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  • 1. REVIEW Maximizing the bene®ts of Pilates-inspired exercise for learning functional motor skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Claudia Lange, Viswanath Unnithan, Elizabeth Larkam, Paula M. Latta Abstract Joseph Pilates (1880±1967) created a system of ®tness exercises that are still practiced in a more or less modi®ed form. Within the last two decades, there has been a signi®cant increase in the popularity of such Pilates-inspired (PI) exercises. This paper describes current claims for the e€ectiveness of PI exercises and comments on their validity. Motor learning principles and ®ndings are applied to make recommendations for using PI exercises to enhance the execution of functional movement tasks. The learning-performance distinction, augmented informationClaudia Lange PhD feedback, contextual interference, skill transfer and augmented verbal cues areViswanath B. Unnithan PhD discussed. Finally, suggestions are made for aspiring PI practitioners seeking trainingDepartment of Exercise and Sport Science, and certi®cation. # 2000 Harcourt Publishers LtdUniversity of San FranciscoElizabeth Larkam MACenter for Sports Medicine, Saint Francis Memorial Joseph Pilates and and soon opened an exercise studioHospital, San FranciscoPaula M. Latta BS Contrology with his wife Clara. Pilates wrote aPeninsula RSI, Redwood City, CA slender volume (1934) outlining his Joseph Pilates was born in Germany system of Contrology, which he in 1880. A sickly child, he used described as a set of healthfulCorrespondence to: C. LangeDepartment of Exercise and Sport physical exercise to turn himself into lifestyle changes and correctiveScience, University of San Francisco, a ®t adult. In 1912, Pilates moved to exercises. A later booklet (Pilates2130 Fulton St, San Francisco, the UK and held a variety of & Miller 1945) features a number ofCA 94117-1080, USA. occupations, including boxer and the exercises. His methods andTel.: +1 415 422 6874; Fax: +1 415 422 6040; self-defense trainer. During World specialized ®tness equipmentE-mail: War I, while interned in a prison achieved popularity with danceThis research was conducted in the Department of camp for German nationals, he professionals such as GeorgeExercise and Sport Science, University of San taught his ®tness exercises to Balanchine and Martha Graham,Francisco, 2130 Fulton St, San Francisco, inmates. Upon returning to but were largely unknown to theCA 94117-1080, USA Germany after the war, he gave general public. Pilates died in 1967. exercise classes to police and A handful of students have carriedReceived October 1999 military personnel and interacted on his teachings and in¯uencedRevised November 1999 with members of the avant-garde numerous other individuals to learnAccepted December 1999........................................... dance community, such as Rudolf and teach his exercises. As a result,Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies (2000) von Laban and Hanya Holm. In the name Pilates has become4(2), 99^108# 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd 1926, he moved to New York City associated with a form of movement 99 J O U R NAL O F B O DY W O R K AN D MOV E M E N T TH E R APIE S APRIL 20 0 0
  • 2. Lange et al.that is increasingly popular in Considering the widespread Fundamentals), and Chineseclinical and ®tness settings. application and adaptation of these medicine. Today, these (more or less Pilates (1934; Pilates & Miller exercises, there is a growing need to modi®ed) exercises are known1945) made bold claims for the objectively assess their outcomes collectively as Pilates, Pilates-basedbene®ts of Contrology. For and bene®ts. or Pilates-evolved. It is not the goalexample, he stated that it would The purpose of this paper is to of this paper to distinguish amongprevent coronary heart disease, evaluate current claims on the di€erent exercise styles that areincrease muscular power, and reduce learning bene®ts of exercises derived based on Pilates teachings. Rather,the risk of respiratory ailments. He from the system developed by all exercises emanating from thosealso stated that it would result in Pilates. Motor learning principles established by Pilates will be de®nedcomplete voluntary control of the and ®ndings will be used as a model as Pilates-inspired (PI). There is anbody. He described Contrology as a to make recommendations for ongoing discourse between Pilates`balance or `complete coordination administering Pilates-type