Dr. Rebecca Lewthwaite received her PhD in kinesiology (what in Australia we call exercise science or human movement) from UCLA. She is Director of Research and Education in Physical Therapy and Director of Rehabilitation Outcomes Management at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Los Angeles, and an adjunct faculty member in biokinesiology and physical therapy at the University of Southern California (USC).
Dr. Lewthwaite’s research focuses on the role of confidence and autonomy support in motor performance and learning, in a variety of individuals, from those undergoing physical rehabilitation to developing and high-performing athletes. Recent work includes the facilitation of confidence building in individuals recovering from stroke. As an investigator in the recent ICARE clinical trial in stroke rehabilitation, Dr. Lewthwaite co-designed with Carolee Winstein the investigational Accelerated Skill Acquisition Program (ASAP) around skill acquisition principles common to OPTIMAL theory. She was an intercollegiate athlete in two sports and a coach on a national championship softball team at UCLA. She and Gaby Wulf co-authored the OPTIMAL theory of motor performance and learning.
Dr. Gabriele Wulf is a sport scientist with PhDs from the German Sports University in Cologne and the University of Munich. She is a UNLV Distinguished Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).
Dr. Wulf has conducted research in motor learning for more than 30 years. She studies factors that influence the learning of motor skills, including attentional focus and motivational variables. She has published approximately 200 journal articles and book chapters, as well as two books, both of which I have read, and they are both excellent!
Dr. Wulf has received various awards for her research, including UNLV’s Barrick Distinguished Scholar Award. She was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology and given the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity’s (NASPSPA) Distinguished Scholar Award. She has served as President of NASPSPA and the Founding Editor of two journals in the movement sciences. Dr. Wulf has given keynote addresses to national and international societies in movement science and physical therapy. She and Rebecca Lewthwaite co-authored the OPTIMAL theory of motor performance and learning.
Antony Lo is a Sydney based physiotherapist who specialises in female athletes, and in particular female Crossfit athletes.
Having successfully grown 2 private practices, Antony sold these to concentrate on his Specialisation Training Program and developing educational courses for health professionals and the general public. He still consults at 2 locations in Sydney seeing everyone from children to the elderly, as well as his sports-specific patients. He also travels around Australia to deliver seminar information for his course The Female Athlete, and to provide consultations for those interested in his approach.
I have been friends with Antony since 2006 when we worked together. Every time I talk with Antony I learn something valuable, he is one of the practitioners I admire the most, and who I have learned the most from.
In this conversation we talk about pelvic health, urinary incontinence, low back pain, making quick changes and Antony’s approach to evidence-based practice.
Kjartan Vibe Fersum is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bergen, Norway, and was the lead author on the original CFT paper in 2012, with co-authors Peter O’Sullivan, Skouen, Smith, & Kvåle.
In addition to his teaching and research at the University of Bergen, he works in clinical practice as a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist in Bergen, and a contributor to the Pain-Ed project, where his mission is to inform both the public and health care practitioners about the latest pain research, and to dispel common myths about pain and provide hope for change.
Kjartan is incredibly well-read, but his true genius seems to lie in combining his rich and nuanced understanding of the research with a flexible, person-centred worldview.
This interview has too many gems and insights to list – you must listen to it if you work with people in pain.
Synnott et al., (2015) Physiotherapists may stigmatise or feel unprepared to treat people with low back pain and psychosocial factors that influence recovery: a systematic review
Greg Lehman http://www.greglehman.ca/ is a Canadian physiotherapist, chiropractor and strength and conditioning specialist treating musculoskeletal disorders within a biopsychosocial model. He is incredibly well-read, a highly skilled educator. And he’s funny.
Before his clinical career, Greg received a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council MSc graduate scholarship and became one of only two students each year to train with Professor Stuart McGill in his Occupational Biomechanics Laboratory, subsequently published more than 20 peer-reviewed papers in the manual therapy and exercise biomechanics field. He was an assistant professor at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College teaching a graduate-level course in Spine Biomechanics and Instrumentation as well conducting more than 20 research experiments while supervising more than 50 students.
