I stole this idea from Cloe Bunter, and it’s a great one!
Michael has been one of our biggest inspirations, and has given us endless happy tears throughout our journey together. He is a STAND OUT human being who has also emerged as an incredibly skilled teacher. He also just so happens to be 78!
I challenge you to not find his joy, passion and laugh contagious 🙂
Read the research
People with low back pain tend to have INCREASED activation of abdominals and low back muscles
- Discriminating Healthy Controls and Two Clinical Subgroups of Nonspecific Chronic Low Back Pain Patients Using Trunk Muscle Activation and Lumbosacral Kinematics of Postures and Movements (Dankaerts et al. 2009)
- Changes in muscle activation patterns and subjective low back pain ratings during prolonged standing in response to an exercise intervention (Nelson-Wong & Callaghan, 2010
Read Greg Lehman’s informative, science-based and hilarious blog post
Sarah Michael is the founding trainer of VIVE Active in Sydney Australia, where she is all about giving the client the best experience.
In order to do this her philosophy is to let go; let go of all the baggage of who you think you need to be, which way your toes are pointing or, for Pete’s sake – safety.
This was a real, hilarious, liberating conversation that will be highly relevant for you if you suffer from anxiety, imposter syndrome, or feel a pressure to fit yourself to a mould shaped like someone else.
Read the research
- Activation of mTORC1 signalling in rat skeletal muscle is independent of the EC‐coupling sequence but dependent on tension per se in a dose‐response relationship (Rindom et al., 2019)
- Increased hypertrophic response with increased mechanical load in skeletal muscles receiving identical activity patterns (Eftestøl et al., 2016)
- The Mechanisms of Muscle Hypertrophy and Their Application to Resistance Training (Schoenfeld, 2010)
John’s energetic, warm and engaging style of teaching and his incredible popularity are the stuff of legend. In this candid conversation John and I talk about age, being awesome, and many other things!
This conversation with Anula Maiberg from Anula Maiberg Pilates & Things grew out of an email conversation, that we both felt was a conversation that needed to be had in public.
Together, Anula and I consider whether as a profession, Pilates instructors have a compelling value proposition, or even a clear definition of what it is that we offer our clients; why we feel the need to define ourselves by reference to made-up pathologies and special micro-limitations, and of what, precisely does good studentry consist?
Read the guidelines:
- Acute-Pain-Management-Scientific-Evidence (2015)
- An updated overview of clinical guidelines (Koes et al., 2010)
- Evidence-based management of acute musculoskeletal pain_(2003)
- What does best practice care for musculoskeletal pain look like? Eleven consistent recommendations from high-quality clinical practice guidelines: systematic review (Lin et al., 2019)
- Clinical practice guidelines for the management of non‐specific low back pain in primary care: an updated overview (Oliviera et al., 2018)
Sarah is a women’s health physiotherapist, and co-owner of Entropy Physiotherapy and Wellness in Chicago, Illinois. Sarah graduated from Marquette University in 2002 with a Master’s of Physical Therapy. She went on to get a Masters of Science in Women’s Health and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Rosalind Franklin University in 2008.
In 2009 Sarah was awarded the Certificate of Achievement in Pelvic Physical Therapy (CAPP) from the Section on Women’s Health, and Board Certification as a specialist in women’s health (WCS).
Sarah and I talk about pregnancy and exercise, what you should and shouldn’t do with a pregnant client, pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain, and what you as a group exercise instructor can do for your clients with pelvic girdle pain. We talk about diastasis recti abdominis or abdominal separation, and finally we spend quite a bit of time on Sarah’s favourite topic, urinary incontinence, on which she has recently published a book.
Towards the end of the interview Sarah gives in-depth instructions on how to do a pelvic floor contraction, and how to cue one. And, when to cue pelvic floor and when not to mention it!
You can purchase the Elvie Kegel Trainer here
Dani looks like the perfect Pilates teacher, but she has had struggles which are invisible to the eye.