exercises central ideas and movementof body, mind, and spirit achieved to enhance functional movement routines, and other systems ofby relinquishing strenuous exercises skills. Finally, suggestions will be movement and rehabilitation. Theand deliberately performing made for aspiring practitioners of de®ning characteristics of PIfunctional activities in a posturally these exercises seeking training and exercises are listed in Box 1.appropriate manner. Despite Pilates certi®cation. Examples of equipment andassurances (1934, Pilates & Miller exercises based on Pilates designs1945) that he had `scienti®cally are shown in Figures 1±5.proven the e€ectiveness of his Claims on the learningapproach, he did not subject his e¡ectiveness of Current claims forclaims to experimental testing and Pilates-inspired Pilates-inspired exercisesmaintained that such testing was exercisesunnecessary. A sampling of relevant sources The legacy of Pilates Within the last two decades, there reveals three categories of claims onhas been a signi®cant increase in the Pilates was in¯uenced by hatha the bene®ts of PI exercises:popularity of exercises based on yoga, gymnastics, modern dance enhanced physiological functioning,Pilates teachings. In the USA alone, and other movement systems. He enhanced psychological functioningmore than 700 studio and designed about 40 mat exercises and and learning or re-learning ofrehabilitation sites use his methods hundreds of exercises for his functionally e€ective postural sets(Larkam & Brownstein 1998). A specialized equipment (Larkam & and motor patterns (e.g. Robinsondirectory of UK practitioners (Body Nichols 1999). His exercises have & Thomson 1997, Balanced Body1Control Pilates 1999) lists roughly been further in¯uenced by ®elds as 1999, Gallagher & Kryzanowska100 studios. Practitioners can also diverse as physical therapy, somatics 1999, Physicalmind Institute 1999,be found in Africa, Asia, Australia (e.g. Feldenkrais MethodTM, Body/ Stott Conditioning 1999, Theand New Zealand, Europe and Mind Centering1, Bartenie€ Balanced Body Studio 1999, PilatesSouth America. In order tounderstand the signi®cance of Box 1 De¢ning characteristics of Pilates-inspired exercisesPilates for functional skillimprovement, it is necessary to be . Progressively enhance breath, core (body center), shoulder girdle, and limb control.aware of claims made by current . Movements are slow and deliberate, with few repetitions (usually 5±10).practitioners regarding the learning . Programs are highly individualized. One-on-one, dyad, and small group sessions arebene®ts of their exercise sessions. conducted.This can serve as a basis for . Exercises are done on ¯oor mats and equipment. . Exercises are done from lying, sitting, kneeling, standing and other postures.practical recommendations about . Some equipment uses springs to provide variable resistance.improving the quality of sessions. . Main piece of equipment is the Universal Reformer, a frame with a padded carriageSuch recommendations can that slides back and forth within the frame. Adjustable springs attach from the carriagegenerically be derived from the to the frame. The carriage may be moved by pushing it, or by pulling on straps placed®ndings of existing experiments on around arms or legs. . Other large pieces of equipment include the TrapezeTable (Cadillac), Combo (Wunda)motor skill learning. However, more Chair, Ladder and Step Barrels, and Ped-a-Pul.Pilates-speci®c recommendations . Small pieces of equipment include exercise balls, foam rollers, rotating disks, balancecan only emerge with scienti®c study boards, resistance rings, small arcs, and boxes.of Pilates-type exercises themselves. 100 J O U R NAL O F B O DY W O R K AN D MOV E M E N T TH E R APIE S APRIL 20 0 0
  • 3. Pilates-inspired exercise Box 2 Claims made on the e¡ectiveness of Pilates-inspired exercises Enhanced physiological functioning . ¯exibility and range of motion . muscular strength . muscular endurance . muscular power . cardiorespiratory ®tness Enhanced psychological functioning . mood . motivational state . attentional focus . enjoyment of life . energy and zest Enhanced motor learning . core control . static and dynamic posture . intralimb and interlimb coordination . aesthetically pleasing movement form . body awareness . static and dynamic balance 1994, Krasnow et al. 1997, McMillan et al. 1998). Roughly an equal number of studies also report the failure of PI exercises to elicitFig. 