The Importance of Corrections
If you’ve ever taken a Pilates class or private session at Blue Sparrow Pilates, you probably noticed how many corrections our instructors give; corrections about form, movement quality and muscle engagement. They cue, adjust, describe, and take the time to really explain an idea. Maybe it feels like we’re nitpicking about something that doesn’t matter that much. I can also understand the feeling of impatience and wanting to get moving. However, without corrections you could get away with disengaged muscles the whole session. With improper form you could be training faulty movement patterns that may injure you in the long run. For these reasons and many others, a teacher’s corrections are simply an indication that they have your best interest at heart. Corrections are about you becoming the best you can be, not about pleasing us.
Here’s why corrections are so important.
They could mean the difference between engaged muscles and disengaged muscles. With improper form, you may not be using the correct muscles or you may be depending on the same muscles that you already use in your everyday life. Pilates should train the whole body, including all of the small, deep muscles that help support the bones and joints. The muscles you didn’t even know you had. In the beginning, it takes a lot of thinking and a lot of cueing to get those muscles to engage.
They protect you from injury and train your body to protect itself. By practicing correct form and execution class after class, you’re training your body how to work in the healthiest, most supportive alignment possible. By increasing strength in vulnerable areas, you’re protecting yourself against injuries that may result from unusual demands on your body. The stronger your body and the better your alignment the lower your risk of injury.
They train the brain-body connection and improve body awareness. The majority of people walk around, blissfully unaware of their bodies unless they’re dealing with an injury or handicap. Our culture and our activities often separate the brain from the body, under-emphasizing the importance of engaging both simultaneously. Pilates re-engages that brain-body connection. It increases your body awareness so that you remain physically engaged in your daily activities even if they’re sedentary. Think of taking corrections as exercise in and of itself. You’re exercising your brain and your body awareness to understand and implement them in a split second.
They are the foundation of the Pilates method and they show we care. Imagine going to a Pilates class and doing exactly what you could and would do at the gym. The teacher doesn’t bat an eye or utter a word when your ribs pop off the carriage and your shoulders are by your ears. Why then are you going to Pilates? Pilates offers you something that you can’t get anywhere else. Specificity and deep muscle engagement. We, and all great instructors, want you to truly understand the Pilates method and get the most out of every session. In order to do that corrections and adjustments are necessary.
If you’re attending Pilates classes or privates and not getting the kind of corrections and specificity described above, you might want to think about whether or not you’re getting everything you deserve out of each session. Find instructors who truly care and build a relationship with them. They are going to be your biggest supporters when things get tough and they’ll always challenge you to be better. Pilates is