspective. I love being introduced to "brand new" exercises that weren't included in my two comprehensive certifications, such as Mr. Pilates archival work. I love it when I get to train with the Masters; those with years of experience for whom teaching almost seems effortless. It's inspiring to be around Master Instructors who teach with simplicity yet challenging specificity. They seem to have the perfect verbal and touch cues for every exercise. Plus, experience has granted them a huge arsenal of Pilates vocabulary ranging from pre-Pilates to the super-advanced and archival exercises. And they always seem to know exactly which ones to utilize at the appropriate time to best benefit the progress of each individual they teach. Definitely something to aspire to.
In the meantime, I enjoy studying with the Masters. 2 of my faves are Michael Fritzke and Ton Voogt who I just had the luxury of training with last weekend at In & Up Pilates, a boutique studio in Silver Lake, CA.
The day started with a TRIADBALL MAT CLASS. It was an invigorating, innovative use of a slightly deflated ball that challenges just how committed you are to "hugging your midline", how deep you're "scooping" your Powerhouse and how stable that pelvis is! The Triad ball is not only a great way to intensify workout for experienced clients, but it's extremely useful in helping newer clients achieve deeper connections to the muscles of the Powerhouse even while doing "fundamental/pre-Pilates" exercises.
(L-R: Robin & Stephanie, owners of In & Up Pilates/ Ton/ Me/ Michael -holding TRIAD Balls)
Next was Michael & Ton's BUILDING BLOCKS WORKSHOP. I loved the analogy they used in the beginning of the workshop to illustrate the importance of looking at the body as Joseph Pilates did - as a single mechanism. Mr. Pilates believed that everything in the body is connected. Therefore, he designed his exercise system to balance the entire body and help it function more efficiently.
Ton compared it to looking at a painting. When you get up close to a painting, you notice one small detail that contributes to the beauty of the artwork. But it's not until you back up that you can see the painting as a composite of many details that create it's beauty. When a client walks into the Pilates studio complaining of shoulder pain, that's 1 small detail within the entire mechanism that might be compromised. Although pain might be present in the shoulder, something as distal as their right foot might be implicated in the kinetic chain that alters the stability of their shoulder girdle. As Pilates instructors, we don't diagnose or try to "fix" the shoulder. We simply help clients gain greater control of their entire mechanism; through strength, stability and control. Our "big picture" approach will help their body support the shoulder girdle and hopefully create a pain free body. Love the wisdom behind that!
Afterwards, we practiced the "Building Blocks" of Pilates, the Fundamental exercises that help clients understand the principles and philosophies that create the common thread in Mr. Pilates system. They establish the importance of:
- breath-work and utilizing our full lung capacity. We even got to play with the Breath-A-Cizer!
- How to access our Powerhouse
- How to work the spine in all planes of motion for flexibility with stability
- How to strengthen the neck
- How to create scapular and pelvic stability and mobility
- How to build strength in the intrinsic muscles of the hands & feet
(The Foot Corrector)
Yes, Mr. Pilates was THAT detailed! We got to experiment with the Breath-A-Cizer, the Toe-Cizer, the Sand Bag (not pictured) and the Foot Corrector. I loved how all of the exercises we did represented the essence of the movement principles known to classical Pilates exercises. Even the "fundamentals" can provide a kick-butt workout!
Last of the workshops was the CADILLAC ARCHIVAL SEMINAR. Mr. Pilates taught each individual based on their needs. Therefore, he taught each of his proteges a version of an exercise that was right for their body. That's why, today, we have many variations on a theme. From the roll back bar to the push thru bar, plus the leg springs and the arm springs; we learned different variations of some of the most common exercises and why they were created for different bodies.
I know, that's a lot of information for 1 day. I'm still absorbing it all.
Rock Your Powerhouse!