1 A golfer has been diagnosed with spinal facette lock. During rehabilitation, the therapist is improvements (Fitt et al. 1994,giving verbal and tactile information to guide her to the appropriate position of spine extension Krasnow et al. 1997, McLain et al.and rotation. The patient is lying on the Trapeze Table and is using the spring-loaded pedals of 1997). Despite the lack ofthe Combo (Wunda) Chair to assist her action. Desired functional activity might be a golf swing. supportive, research-based data onReproduced by kind permission of Balanced Body1, Inc. (1999) and Polestar1 EducationLLC PI exercises, anecdotal reports by(1999). practitioners and clients indicate that signi®cant bene®ts do indeed exist. It is therefore worthwhile toInstitute 1999). To give an idea of disrupt normal coordination, such make preliminary recommendationsthe extent of these claims, examples as orthopedic surgery, stroke, and for maximizing the bene®ts of PIare listed in Box 2. head trauma. They also see PI exercises to enhance coordination, Of speci®c interest to this paper exercises as a possible tool for sensory awareness, and performanceare claims related to motor learning. management or improvement of on functional tasks. TheseA main aspect of PI sessions physical ailments including multiple recommendations are derived frommarketed to the ®tness consumer is sclerosis, ®bromyalgia and chronic the ®eld of motor learning, whichthe aesthetic bene®t of a longer, pain. deals with the experimental study ofleaner appearance that comes from The claims made by current PI skill acquisition and performance.improved posture. Dancers are told practitioners regarding the motorthey can develop more graceful learning bene®ts of their exercisesmovement patterns. Athletes are are overwhelmingly Recommendationsassured they will maximize their unsubstantiated. Only a small to practitionersbiomechanical eciency through number of published experimental of Pilates-inspiredmore appropriate muscle synergies. studies document measured movementA growing number of rehabilitation improvements in posture or Practitioner goalsprofessionals are attracted to PI functional tasks that areexercises due to the promise of unequivocally attributable to PI PI practitioners have threeregained function after events that exercises (Parrott 1993, Fitt et al. important learning goals, which are 101 J O U R NAL O F B O DY W O R K AN D MOV E M E N T TH E R APIE S APRIL 20 0 0
  • 4. Lange et al. environment. Such tasks include walking, reaching, lifting and other activities of daily living and work. They also include complex movement sequences executed by athletes and performing artists. Third, practitioners want to structure practice to facilitate retention and transfer. Though practice by itself is often considered the most important variable for successful retention and transfer-hence the adage that practice makes perfect-it is certainly not the only one. The conditions under which practice takes place have a great in¯uence on the amount of skill learning. Some practice conditions appear to have a positive e€ect on learning, whereas others seem to result in less successful learning. It is beyond the scope of this paper to provide aFig. 2 In a health club, clients are kneeling on the spring-loaded carriages of portable Reformers thorough discussion of all practiceand using their pectoral, biceps brachii, and anterior deltoid muscles to pull against the arm conditions. For more in-depthstraps. This action results in a backward movement of the spring-loaded carriage. Equal attention information, the reader is referred tois paid to concentric and eccentric contractions. The group exercise instructor is providing verbal several appropriate sources (Feltz &cues and imagery. Desired functional activities include any actions requiring dynamic trunk and Landers 1983, Landin 1994, Magillscapular stabilization. Reproduced by kind permission of Balanced Body1, Inc. (1999) andPolestar1 EducationLLC (1999). 