Last week I walked into my Pilates class faced with three participants all with special needs.
The first was an 83 year old woman with a bad shoulder (rotator cuff), a knee replacement with a knee that didn’t bend much and a torn hamstring.
The next client just received a pacemaker so he couldn’t use his arms much and I wouldn’t put his feet in straps because of feet higher than his heart.
And, the final client was a very non-flexible golfer with back pain.
I had my work cut out for me. Thinking on my feet of the needs of each client, I structured each workout from scratch. Foot and leg work was pretty standard although the bar position and strength of springs differed.
But with hands in straps only one could do that exercise. The other clients each received their own set of exercises without weight and very small ROM.
It’s only fair that the stronger, healthier(?) client gets a good workout. Moving on to feet in straps, one client had feet actually in straps. The pacemaker client, I decided, shouldn’t have his legs above his heart so he used an elastic band around one foot, keeping his leg at a low level.
The knee replacement client had feet in straps but I had to hover close by in case she had to get out of the straps quickly because of pain.
Mostly every other exercise had to be thrown out, so I put each one on a sitting box. One used the straps, one used 1 lb weights with small range of motion and the last one just went through the motions with no weight.
This is my speciality. I work with people with mild to severe issues. I just didn’t think all of them would show up on the same day. I have absolutely no idea how any of the teachers in my area could have handled this teaching situation.
Especially, since none of them are certified.
I was exhausted after teaching the class. Not all Pilates classes are the same, not all teachers are the same. Buyer beware. Find out how educated your Pilates teacher is and how good their training program was.