Greg has lectured on a number of topics on reconciling treatment biomechanics with pain science, running injuries, golf biomechanics, occupational low back injuries and therapeutic neuroscience. His courses Reconciling Biomechanics with Pain Science and Running Resiliency have been taught more than 60 times in more than 40 locations worldwide.
In this conversation, Greg and I talk about how the biomechanics research invalidates the idea of ‘dysfunction’ as a cause of pain or disability, why scapular dyskinesis (aka poor scapular positioning and movement) is not a thing, knee valgus during a squat is nothing to worry about and several other interesting topics.
Greg shares his approach of movement optimism, and his basic framework for working within a biopsychosocial model.
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.
Lars Avemarie is one of the most well-read, clear-thinking people I have come across in the fields of pain science and rehabilitation. Born in Denmark, he currently works in Sweden. He is a physiotherapist and personal trainer, and a prolific blogger, educator and public figure on social media.
In this conversation, Lars shares his experiences going back to university at the age of 39 to study physiotherapy, his advice on learning to think critically and challenge your own beliefs, and how to develop your confidence to effectively apply the biopsychosocial approach to pain rehabilitation.
During my masters, I did my clinical placement with Brendan Mouatt and his business partner Luke Postlethwaite at their clinic The Biomechanics in Footscray, Melbourne Australia.
Like me, Brendan is a clinical exercise physiologist, and we enjoy talking about evidence-based practice and pain science in particular.
This is a free-ranging conversation where we think about whether we should provide clients with the treatment they expect, and how to navigate professional relationships with people who are not up to date with current best practice.
Brendan also has a thoughtful blog on all things rehabilitation.
Nick Hannah is a Canadian physiotherapist who has been taking social media by storm with his funny, poignant and scientifically sound memes advocating a biopsychosocial or whole-person approach to rehabilitation.
Nick’s Facebook page Hannah Moves has over 6,500 likes a the time of recording this interview, and his posts are shared by leading researchers and clinicians around the globe.
Nick’s Instagram page is also a source of much wisdom.
Nick talks frankly about his education, his approach to clinical assessment and treatment and his goals with the meme thing.
Ben Cormack’s business Cor-Kinetic delivers evidence-based rehabilitation courses based on cutting-edge neuroscience, pain science and exercise science. Ben regularly travels the world, delivering courses to health professionals in Europe, North America and Asia each year.
He has presented at the San Diego Pain Summit, guested on many PT podcasts and is a prolific blogger on all things exercise, rehabilitation and pain science.
Ben shares his thoughts on the current best practice in rehabilitation, how to interpret evidence, and how to navigate the tricky relationships with colleagues or bosses who are still working within a biomedical framework.
Since the early 2000’s the notion of cueing pre-engagement of transversus abdominis (TrA) and lumbar multifidus has been widely accepted as standard practice in the physiotherapy, exercise and Pilates worlds.
Sadly it is not an evidence-based practice.
In this video, Raphael Bender from Breathe Education reviews the evidence on ‘motor control’ training (retraining of TrA and lumbar multifidus).
I'm so grateful for my opportunities to build evidence based Pilates Instructor skills as I continue to become a confident Pilates Instructor from the Breathe Education Reformer and Matwork Pilates Certification! The support goes beyond that with awesome opportunities for business development support at your fingertips at a great price for what you get. 👏 Breathe Education rocks!
06:28 18 Feb 23
The course was very professionally run and very thorough. It was great to learn how to teach not only to learn the exercises. All the staff, from support crew to the teachers were amazing, so helpful and friendly. I was nervous about the practice teaching sessions but it was one of the most helpful things to do in the course. Made some great friends too.