1998, McCullagh 1993, Rose 1997, Schmidt & Lee 1999, Shea et al. 1993). The structure of practiceoutlined in Box 3. First, they want Second, practitioners want clients to becomes all the more relevant for PIclients to retain the exercises they are be able to transfer the coordination routines, because the latter rely onteaching. In other words, they want patterns and sensory awareness low numbers of repetitions. Pilatesclients to develop independent learned during sessions to functional (1934, Pilates & Miller 1945)control of new movement patterns. tasks outside of the practice stressed the importance of few repetitions (usually less than 10 per exercise). Instead, he emphasized Box 3 Learning goals of Pilates-inspired practitioners deliberate practice during which conscious attention is focused on . Clients retain PI exercises taught by practitioner and can perform PI exercises without relevant task-related stimuli and practitioners corrections. processes. Current PI practitioners . Breathing, core control, body awareness, and coordination patterns learned from PI follow his lead and recommend 5±10 exercises transfer to functional tasks. . Practice is structured to facilitate retention and transfer. repetitions for most exercises (e.g. Robinson & Thomson 1997; Evans & Stott Merrithew 1998a, 1998b; Gallagher & Kryzanowska 1999). Box 4 How to increase the e¡ectiveness of Pilates-inspired exercises Hence, the amount of practice may be less critical for learning than the . Observe the learning-performance distinction. conditions of practice, and PI . Use augmented verbal cues, self-talk and imagery. . Use augmented information feedback judiciously. practitioners play an essential role in . Vary the context of practice trials. structuring these conditions. Five . Use the right practice tasks to maximize transfer to functional tasks. important recommendations for how practice conditions may be 102 J O U R NAL O F B O DY W O R K AN D MOV E M E N T TH E R APIE S APRIL 20 0 0
  • 5. Pilates-inspired exercise structured, in order to accomplish the goals of retention and transfer, will be described in the following paragraphs. Recommendations are summarized in Box 4. Recommendations for practitioners Recommendation1: observe the learning-performance distinction Motor learning has been de®ned as `a set of processes associated with practice or experience leading to relatively permanent changes in the capability for movement (Schmidt & Lee 1999). One important aspect of this de®nition is the so-called learning-performance distinction. Learning is not a merely a change in behaviour, because changes can beFig. 3 In a studio setting, a client is straddling the Ladder Barrel. She is lifting the pelvis o€ the transient. For instance, augmentedbarrel by activating her adductors, hamstrings, pelvic ¯oor muscles, and external rotators. This information feedback (AIF) can becomplex posture can also be done with feet parallel. The instructor may provide cues or feedback. provided to learners about theExamples of applications include ballet and horseback riding. Reproduced by kind permission of success of their movements in theElizabeth Larkam and Balanced Body1, Inc. (1999). environment, or about the quality of their movement patterns. An Fig. 4 In a studio or rehabilitation setting, a ballet dancer is using the Trapeze Table (Cadillac) to increase awareness of proper hamstring and hip extensor activation, in conjunction with core control and spine articulation. She is pressing with her left foot against a spring-loaded bar. A therapist may spot for safety by placing a hand over the dancers left foot to prevent it from slipping o€ the bar. This exercise can be done in many variations to facilitate intratask transfer. Reproduced by kind permission of Elizabeth Larkam and Balanced Body1, Inc. (1999). 103 J O U R NAL O F B O DY W O R K AN D MOV E M E N T TH E R APIE S APRIL 20 0 0
  • 6. Lange et al. instructors to direct the learners attention to task-relevant stimuli and to prompt correct task execution (Landin 1994). Furthermore, cue words can be used by learners themselves prior to carrying out a task, in which case they are referred to as self-talk regimens (STR). Short-term memory is considered to be limited to ®ve to nine separate pieces of information (Miller 1956; Rose 1997). The number may be lower for some populations, such as stroke patients. Therefore, too many instructions may overload a learner trying to attend to task-relevant stimuli and organize a new response. AVC are somewhat like instructions, but because they consist of fewer wordsFig. 