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anatomy

Are your hip flexors REALLY overactive? With Kathryn Bruni-Young and Raphael Bender

By Become a better instructor

What even are overactive hip flexors? And are they real? And why do we hear so much about overactive (and under active) muscles in Pilates?

And what to do about it?

Resources mentioned in the episode:

About Raphael Bender:

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

How to Connect with Raphael:

Purchase Raph’s books:

  • Strengthen The Person Not Just The Body Part here
  • How to make $100k a year teaching Pilates here
About Kathryn Bruni-Young:

Kathryn Bruni-Young is the founder of Mindful Strength, an international teacher and trainer and the host of the Mindful Strength Podcast. Kathryn started teaching yoga at age 17 and after a few injuries became interested in building strength. Through various certifications and mentoring with her coach Kathryn became a competitive powerlifter and started finding ways to add strength to her classes. Fast forward nearly a decade later, she now runs a small gym, has taught workshops in over 10 countries, and runs an online exercise company called Mindful Strength coaching people of all ages on how to lift weights. More recently Kathryn has completed a year long pain science mentorship with Neil Pearson, and has an ongoing interest in helping people with various levels of ability and persistent pain develop strength.

How to Connect with Kathryn: 

Looking for Pilates mastery?

Here are ways we can help you really know your stuff.

Subscribe to our Pilates Elephants podcast and learn why most Pilates education is decades out of date at best, and at worst, just plain pseudoscientific. This inconvenient disconnect means there are many topics in Pilates that are “Elephants in the Room” – things we don’t question because it’s a bit heretical to do so. We’re here to change that.

If you are looking for inspiration, you want more than just a Pilates class, join our online community of qualified Pilates instructors from all over the world.

We help people who love Pilates become skilled, confident and highly employable Pilates instructors in our Pilates Certification.

We help movement professionals deeply understand how the body works so they can confidently guide any client through their rehabilitation journey in our Clinical Certification 

We help Pilates instructors build a solo business teaching Pilates from home or online to earn $100k a year through the Pilates Launchpad.

Check out Breathe Education here – https://breathe-education.com/.

Simple exercises can have complex effects: The story of pec major, with Raphael Bender

By Become a better instructor

Why you only need 2 basic shoulder exercises for a balanced shoulder workout.

Warning – anatomy geek out.

Resources mentioned in the episode:

  • Schedule a call with our team here
  • Connect with Raph on IG here
About Raphael Bender:

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

How to Connect with Raphael:

Purchase Raph’s books:

  • Strengthen The Person Not Just The Body Part here
  • How to make $100k/year teaching Pilates here
Looking for Pilates mastery?

Here are four ways we can help you really know your stuff.

1) Subscribe to our Pilates Elephants podcast and learn why most Pilates education is decades out of date at best, and at worst, just plain pseudoscientific. This inconvenient disconnect means there are many topics in Pilates that are “Elephants in the Room” – things we don’t question because it’s a bit heretical to do so. We’re here to change that.

2) Download our free report: “3 Myths about Posture in Pilates“. Ditch the myths and get the facts on posture. For Pilates instructors and movement enthusiasts alike.

3) Join us in our FREE live, open-mic Community Sessions. We start each session by sharing one of our latest insights that you can take and apply with your clients. And then we’ll go open-mic for the remaining 45-minutes — ask whatever questions you have so you can leave the session equipped to really know your stuff. Details here.

4) Or — our next intake for our Diploma in Clinical Pilates is open NOW. We have limited places for this in-depth, world-leading course. For a limited time — get a free 20-minute Discovery Call with one of our Pilates Trainers. This is not a high-pressure sales call – you’ll be talking with a Pilates instructor, and we’ll answer all your questions to find out if the course is a perfect fit for you. Go here to schedule

Diploma Info Session, with Raphael Bender

By Become a better instructor

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A FREE Live Lecture and Info Session about the “Diploma of Clinical Pilates” led by Breathe Education’s CEO, Raphael Bender. 
What You’ll Learn:
  • Pain is not the same thing as injury
  • What to do with every client: The Whole Person Framework
  • What happens inside the Diploma of Clinical Pilates
  • Why you’d be crazy not to enrol in the Diploma this month

Is Anterior Pelvic Tilt a Thing? With Raphael Bender

By Become a better instructor
A FREE Live Community Session on “Is Anterior Pelvic Tilt a Thing?” led by Breathe Education’s CEO, Raphael Bender. 
What You’ll Learn:
  • Pelvic tilt doesn’t tell us anything about muscle balance
  • Pelvises are not symmetrical
  • We can’t measure Pelvic tilt by hand even though we think we can
  • 80% of pain-free people have Anterior Pelvic tilt
  • Anterior Pelvic tilt is not associated with low back pain

You can find the link to the PDF of the lecture slides HERE.

