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Virtual classes could be used to supplement teacher-led sessions


GLENN WITHERS


PHYSIOTHERAPIST AND DIRECTOR OF APPI HEALTHGROUP


environment, and the sooner this is put to bed the better. When people go to an exercise facility, they are looking for inspiration – and that comes from the personal interaction with the teacher. But one must always look at this realistically, not just


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as a purist. It’s not so much that it cannot be done – we have our own DVDs that encourage people to do pilates at home. But if a person has made a conscious choice to go to the gym, I fear their motivation will be lost if they fi nd they could do the same workout from home. Moreover pilates, possibly more than other forms of


exercise, really needs the expertise of the instructor to ensure correct function, avoid painful compensations, and to ensure results. It’s not the pilates movements on their own that get the results but the execution of those movements – and that’s down to the teaching. In addition, if there’s no-one there to advise, how does a client know when they are ready to progress to the next level? With cycling, if you cycle for a set period of time, you


will get results from the cardio workout. You may well maximise those with a personal class, but the benefi t will still be there from a virtual class. But pilates is not the same, and I strongly advocate against this as a concept.


Pilates, possibly more than other forms of exercise, really needs the expertise of the instructor


march 2012 © cybertrek 2012


y honest feeling is that virtual classes are the worst form of teaching possible in a gym


ANNE-MARIE THOMAS


PR & COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR AND TEACHER, PILATES FOUNDATION


breathe and perform the exercises, their posture and alignment are all very important. The role of the teacher is not just to instruct or demonstrate the exercises but to guide, support and, where appropriate, adapt the exercises and routines to help the student progress and achieve good results. The best classes are therefore in small groups, where


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the teacher can use their knowledge of pilates principles, anatomy, physiology and pathology to offer programmes to suit each person’s strengths and weaknesses. A virtual pilates class simply cannot impart this level


of teaching. Virtual classes in cycling or aerobics may be a suitable substitute for teacher-led classes, where the instructor does not regularly circulate the room to correct posture and ensure good technique, but virtual classes are simply not suitable to teaching pilates. In order to develop and improve, it’s vital to have regular contact with the teacher so that they can identify incorrect movement patterns. However, there may be one instance in which it could


be acceptable, and that is as a supplemental class – the virtual class would be much the same as following a DVD at home, to practise between teacher-led classes. Once both student and teacher are confi dent the student is performing the exercises safely, a virtual class may be added. But an initial assessment with the teacher would be an important safeguard to ensure safety.


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ilates is an exercise method that uses very precise movement patterns – the student’s actions, the way they


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