5 During an advanced mat class, a ®tness client is executing a front leg pull. This action and only address a few importantrequires activation of deep abdominal and spinal musculature, as well as posterior shoulder girdle aspects of the task, they are thoughtstabilizers. It can also be done prone (facing down) as well as sidelying. Switching among di€erent to place less load on short-termpostures assists the client in maintaining axial elongation and core control during a variety of memory and increase chances thatupright functional activities and is a precursor to sport-speci®c conditioning. Reproduced by kindpermission of Elizabeth Larkam and Balanced Body1, Inc. (1999). the learner will retain the correct motor pattern. For example, in the Reformer group exercise depicted in Figure 2, the practitioner might useexample of AIF might be a sessions. Rather, the temporary and the cue `funnel your ribs into yourpractitioners verbal or tactile relatively permanent in¯uences of pelvic bowl. Such a cue might beinformation about the degree of instructional methods must be taken more e€ective than giving a detailedspine extension and rotation into account. The learning- explanation on how to use the deepachieved during the prone Chair performance distinction is a crucial abdominal, spinal and pelvic ¯oorexercise depicted in Figure 1. Until aspect of evaluating the success of muscles for dynamic trunkrecently, it was thought that any rehabilitation or conditioning stabilization. Similarly, in theproviding a lot of AIF was better for system. Practitioners should strive Ladder Barrel exercise inlearning. Indeed, laboratory to be aware of this distinction and Figure 3, the phrase `sit tall in theexperiments show that when understand that clients may be saddle may be more e€ective inlearners receive AIF after each performing PI exercises or constraining the bodys degrees ofpractice trial, their performance is functional tasks very di€erently freedom than telling the client tousually better when compared to when not in the rehabilitation center activate a variety of separatethat of learners who receive or studio. One way to assess learning muscle after fewer trials. is to ask the client at the beginning Although AVC and STR have notHowever, once AIF is removed and of the session to demonstrate an been as extensively studied as somelearners must rely on their own exercise or functional activity that other instructional methods,recollection of the movement, those was practiced last session. This type research evidence (Landin 1994)who received less in practice are of approach can give an estimate of suggests they are quite useful.typically more successful (Salmoni et how much was learned. Landin makes severalal. 1984, Schmidt 1991a, Schmidt & recommendations for using verbalLee 1999). Recommendation 2: use augmented cues: First, he suggests using two It is evident from the example of verbal cues, self-talk, and imagery words or less for STR, and up toAIF that one cannot always predict Augmented verbal cues (AVC) are four words for AVC. Second, if cueslearning from the quality of concise phrases, often consisting of address di€erent parts of a task, it isperformance during practice one or two words, which are used by important to consider how those 104 J O U R NAL O F B O DY W O R K AN D MOV E M E N T TH E R APIE S APRIL 20 0 0
  • 7. Pilates-inspired exerciseparts are interrelated. Cues should physical practice. It can also be used action (Winstein & Schmidt 1990).not disrupt the normal rhythm of by itself, in which case it is called A third guideline for AIF is that thethe movement pattern by drawing mental practice. Although not learner must know how to interprettoo much attention to one part of always e€ective, telling learners to it (Schmidt 1991b). A person withthe task and creating arti®cial mentally imagine or mentally little knowledge of anatomy will notbreaks between parts. For example, practice the correct movement be able to understand a statementbreathing relies on a smooth pattern frequently appears to have such as `you arent using yourtransition between in-breath and positive e€ects on retention intercostals. Finally, giving AIFout-breath. Too much emphasis on Feltz & Landers 1983, Schmidt & during, or right after, a movementthe in-breath can create breath Lee 1999). Therefore, cues may not always be a good idea. Aholding and destroy the movements such as `funnel your ribs or learner who is trying to master an¯ow. Landins third `sit tall may act like mnemonic exercise involving all four limbsrecommendation is to consider the prompts that help evoke task- while maintaining core control, suchvariability of the environment and relevant muscular activity during as the Trapeze Table exercise inwhether it is important for the exercises or related functional Figure 4, may be overly distracted iflearner to focus on internal body activities. the practitioner interrupts withstimuli, or external environmental helpful advice. For extended PIstimuli, or both. Many tasks in sport routines that last 30 s or more, itand