I had a wonderful question in my Saturday matwork masterclass for Breathe Education where we opened up a discussion about feeling discomfort in wrists. I’m sure that we’ve all been there. You’re about 5 planks into a sequence and all you want to do is drop down to your forearms. Often at times we see our clients sit back after a long stretch series and gingerly roll their wrists. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll get an eye roll too.
Let’s begin the process of reframing the way we look at value of discomfort in different parts of our body.
When was the last time you heard a client say “my abs have had enough” in a class? The same sentiment applies to a client saying that they can’t do anymore targeted ‘glute’ work – I’m yet to hear it. I explained in my class that the modern fitness industry has normalised sensation in some parts of our body, and created fear around discomfort in other parts. And unfortunately, often we place higher value on these ‘desirable’ areas as they are synonymous with modern beauty standards.
What if I told you that your abs are not the most important part of your body, and you shouldn’t let anyone make you feel like they should be for any functional, or aesthetic purpose?
Now, that might be a lot to consider.
Before I did my Certificate IV with Breathe Education I was still stuck in the narrative that if my ‘core’ gets strong, my low back pain goes away. And that my neck should be relaxed, and my hip flexors should never ‘take load’, and that there are only so many reps I have till my back is ‘done’.
Instead, we could empower our clients to understand that our whole body needs to be strong.
To understand that our whole body needs to be resilient, and can move in wonderful, expansive and explorative ways as it is intended to do so.
This is a large part of why I teach in a way that is body neutral. Because then it’s okay for your wrists, neck, lower back, hip flexors etc. to experience sensation because they all play a role in movement. So the next time your wrists are starting to really feel it in class: shake it out, and go again!
Sharrman Maran is a member of the training and
marketing teams at Breathe Education.
He is a pilates educator based in Melbourne, Australia,
and teaches online to a global audience.
@sharrmanmaran / @breathe.education