Have you ever thought about pulling together a Pilates class that incorporates Pilates AND all of its principles interspersed with functional movements, and put together using a slow, steady, controlled, uplifting beat of music?
Nor did I until after about 7 years of teaching Pilates and still having a burning desire to teach classes that were BPM lead..(once an Aerobic animal, always an aerobic animal!) I wanted to design a fluid and flowing class that motivated my participants with the use of music whilst introducing movements which would strengthen muscle groups and increase bone density in as far as I could take it ‘in a functional way’. Well, three years on and RAW Pilates is still going strong with 2 workshops delivered and other instructors teaching this style of class.
So what do I mean by ‘in a functional way‘?
Functional Training or Integrated Training as it is becoming more commonly known, can be a minefield of different interpretations formed by people’s different understandings.
Functional Training or Integrated Training is, to mimic movement that most people perform in everyday life, to perform exercises, in different planes using multi-directional movements, to perform movements that involve unstable surfaces, Coordination and Balance techniques, and to take someone with a movement limitation due to injury or illness, through a rehabilitation program resulting in Full Movement or Fitness
For most people functional training means just what they decide it to mean, which in turn means that we all understand it differently and have varying view points on what it actually is.
In a recent article on Functional Training within a Fitness Professional Magazine, Tony Lycholat suggests that the model he uses to establish the best way to functionally train someone is based on one simple question and one word. The question he asks is:
‘How is doing __________ (whatever it might be) going to help me achieve my goal?
In Tony’s model he believes that you need to look at the exerciser in front of you, establish what shape they are presently in, whether they have any limitations, what their capabilities are and what their goals are, then find a robust method of measuring success and evaluating performance. To me that makes sense and sounds intelligent, however as a group exercise instructor it is not as easy as all that, largely due to each individual’s varied capabilities, limitations and goals, all trying to achieve ‘functional training’ in the same class, yet all having different goals!