everyday life require switching Recommendation 3: use augmented may be best to give AIFattention between internal and information feedback judiciously periodically. For discrete PIexternal stimuli (Nide€er 1993). PI As already stated, AIF is task- movements like doing a head andexercises typically focus the learner related information that helps the spine roll-up to a sitting position, itentirely on internal body sensations, learner correct errors in the may be best to wait a few secondswhich may be necessary during movements outcome and pattern. after a trial before giving AIF. Thisinitial phases of recovery or Research suggests that it should be may give the learner an opportunityconditioning, or when an exercise is used judiciously. First and most to focus on the ¯eeting sensory®rst introduced. However, if importantly, too much information impression of what the movementswitching between an internal and about errors may overload the felt like, before receivingexternal focus is part of the learners short-term memory, direct information about its correctnessfunctional activities the client must attention away from important (Swinnen et al. 1990).perform, practitioners should create sensory stimuli, and prevent thesituations that require switching. development of proper coordination Recommendation 4: vary the contextFourth, Landin states that STR can patterns. Therefore, PI practitioners of practice trialsbe used in some cases to supplant should resist the temptation to point Whereas practice conditions such asAIF by priming the correct action out all the errors a learner is making frequent AIF temporarily enhancebefore it takes place. This is and suggest corrections. It is more performance but degrade learning,particularly useful in group exercise useful to select one or two errors others have the opposite e€ect. Oneclasses, outside of class when the appropriate to skill level. For example for this occurs wheninstructor is not present, or if there example, beginners might need contextual interference isis only one chance to `do it right, a corrections related to breathing and manipulated during practice. Lowsituation that exists in many maintaining a neutral spine while contextual interference occurs whencompetitive sports. Finally, skill doing supine leg circles on the mat. all repetitions of Task A arelevel must be considered when More advanced clients might need followed by all repetitions of Taskdesigning cues. Beginners need cues pointers on how to maintain B, all repetitions of Task C, and sothat re¯ect their less re®ned dynamic trunk alignment and on. For example, a client might do 8understanding of the task and allow scapulo-humeral rhythm when supine leg presses on the Reformer,them to get the general idea of the doing any exercises involving trunk followed by eight toe raises andcorrect action, whereas more lateral ¯exion and arm reaching. A eight jumps. By contrast, highadvanced learners may need to focus second recommendation for using contextual interference is presenton speci®c errors. Rose (1997) AIF is to taper o€ the amount of when one repetition of Task A ismakes the additional feedback as the learner becomes followed by one repetition of Taskrecommendation that cues should more pro®cient and can increasingly B, one repetition of Task C, and sohelp evoke task-relevant imagery. rely on internal representations and on. In other words, a leg press isMental imagery can be used during sensory awareness of the correct followed by a toe raise, a jump, 105 J O U R NAL O F B O DY W O R K AN D MOV E M E N T TH E R APIE S APRIL 20 0 0
  • 8. Lange et al.another leg press, another toe raise, has been de®ned as a gain or loss in However, even when movementanother jump, and so on. High the capability for performing a patterns appear similar, positivecontextual interference is thought to criterion task as a result of prior transfer can be negligible. Forrepresent a number of `real-life experience with a practice task (Ellis example, supine jumps on themovement conditions with 1965, Schmidt & Young 1987). One Reformer are practiced to prepareconstantly alternating tasks. goal of practice is to develop the dancers and athletes for standing Compared to low contextual capability to adapt a previously vertical jumps. Yet researchinterference, high contextual learned action to new settings, or to indicates that supine jumpinginterference tends to depress perform variations of the action. practice does not necessarily resultperformance during practice. This is called near