04:41 18 Feb 23
The best decision I have ever made was completing my Cert IV with Breathe Education online! I was skeptical at first about learning a movement course online but the benefits are endless! I was able to study when it suited me, choose tutorial times that fit into my schedule and PT with my peers all from home! The trainers at Breathe are a very high standard and come with loads of industry experience and knowledge. It is a fully supportive and inclusive learning environment that is not competitive and really gives you the tools you need to succeed. I was able to complete the course successfully within 20 weeks whilst working full time from home. I highly recommend Breathe education as it’s not just a Pilates course but evidence based methods that give you the confidence to teach. Upon graduating I have options for work and will never look back! Thank you to everyone at Breathe and if you’re thinking about it, do it!
21:39 20 Dec 22
Breathe has changed my life. I loved pilates before doing this course and I love it even more now. The trainers are fantastic and offer up to date scientific facts to back the ways to teach pilates. It has given me the confidence to take a step towards a career change. Could not recommend enough.
07:22 13 Dec 22
I have had such an amazing experience completing my certificate IV with breathe education. I have felt extremely supported throughout the entire course. Hailey has been super approachable and is such a fantastic teacher. I have come out the other side feeling extremely comfortable and confident.
12:48 13 Nov 22
I'm currently a student with Breathe Education and am finding it such an educational and fun journey. Educators at Breathe keeps learning interesting and are quick to respond. I appreciate that instructors are objective, positive and encouraging whenever we are feeling uncertain. Love that the whole course is a good balance between practical and theoretical studies.
05:11 09 Nov 22
The Pilates Elephants podcast does exactly what the title suggests and that is to address the ‘elephant’ or rather ‘elephants’ in the room! In a world that is heavily influenced by misinformation, this podcast effectively goes about myth busting through robust discussions and deep dive conversations around misconceptions about Pilates from all angles including the views of Instructors, Participants, Students and even the wider health and fitness profession. You do not have to be a qualified instructor to benefit from these podcasts. These podcast are presented in everyday language and provide real world examples and contexts for consideration. If you are after some quality nutrition in terms of information, rather than the ‘fast food’ that our brains are inundated with day after day, this podcast is a must!
04:06 09 Nov 22
probably the most interactive course i have come across! i am always receiving helpful, motivating and inspiring emails that encourage me to take the steps i need and give me peace of mind
02:31 09 Nov 22
I have been teaching Pilates since 2014, I came across Pilates Elephant by luck since then I am hooked. I don't miss a podcast or a community session. I love the idea of giving to the Pilates community. Every time I listen to them, I learn something new. They host relevant people in the industry to share their experience with us. I feel that I belong to them and I will have a future plan to be one of their student and staff one day!
01:59 09 Nov 22
I'm looking forward to enrolling in one of Breathe's courses! I'm a yoga therapist looking to add skills and training in rehabilitative Pilates, so that I can have a multifacted toolbox to draw from when working with clients who may need additional movement exercises in addition to asana. I love Breathe's emphasis on taking a deep dive into anatomy and using this knowledge to adapt Pilates for special populations or injured clients.
01:49 09 Nov 22
I have been considering taking the course for some time now and have received very thorough information and guidance. I have never felt “pushed” or unheard in my requests and all my questions are always answered promptly and without judgement. I sense a result community feel.I certainty appreciate the individual response not generated
12:22 04 Nov 22
Breathe & Raphael Bender changed the way I learnt anatomy, and changed the way I work and build relationships with my clients. I love the content they put out and am a better practitioner because of it.
09:06 04 Nov 22
Breath education is a serious institution that actively research and share their knowledge with people, not only with the ones who are following their programs but also with anyone who wants to know more about pilates. They have created a community within their pilates podcasts and actively share free workshops so instructors can wide their knowledge. They have created a good community of knowledge and support, their book " Strength the person not just the body part " is a great accesible tool for any movement educator.
04:50 04 Nov 22
Breaking thought patterns and challenging minds…. 👏🏽
03:14 04 Nov 22
Ralphs eBook, Strengthen the Person not just the Body Part was so insightful. One of the first pieces of literature I read when deciding to become an Instructor
01:07 04 Nov 22
A that didn’t cram all the physical training into 2 days on a weekend. I had access from my regional area with continuing support and regular practice for the whole time.