This is the story of how she is overcoming anxiety, perfectionism and an eating disorder through Pilates, and the transformative power of realising she didn’t have to fit a mould, which allowed her to find her authentic voice as a teacher and as a human.
Cat Webb graduated with the Certificate IV in Pilates in 2015, and the Diploma of Clinical Pilates in 2016. After working full-time as a Pilates instructor for 3 years, in 2018 she opened Good Times Pilates in Melbourne’s Fitzroy.
Cat is a community builder, an advocate of making Pilates (and all exercise) fun, and her Instagram ( @catwebb__ ) presence is lighthearted, inclusive, and honest. Not only that but she has managed to build a successful, paradigm-breaking Pilates studio in the heart of one of Australia’s coolest suburbs.
Cat shares her thoughts on starting and running a business, finding your voice, and how to make your way in the industry – you’ll enjoy this conversation!
What is the difference between a disc bulge, disc herniation, disc protrusion, disc extrusion and a disc sequestration?
What about terms like focal, posterolateral, and circumferential?
Learn it all in this quick, simple video.
Read the Research:
Dr. Rebecca Lewthwaite received her PhD in kinesiology (what in Australia we call exercise science or human movement) from UCLA. She is Director of Research and Education in Physical Therapy and Director of Rehabilitation Outcomes Management at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Los Angeles, and an adjunct faculty member in biokinesiology and physical therapy at the University of Southern California (USC).
Dr. Lewthwaite’s research focuses on the role of confidence and autonomy support in motor performance and learning, in a variety of individuals, from those undergoing physical rehabilitation to developing and high-performing athletes. Recent work includes the facilitation of confidence building in individuals recovering from stroke. As an investigator in the recent ICARE clinical trial in stroke rehabilitation, Dr. Lewthwaite co-designed with Carolee Winstein the investigational Accelerated Skill Acquisition Program (ASAP) around skill acquisition principles common to OPTIMAL theory. She was an intercollegiate athlete in two sports and a coach on a national championship softball team at UCLA. She and Gaby Wulf co-authored the OPTIMAL theory of motor performance and learning.
Dr. Gabriele Wulf is a sport scientist with PhDs from the German Sports University in Cologne and the University of Munich. She is a UNLV Distinguished Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).
Dr. Wulf has conducted research in motor learning for more than 30 years. She studies factors that influence the learning of motor skills, including attentional focus and motivational variables. She has published approximately 200 journal articles and book chapters, as well as two books, both of which I have read, and they are both excellent!
Dr. Wulf has received various awards for her research, including UNLV’s Barrick Distinguished Scholar Award. She was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology and given the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity’s (NASPSPA) Distinguished Scholar Award. She has served as President of NASPSPA and the Founding Editor of two journals in the movement sciences. Dr. Wulf has given keynote addresses to national and international societies in movement science and physical therapy. She and Rebecca Lewthwaite co-authored the OPTIMAL theory of motor performance and learning.
Read the Research:
- Fear-avoidance beliefs—a moderator of treatment efficacy in patients with low back pain: a systematic review (Wertli et al., 2014)
- Enhance placebo, avoid nocebo: How contextual factors affect physiotherapy outcomes (Testa et al., 2016)
- When words are painful: unraveling the mechanisms of the nocebo effect (Benedetti et al., 2007)
Watch this short video by Canadian physiotherapist Nick Hannah:
Read the quote from Joseph Pilates
Return To Life Through Contrology (Pilates, 1945, p34)
“Therefore, in the reclining exercises, be sure wherever indicated, to keep your back full length always pressed firmly against the mat or floor.”
Read the research
I did a whole blog on the research on spinal flexion versus neutral
Antony Lo is a Sydney based physiotherapist who specialises in female athletes, and in particular female Crossfit athletes.
Having successfully grown 2 private practices, Antony sold these to concentrate on his Specialisation Training Program and developing educational courses for health professionals and the general public. He still consults at 2 locations in Sydney seeing everyone from children to the elderly, as well as his sports-specific patients. He also travels around Australia to deliver seminar information for his course The Female Athlete, and to provide consultations for those interested in his approach.