transfer or in positive transfer to uprightBeginners sometimes report feeling intratask transfer (Sage 1984, Magill jumping (McLain et al. 1997). Thefrustrated or confused by high 1998, Schmidt 1991b). For example, authors of the latter study remarkedcontextual interference. It is during the hip extensor and that a during a jump on thetherefore tempting to conclude that hamstring exercise performed on the Reformer, the legs may be placed upit also causes less skill learning. Trapeze Table in Figure 1, positive to 30 degrees above the plane of theHowever, numerous experiments intratask transfer means successfully body, creating signi®cant di€erenceshave shown that even for beginners, doing the movement with internal or in jump strategies between thehigh contextual interference is often external hip rotation, with the entire supine and standing conditions andmore bene®cial to skill learning than spine resting on the Table, with both possibly reducing successfullow contextual interference (Magill legs at once, and other transfer. In a biomechanical study,1998, Schmidt & Lee 1999). modi®cations. On the whole, Self et al. (1994) found a di€erentTherefore, practice under high- intratask transfer as described above relationship between force and kneeinterference conditions may actually tends to be positive, though not  angle during a supine plie on thebe preferable in the long run. always very large (Schmidt & Young Reformer and a standing plie, ÂPractitioners should be aware that 1987). suggesting that the two tasks arelearners will be often be performing A second goal of practice is to use di€erent.functional tasks under conditions of prior experience with one action to PI practitioners should bear inhigh contextual interference and successfully execute a di€erent mind that two overtly similar tasksshould create routines that action. This is called far transfer or may in fact require di€erent muscleprogressively approximate these intertask transfer (Sage 1984, Magill synergies and be accompanied byconditions. Using the example of the 1998, Schmidt 1991b). The overall di€erent sensory input. Experiencemat exercise in Figure 5, a client similarity of coordination patterns with one task may not give themight do 1±2 repetitions of a seems to be one of several factors learner the necessary capability toposture that requires supine trunk determining the degree of positive do the other task. Conversely, twoand shoulder girdle stabilization, intertask transfer. Very di€erent tasks that appear dissimilar mayfollowed by 1±2 repetitions of the patterns, such as swimming and actually involve similar underlyingsame posture in a prone position, volleyball, do not transfer positively muscle synergies, sensory stimuli, orand 1±2 sidelying. The client is to one another (Nelson 1957, cognitive strategies. This principle ischallenged to exert sensory Schmidt & Lee 1999). The same referred to as transfer-appropriateawareness, and proper control of principle probably applies to processing (Lee 1988, Rose 1997).core and shoulder girdle muscles, two PI exercises that use both Practitioners should ask themselveswhile switching tasks. di€erent pieces of equipment and whether the exercises they assign di€erent body parts, such provide learners with an as lateral trunk ¯exion on the opportunity to practice the internalRecommendation 5: use the right Reformer and seated leg processing they will need forpractice tasks to maximize skill extension on the Chair. When functional activities in sport, dance,transfer movement patterns are reasonably or everyday life. Care should beLearning is typically evaluated similar, intertask transfer is taken to ensure a transition fromthrough retention and transfer tests. frequently small-to-moderate and supine, non-weight bearing activitiesRetention involves executing a given positive (Schmidt & Lee 1999). For to bipedal weightbearing activitiesmovement at a later time, whereas example, doing a pelvic bridge on (Loosli & Herold 1992). Practicetransfer is the application of a the mat may transfer positively to with supine exercises alone may notpreviously acquired movement skill doing the same exercise on the translate into improved alignmentto new situations. Formally, transfer Reformer. or stability when standing up. 106 J O U R NAL O F B O DY W O R K AN D MOV E M E N T TH E R APIE S APRIL 20 0 0