00:58 04 Nov 22
So if you haven’t heard the podcast “pilaties elephant” then you have to do this asap!!! Breathe education is an amazing institution that delivery’s some of the most beneficial teaching and education to Australians!! I love how hands on they are and the care they have for the community!
23:21 03 Nov 22
Completed my Cert IV last year with Breathe Education and absolutely loved my course. The best course I have done so far. I have recommended Breathe to others wanting to teach in the pilates industry.
23:15 03 Nov 22
Can’t wait to train with Breathe. Love their science based learning opportunities.
23:00 03 Nov 22
I am currently completing the Cert 4. I am a PT/Group Ex Instructor who completed a Matwork certification in 2020 and introduced it at the studio I work at. After listening to the Pilates Elephants podcast and reading Raph's book I became obsessed with learning more about fearless movement and science based Pilates. I knew I couldn't complete my Reformer course with another provider and I am so glad I didn't. Breathe creates an interactive community for its students, the trainers are always on hand to help out and the course is so incredible.
09:21 03 Nov 22
The Pilates Elephant podcast by Breathe Education is the number 1 podcast to listen to if you are a fitness professional who want to help people solve their issues with evidence based solutions. This podcast destroys a lot of the popular solutions in how we teach exercise especially cuing the TA and Pelvic floor and Raph is an expert in breaking it down making us see how what we believed and taught just doesnt make sense anymore. Thank you Raph for this helpful resource!
03:39 03 Nov 22
I have been a Pilates Instructor for 5 years. In the last year I have discovered Breathe Education and can't get enough of what I'm learning. They have demystified so much for me, provided sound evidence and documentation to back up their education. i have started the Visualised Anatomy course - it is clear and simple to understand, and just makes so much sense. No more memorising names and places and hoping that it will make sense to me! I also purchases the Strengthen The Person, Not The Body Part book and it has already helped me to support a client who is very anxious about their medical diagnosis. I will definitely be following along on the Podcasts, and community training sessions, and would recommend others to do so too.
22:41 18 Aug 22
I’ve learned how to care for others successfully ( and profitable ) and from studying the BE diploma. I learned how to think critically and build solid evidence based movement programs for people in need. I personally grew while studying at BE. The CEO is a decent human, proudly imperfect and generous. His partner is kind and considerate. His staff are a mixed bag of clever willing people who I really enjoyed. This course improved my life and I’m turn I pay that forward - I work full time helping people to help themselves through free, confident movement. I LOVE science and I am a critical thinker and my clients value this … BE is perfectly imperfect and growth focused. They have heart. They are good people. Clear and smart. No mess, no fuss - very Australian 😂
01:44 17 Aug 22
Could not speak more highly of the professionalism, support and education that Breathe Edu give. From the moment I started my Cert 4 I’ve felt welcomed, supported and a part of an amazing community that I’m proud to be apart of. The Diploma of Clinical Pilates is the best decision I’ve made in furthering my education. The teaching that Breathe provides is world class.
22:51 15 Aug 22
Why I am giving Breathe such a low score is because as an Alumni I have witnessed and read acts and materials that are really concerning for prospective students. It speaks more to the values of the school.My suggestion is that do your research and study somewhere truly inclusive. X
03:24 15 Aug 22
I can not be more grateful to the team at Breathe Education for helping me to learn how to support my Pilates business during and after covid lockdowns. The open and honest advice and support has helped my family and our children continue to support ourselves financially through a time like no other. (If you are a small business owner in Victoria, Australia you know exactly what I am talking about) Doing my certV at Breathe directly influenced my ability to run a steady virtual pilates platform and then teach mat and reformer face to face in times when we have experienced our entire team go down with covid. .I can not be more grateful to them for a course that meant I could actively and openly share, support my team and my clients and remain afloat.
03:45 13 Aug 22
BE have chosen to purposely discriminate and isolate marginalised groups within the Pilates community. The views and actions of the CEO are harmful and no longer represent those of their alumni. I would consider speaking with Pilates professionals and the BE alumni before enrolling in any of their programs.