I have been friends with Antony since 2006 when we worked together. Every time I talk with Antony I learn something valuable, he is one of the practitioners I admire the most, and who I have learned the most from.
In this conversation we talk about pelvic health, urinary incontinence, low back pain, making quick changes and Antony’s approach to evidence-based practice.
Read the Research:
- Triple play: Additive contributions of enhanced expectancies, autonomy support, and external attentional focus to motor learning (Wulf et al., 2018)
- Optimizing motivation and attention for motor performance and learning (Lewthwaite & Wulf, 2017)
- Understanding self-controlled motor learning protocols through the self-determination theory (Sanli et al., 2013)
Watch the Shining Eyes video with Benjamin Zander:
Read the Research:
Relaxin levels during pregnancy are not related to pelvic pain
- Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain and its relationship with relaxin levels during pregnancy: a systematic review (Aldabe et al., 2012)
- Association between the serum levels of relaxin and responses to the active straight leg raise test in pregnancy (Vøllestad et al., 2012)
The sacroiliac joint basically doesn’t move – even in people with diagnosed “pelvic instability”
- Movement of the sacroiliac joint during the Active Straight Leg Raise test in patients with long-lasting severe sacroiliac joint pain (Kibsgård et al., 2017)
- A radiostereometric analysis of movements of the sacroiliac joints during the standing hip flexion test (Sturesson et al., 2000)
Pregnancy is characterised by widespread tissue hypersensitivity
- Pregnancy is characterized by widespread deep-tissue hypersensitivity independent of lumbopelvic pain intensity, a facilitated response to manual orthopedic tests, and poorer self-reported health (Palsson et al., 2015)
You can’t palpate movement of the pelvic joints (even if you think you can)
- Manual palpation of lumbo-pelvic landmarks: a validity study (Kilby et al., 2012)
- Inter-examiner reliability of four static palpation tests used for assessing pelvic dysfunction (Holmgren et al, 2008)
- Clinical tests of the sacroiliac joint: a systematic methodological review. Part 1: reliability (van der Wurff et al., 2000)(a)
- Clinical tests of the sacroiliac joint: a systematic methodological review. Part 2: validity (van der Wurff et al., 2000)(b)
The biggest predictor of recovery from pelvic pain is – belief that you will recover
Read the Research:
Read the Research:
- Clinical outcomes of a scapular-focused treatment in patients with subacromial pain syndrome: a systematic review (Reijneveld et al., 2017)
- Exercise for rotator cuff tendinopathy: a systematic review (Littlewood et al., 2012)
- Subacromial decompression versus diagnostic arthroscopy for shoulder impingement: randomised, placebo surgery controlled clinical trial (Paavola et al., 2018)
- A self-managed single exercise programme versus usual physiotherapy treatment for rotator cuff tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial (the SELF study) (Littlewood, 2016)
- Effects of Scapular Stabilization Exercise Training on Scapular Kinematics, Disability, and Pain in Subacromial Impingement: A Randomized Controlled Trial (Turgut et al., 2017)
- Sham surgery versus labral repair or biceps tenodesis for type II SLAP lesions of the shoulder: a three-armed randomised clinical trial (Schrøder et al., 2017)
- Operative versus nonoperative treatment for the management of full-thickness rotator cuff tears: a systematic review and meta-analysis (Piper et al., 2017)
- Arthroscopic decompression not recommended in the treatment of rotator cuff tendinopathy: a final review of a randomised controlled trial at a minimum follow-up of ten years (Ketola et al., 2017)
Read the Research:
Read the Research:
- Kemp-2009: A randomized comparative trial of generalized vs targeted physiotherapy in the management of childhood hypermobility
- Pacey-2013: Exercise in children with joint hypermobility syndrome and knee pain: a randomised controlled trial comparing exercise into hypermobile versus neutral knee extension
- Palmer-2014: The effectiveness of therapeutic exercise for joint hypermobility syndrome: a systematic review
- Smith-2014: Physiotherapy and occupational therapy interventions for people with benign joint hypermobility syndrome: a systematic review of clinical trials
- Di Stefano-2016: Central sensitization as the mechanism underlying pain in joint hypermobility syndrome/Ehlers–Danlos syndrome, hypermobility type
Kjartan Vibe Fersum is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bergen, Norway, and was the lead author on the original CFT paper in 2012, with co-authors Peter O’Sullivan, Skouen, Smith, & Kvåle.
