Beware of Pilates Tricks

Many of my clients have asked me about Pilates videos posted on YouTube where instructors are doing crazy ‘tricks’ (not the exercise pictured) and getting tens of thousands of views. Some of my clients are excited to try them, while others hope that they’ll eventually get there.

I’m sure that there are dancers and circus performers who can safely do these ‘tricks,’ but I worry that people will see it online and try to mimic it. These ‘tricks’ are the kinds of exercises that should come with a warning: ‘Do not try what you are about to see.’ As instructors, we should be responsible about showing off our skills in order to increase awareness of the benefits of our profession.

That’s why I tell my clients that before they try anything they see on YouTube, they should ask themselves: Why am I doing this? What muscles will need to work to do this safely? What will I need to mobilize and what will I need to stabilize? (And can I afford to be home from work because I hurt myself doing this trick?)

There are so many Pilates exercises. Hundreds and hundreds. I have been teaching for over a decade and I’m still excited about the method. So when I see these potentially dangerous and extravagant exercises, I have to ask:

What’s the point?

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