Shoulder Impingement, with Raphael Bender

By Become a better instructor

A FREE Live Community Session about “Shoulder Impingementhosted by Breathe Education’s CEO, Raphael Bender. 
What You’ll Learn:
  • The theory of shoulder impingement
  • What the research tells us
  • How you can help your clients with shoulder pain
  • Communication with clients and allied health practitioners around the diagnosis of shoulder impingement

You can find the PDF of the lecture slides including links to the research HERE.

Squat biomechanics: Knees in or out? With Raphael Bender

By Become a better instructor

A FREE Live Community Session about “Squat biomechanics: Knees in or out?” led by Breathe Education’s CEO, Raphael Bender. 
What You’ll Learn:
  • Factors influencing squat biomechanics
  • Are weak glutes to blame for knees going in (valgus)?
  • The mechanism of ACL injury in athletes
  • Components of skilled movement

Resources mentioned during the session:

  • Knee valgus in squatting does not predict future ACL injury here
  • People with knee osteoarthritis have more cartilage degeneration on the medial knee compartment, regardless of valgus or varus alignment here
  • Women have more knee abduction in weight-bearing activities here
  • Conflicting and poor quality evidence of a relationship between hip muscle strength and knee valgus here and here
  • Less ankle dorsiflexion is associated with more knee valgus here
  • Paralyzing the gluteus medius doesn’t change the Trendelenburg test here
  • The ITB stores elastic energy during running here
  • Humans make near-optimal adjustments of control to initial body configuration in vertical squat jumping here

Squat Biomechanics, with Raphael Bender

By Become a better instructor

A FREE Live Community Session about “Squat Biomechanics” led by Breathe Education’s CEO, Raphael Bender. 
What You’ll Learn:
  • Squat biomechanics: How far should you lean forwards?
  • We look at how the Pelvic Morphology (Acetabulum + Femoral Neck Design) ascertain your squat depth and shape.
  • Raph discusses the relationship between your centre of mass (COM), torso position and squat depth.
  • We look at genetic inheritance and how that changes your squat depth and overall shape.
  • We get out some slides to show why people don’t all squat the same (Acetabulum Angle + Femoral Neck Angles / Length)
  • Children vs Adults (Head Size Proportion) and its relation to COM.
  • Do yogi’s have more hip problems from deep squats?
  • We look at applying external cueing to deep squats taking into consideration everyone’s different pelvic shape rather than going to deep into technique.
  • There’s a great discussion at the end surrounding building progressive load tolerance and the relationship between spinal alignment and injury.

Resources mentioned in this session:

  • Young kids have big heads and short legs here
  • Elite powerlifters use a stoop lift strategy (lifting with their back not their legs) and round their back when deadlifting near their maximum: here and here.
  • No evidence that flexing the spine during lifting is a risk factor for back pain here
  • Regular people, and olympic weightlifters flex their spines when they lift here and here.
  • Yoga is really frikkin safe here
  • Strength training at long muscle lengths is more effective at increasing strength, at least in the lower body here
  • Strength training through full range of motion is at least as effective as stretching, for increasing flexibility here
  • And Stu McGill’s ideas on how pelvic and hip joint shape influence what your squat looks like here

Anatomy & Biomechanics of Diastasis Recti, with Raphael Bender

By Become a better instructor

A FREE Live Community Session about “Anatomy & Biomechanics of Diastasis Recti”, led by Breathe Education’s CEO, Raphael Bender. 
What You’ll Learn:
  • What is Diastasis Recti?
  • The Anatomy of the Rectus Abdominis / Transversus Abdominis / Rectus Sheath
  • What is the Linea Alba?
  • True ribs, False ribs, and Floating Ribs
  • Is there an abdominal exercise that’s best?
  • Does the likelihood of diastasis increase with multiple pregnancies?
  • Why do we consider diastasis to be a problem?

Anatomy of the Shoulder, with Raphael Bender

By Become a better instructor

A FREE Live Community Session about “Anatomy of the Shoulder” led by Breathe Education’s CEO, Raphael Bender
What You’ll Learn:
  • Exercise-related muscle cramps – what causes them and is there anything we can do to help?
  • Gym-related injuries – why aren’t certain exercises such as a chin-up with the bar behind the head done anymore? Is it related to injury? Is it related to shearing on the tendon?
  • Can exercise help reduce discomfort or size of a bursitis?

Is it time to let go of our obsession with anatomy?

By Become a better instructor

I was inspired to write this by Jenna Zaffino’s story in episode 52 of Pilates Unfiltered – I don’t want to put words in Jenna’s mouth so you should listen to the episode after reading this if you’re interested to understand her point of view.

As movement teachers – Pilates professionals, exercise physiologists, physiotherapists – for years we have operated on the assumption that understanding anatomy, physiology and biomechanics are foundational to being an effective practitioner and teacher.

I think this assumption is wrong. You don’t need to know anything about anatomy, physiology OR biomechanics to effectively teach Pilates or help people rehabilitate.

Yep. Anatomy is not important when teaching Pilates. In fact, I think it gets in the way of good teaching.

I will even go so far as to say, you don’t need to know ANY anatomy, physiology or biomechanics in order to be a great teacher and practitioner. The less the better.

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