In addition to his teaching and research at the University of Bergen, he works in clinical practice as a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist in Bergen, and a contributor to the Pain-Ed project, where his mission is to inform both the public and health care practitioners about the latest pain research, and to dispel common myths about pain and provide hope for change.
Kjartan is incredibly well-read, but his true genius seems to lie in combining his rich and nuanced understanding of the research with a flexible, person-centred worldview.
This interview has too many gems and insights to list – you must listen to it if you work with people in pain.
Read the sources:
- Attentional focus and motor learning: A review of 15 years (Wulf, 2013)
- Strength training as superior, dose-dependent and safe prevention of acute and overuse sports injuries: a systematic review, qualitative analysis and meta-analysis (Lauersen et al., 2018)
- The Training-Injury Prevention Paradox (Gabbett, 2016)
- The Pilates In America Study (PMA, 2016)
- Return to life through Contrology (Pilates, 1945)
Blossom Leilani Crawford was originally trained by Kathy Grant, one of Joseph Pilates’ personal students. Later, Blossom was also certified by Romana Kryzanowska. She is currently the principal at Bridge Pilates, NY as well as a prolific contributor to Pilates Anytime and Pilatesology.
In our conversation, we cover a lot of ground, including historical reflections and insights, thoughts on the evolution of Pilates and most importantly a powerful message of hope: What we do is not rocket science, just get people moving fearlessly.
Blossom is on tour in Sydney, Australia in late August 2018. Details from Pilates On Tour Sydney
Anula is an owner at Sixth Street Pilates in New York, a regular presenter on Pilates Anytime, and prolific presenter of workshops. She is co-author and instigator of Shift Happens with creative partner James Crader.
In addition to being a highly accomplished Pilates teacher, Anula Maiberg is a walking paradox. She is at one and the same time ironic and guileless, simple and subtle, dark and optimistic, artful and down to earth.
Most of all though, she is a deep thinker when it comes to Pilates, and the way she thinks about the movement flows over into the social and cultural context of Pilates today. Anula also has the knack of summarising the human experience with clarity and simplicity. She is a master of soundbites. And there are plenty in this interview.
Greg Lehman http://www.greglehman.ca/ is a Canadian physiotherapist, chiropractor and strength and conditioning specialist treating musculoskeletal disorders within a biopsychosocial model. He is incredibly well-read, a highly skilled educator. And he’s funny.
Before his clinical career, Greg received a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council MSc graduate scholarship and became one of only two students each year to train with Professor Stuart McGill in his Occupational Biomechanics Laboratory, subsequently published more than 20 peer-reviewed papers in the manual therapy and exercise biomechanics field. He was an assistant professor at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College teaching a graduate-level course in Spine Biomechanics and Instrumentation as well conducting more than 20 research experiments while supervising more than 50 students.
Greg has lectured on a number of topics on reconciling treatment biomechanics with pain science, running injuries, golf biomechanics, occupational low back injuries and therapeutic neuroscience. His courses Reconciling Biomechanics with Pain Science and Running Resiliency have been taught more than 60 times in more than 40 locations worldwide.
In this conversation, Greg and I talk about how the biomechanics research invalidates the idea of ‘dysfunction’ as a cause of pain or disability, why scapular dyskinesis (aka poor scapular positioning and movement) is not a thing, knee valgus during a squat is nothing to worry about and several other interesting topics.
Greg shares his approach of movement optimism, and his basic framework for working within a biopsychosocial model.
I was inspired to write this by Jenna Zaffino’s story in episode 52 of Pilates Unfiltered – I don’t want to put words in Jenna’s mouth so you should listen to the episode after reading this if you’re interested to understand her point of view.
