Sunday, 17th of December 2017
Sunday, 17th of December 2017
I am finally getting stronger in my quads.
In my initial teacher training we were told to not really work out the quads, "because they are strong anyway", and to focus on strengthening the hams. Well it has become clear to me as I took my first Classical session, that I was very weak in the legs.

Knee stretches, an exercise I never used to do, is becoming easier (well more doable). When I first did this exercise I nearly died. Really, I at least wanted to die. Since I first did this in an advanced (instructor) class, we did 3x10 reps; flexed back, extended back and knees off. If you have done this series you know what I am talking about.
In the beginning I even had trouble finding the position and maintaining it throughout was an impossibility. But I am getting there.

Knee stretches is still a killer, but now I am starting to like them. If your instructor is not giving this exercise to you, demand it. Instructors are reluctant to teach it because it is hard to teach. Also make sure you have some resistance, it should be hard.
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Leana wrote:

Feel the need to comment on this, not only as Jeanette in her computing wonder discovered my website was down but also as the knee stretches used to me one of my 'hate' exercises when I was a Pilates student. I was a ballet dancer when I first started Pilates and therefore disliked any exercises where I thought I was using my quadriceps as I didn't want to develop them more and was always, like Jeanette, told to 'keep out of my quads!'. However my fantastic Pilates teachers at Pilates Off the Square always made me do the knee stretches (not with knees off though) and I thought it was a waste of time. However, now that i am an instructor, I totally see the benefit of them. not only do they develop quad strength, they are great for teaching stabilization of shoulder girdle, leg/pelvic disassociation (the key for taking care of any back issues), differentiating between different spinal positions and maintaining stability throughout that spinal position whilst moving another body part (legs), I could go on and on.

Now I love doing the knee stretch series (although Jeanette, I'm a totally with you on the dying feeling - tend to only take my knees off when doing a demo for a client so whip me when I see you next). I must say I mainly like them as I can feel how much stronger my shoudler stablisers have become. I agree they are often tricky to teach but I also think that one of my clients (Mauritz it's you!) has some of the best 'knees off' knee stretches I have seen.


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