• Carissa Floyd

Body Beliefs

Have you ever had someone tell you something about your body? It happens often in the fitness industry. We see things that aren't ideal, firing patterns we would like to change, imbalances that may be complicating a movement or making it less efficient, and we say something along the lines off....

-You're not flexible

-You're not strong

-You're not rotating enough

-You're overcompensating with a certain muscles groups

Sometimes we say it in even more broad terms but it is often interpreted by the body in front of us as a truth and not an observation of their movement that day.

I can't tell you how many times I have had a new client walk in and immediately tell me something they believed about their body was so clearly not true. Especially when we started moving and I could see that they were definitely not "tight" or not enough in some area that they believed they were.

Our words are so powerful! I have had this happen to me as well. When I was in training I had another instructor tell me that I had almost no Thoracic mobility and that I needed to work on that. Whenever an exercise was challenging for me I chalked it up to my imobile spine. There are exercises that I avoided and I never seemed to get past a certain range of motion with my spine. Fast forward two years later and I"m at a Pilates conference. We did rotation/spine twist with a partner back to back. We started twisting and I began to pause where I normally would feel like I needed to stop or where I thought my spine would stop moving. Well my partner kept moving and so did my spine. I realized my spine was completely capable of moving when I followed someone else into a deeper movement than I believed I had. To recap, I believed my movement was limited, and I moved like a person with limited thoracic mobility, despite the fact that I had very normal range of motion. I was then in another course, and I had an instructor tell me that I had alot of mobility in my thoracic spine and in some exercises it was was trying to move too much?!?! What?!?!?! Now, I'm sure that my mobility has increased as I have been working on it, and the way our bodies respond to movement can be different day to day to some degree. But I had two different instructors tell me two opposing "facts" about my spine. The best I felt was when I moved it without any preconceived notions at all.

As an instructor I try to be so careful about what I tell clients is "wrong with them" and even try to avoid telling them facts about their body. I ask clients how they feel every time they come in for a session and we go from there. Sometimes they really do feel tighter or sore and we work through that, but coming in one day feeling tight in your hips does not mean that you inherently have tight hip flexors and will always have tight hip flexors. We can address imbalances by working the body in balances without boiling it down to a some blanket statement that may inhibit movement and progress. At TPU it's our goal to empower all clients to move well in their own body!! That means that we don't sit there and give you a list of things that are wrong with you, ways you can't move, or tell you exactly what your movement has to look like. We do work towards moving your body freely and efficiently, and empowering you to feel like you can move and move well, all while working towards your specific goals. If you are looking for a studio environment that encourages to move your best, come join our Pilates family!

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