  • 9. Pilates-inspired exercise Evans B, Stott Merrithew M 1998b Essential Box 5 Checklist for aspiring practitioners Reformer Manual. Toronto: Stott Feltz DL, Landers DM 1983 The e€ects of . Investigate a number of programs. mental practice on motor skill learning . Consider program availability, cost, and duration. and performance: a meta-analysis. . Trainers and certi®ers must have sucient experience with the desired client population. Journal of Sport Psychology 5: 25±57 . Instructional modules dealing with anatomy, physiology, and clinical populations should Fitt S, Sturman J, McClain-Smith S 1994 be overseen by individuals with proper training. E€ects of Pilates-based conditioning on . Certi®cation examinations should include oral, written, and case study portions. strength, alignment, and range of motion . To avoid con¯ict of interest, trainers should not have dual roles as certi®ers. in university ballet and modern dancers. . Trainers should have up-to-date knowledge of motor learning principles and ®ndings. Kinesiology and Medicine for Dance 16: 36±51 Gallagher S, Kryzanowska R 1999 The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning. BanBridge Books, PhiladelphiaSummary and 1999, Polestar1 Education 1999, Krasnow DH, Chat®eld SJ, Barr S, Jensenrecommendations for Stott Conditioning 1999). Some JL, Dufek JS 1997 Imagery andthe future training centers also mention conditioning practices for dancers. Dance practice conditions and teaching Research Journal 29: 43±64 strategies in their informational Larkam E 1999 Personal communicationIn the preceding paragraphs, several Larkam E, Brownstein B 1998 Balancedrecommendations for maximizing literature (e.g. Physicalmind body: application of Pilates-evolvedthe learning bene®ts of PI sessions Institute 1999, Polestar1 Education exercises in ®tness, training andwere introduced. However, these 1999, Stott Conditioning 1999, The rehabilitation. Unpublished manuscriptrecommendations are only Pilates Center 1999), which suggests Larkam E, Nichols J 1999 The history andpreliminary. To date, no published that the trainers have some formal evolution of techniques in¯uenced by those of Joseph H. Pilates, 1920±1999.studies have been conducted in knowledge of motor learning Presentation at the American College ofwhich an attempt was made to principles. However, it is best for Sportsmedicine, New Orleansdiscover causal links between prospective students to inquire Landin D 1994 The role of verbal cues in skillpractice conditions, such as the ones before beginning any program. learning. Quest 46: 299±313 This paper was intended to Lee TD 1988 Transfer-appropriatedescribed in this paper, and processing: a framework forimprovements on PI exercises or provide an overview of current conceptualizing practice e€ects in motorfunctional skills. This oversight claims on the e€ectiveness of PI learning. In: Meijer OG, Roth K. eds.should certainly be remedied. exercises. Readers were introduced Complex Movement Behaviour: `The A second critical issue is the to several practice conditions and Motor-Action Controversy. Elsevier,training and certi®cation that PI principles of motor learning that Amsterdam Loosli AR, Herold D 1992 Kneepractitioners receive. Assumptions may enhance the usefulness of PI rehabilitation for dancers using a Pilates-about learning, and the instructional exercises for improving functional based technique. Kinesiology andtechniques that practitioners movement. Suggestions were made Medicine for Dance 14: 1±12themselves are taught, may be the for aspiring practitioners seeking Magill RA 1998 Motor Learning: Conceptsmost important sources of in¯uence training and certi®cation. Finally, it and Applications (5th ed). Columbus, Ohio, McGraw-Hillon their own teaching methods and must again be stated that controlled McCullagh P 1993 Modeling: learning,behaviours (Larkam 1999). experimental studies are urgently developmental, and social psychologicalTherefore, the selection of a suitable needed to verify the e€ectiveness of considerations. In: Singer RN, Murphytraining and certi®cation program is PI exercises for enhancing M, Tennant LK, eds. Handbook of functional skills in a diversity of Research on Sport Psychology.critical for the aspiring practitioner. Macmillan, New YorkA checklist of important populations. McLain S, Carter CL, Abel J 1997 The e€ectconsiderations is provided in Box 5. of a conditioning and alignment programTraining courses typically introduce on the measurement of supine jumpthe practitioner to functional height and pelvic alignment when usinganatomy, a wide range of mat and REFERENCES the Current Concepts Reformer. 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