As movement teachers – Pilates professionals, exercise physiologists, physiotherapists – for years we have operated on the assumption that understanding anatomy, physiology and biomechanics are foundational to being an effective practitioner and teacher.
I think this assumption is wrong. You don’t need to know anything about anatomy, physiology OR biomechanics to effectively teach Pilates or help people rehabilitate.
Yep. Anatomy is not important when teaching Pilates. In fact, I think it gets in the way of good teaching.
I will even go so far as to say, you don’t need to know ANY anatomy, physiology or biomechanics in order to be a great teacher and practitioner. The less the better.
Kristi Cooper is the co-founder of Pilates Anytime, the world’s most popular online Pilates classroom that is bringing Pilates to a new, wider audience and making it possible for any Pilates instructor to learn from the greats in our industry.
In this conversation, Kristi talks about the genesis of Pilates Anytime, and it’s evolution to her current vision. We also talk about where online learning and online practice sits in the Pilates world, and what she has learned about teaching and coaching from working with many of the greatest teachers in the Pilates universe.
Kristi is also a key figure in the Pilates Legacy Project.
Lars Avemarie is one of the most well-read, clear-thinking people I have come across in the fields of pain science and rehabilitation. Born in Denmark, he currently works in Sweden. He is a physiotherapist and personal trainer, and a prolific blogger, educator and public figure on social media.
In this conversation, Lars shares his experiences going back to university at the age of 39 to study physiotherapy, his advice on learning to think critically and challenge your own beliefs, and how to develop your confidence to effectively apply the biopsychosocial approach to pain rehabilitation.
You can follow Lars on Facebook.
Benjamin Degenhardt http://benjamindegenhardt.com is a luminary in the Pilates world. He is an acclaimed teacher, presenter, and the founder of 360° Pilates, a truly innovative immersive education program combining live with online learning.
Benjamin has deeply researched Joseph’s ideas through his writings, marketing material, letters, and archival footage, and he has some great insights and powerful ways of bringing Joseph’s work to life.
I think you’ll enjoy and learn from his perspectives. I certainly did!
During my masters, I did my clinical placement with Brendan Mouatt and his business partner Luke Postlethwaite at their clinic The Biomechanics in Footscray, Melbourne Australia.
Like me, Brendan is a clinical exercise physiologist, and we enjoy talking about evidence-based practice and pain science in particular.
This is a free-ranging conversation where we think about whether we should provide clients with the treatment they expect, and how to navigate professional relationships with people who are not up to date with current best practice.
Brendan also has a thoughtful blog on all things rehabilitation.
Courtney Miller is a shining light in the international Pilates world. She is a prolific contributor to Pilates Anytime, Instagram, and Facebook. Her signature style is a dynamic fusion of Pilates with dance and fitness movements.
In this episode, Courtney deconstructs her process for programming a class based on sequences of 3-5 exercises; her cueing method and how she accesses endless creativity to come up with all those flowing sequences.
What was it like to work with Ron Fletcher, one of Joseph Pilates’ original students? Jenna shares her experiences, insights and surprising stories Ron told her about his experiences working with Joseph and Clara. There are some GOLD teaching tips in there.
Jenna also shares her thoughts on the shift happening in Pilates.
Jenna’s podcast Pilates Unfiltered is the industry’s leading platform for sharing ideas. If you haven’t listened to it yet you’ve been missing out like crazy! She is also a prolific blogger and coach.
Lesley Logan of Profitable Pilates is justly regarded as a great teacher in her own right and a powerhouse of the Pilates industry.
In this episode, Lesley talks about what she learned from Pilates Elder (Joseph’s direct student) Jay Grimes, the benefits of online Pilates, and how she overcomes negative self-talk and imposter syndrome. Lesley talks through how to differentiate yourself, and how to intentionally attract more of the clients you want to work with.
If you want to learn more from Lesley Logan about how to attract more of your best clients, her Becoming Known online course is amazing.