02:28 13 Aug 22
PLEASE TALK TO PEOPLE WITHIN THE PILATES INDUSTRY AND COMMUNITY BEFORE YOU COMMIT TO DOING A PILATES CERTIFICATION WITH BREATHE!
06:50 09 Jul 22
I loved every week learning with breathe education. I feel that I have not only been given the highest level of knowledge, but they have supported me every step of the way. They have given me the confidence that I need to succeed and believed in me when I didn't. I could not recommend breathe enough.
04:13 09 Jul 22
Really great course! Definitely recommend!Well taken care of and fun
04:13 09 Jul 22
I would highly recommend the Breathe Education course. I have learnt how to be the type of pilates instructor that helps clients achieve success in their bodies, whether this is a beginner, advanced client, prenatal client or injured client.
The Pilates Experience & Physiotherapy Studio
21:16 22 Jun 22
I just completed the 2 part Diastasis recordings (couldn't attend the live webinar) and I have to say that I really clicked with Raphael. His background, knowledge and delivery is excellent in helping me to retain his prepared and taught information. My background is a BSc., Hons. in Biology, I have worked 3 decades in Medical/Dental Device sales and surgical support and I now run my Pilates studio full time after a Covid related downsizing. The way that Raphael shows people how to learn and retain information is exactly how I have always done it, visualize the muscle insertions etc. and you will remember it. We all learn a little by vision and a little by auditory, there is no one specific way to learn but a combination of a few strategies. The content in this 2 part webinar is very useful and I will be able to implement it into my Pilates classes as well as my Physiotherapy Program. Many of Raphael's strategies are commonly used in Sales (eg. SMART), and I have used these in medical sales during my career and continue to use them in daily life (you know what I mean if you have kids, lol), and also with my clients. The fact that he includes the links to the clinical studies gives him the credibility needed to teach this course but also gives me peace of mind knowing that the evidence exists and where I can find it should I want to read it. I have always been the type of person that you have to show it and prove it before I believe it, and having clinical evidence to support his views goes a long way. Raphael's quick wit and humour keeps it entertaining as well. His analogy of the airline crew not panicking during turbulence keeping the passengers calm is an example of Practitioner beliefs influences client beliefs, very funny but gets the point across. It is my hope that I will be able to do more of his courses in the future as I do see a benefit, after 4 lockdowns in Ontario Canada we are slowly trying to rebound so I am very appreciative of this course at no charge as well as his IG posts. We can always learn something new and if it helps me to get my business back on track, even better. Thank you Raphael.
07:45 17 Jun 22
Great course, well designed to set the student up for success! Best decision to study with breathe. Thank you so much Hailey and the Breathe team.
00:41 17 Jun 22
Wow what an experience!!!! I have recently completed my Certificate IV with Breathe Education and can not recommend them enough. Such an AMAZING community to be a part of, trainers are so supportive and invested in your success. My knowledge, love and passion for Pilates has grown even more thanks to Breathe Education.
02:12 16 Jun 22
I couldn’t be happier with my amazing experience with Breathe and my spectacular instructor, Emily. The learning methodology to increase motor learning through building confidence, giving choice, and external cues will set me apart from other instructors and will allow me to teach with confidence and knowledge. I highly recommend this Pilates Instructor course through Breathe Education if you want to be a confident, knowledgeable, fearless movement instructor!
23:34 15 Jun 22
Breathe has been the best qualification I have done, the layout of the course, the tutors, the other students - all absolutely AMAZING! Made to feel safe and included from day one, the knowledge the team holds is unmatched, 110% would recommend to ANYONE and EVERYONE wanting to study pilates. Seriously the best of the best!
10:35 15 Jun 22
Definitely recommend. Key learning goals were met and trainers were super invested in our success and our career paths taking off! Anyone looking around at different Pilates certificates can stop their search because this one is top notch.
06:28 14 Jun 22
I have just recently completed the 20 week certificate IV in Pilates.I know it has been said over and over again but this truly has been a life changing experience for me. Firstly I have never owned or operated a laptop before and had never been on Zoom. So as you can imagine I was extremely hesitant about proceeding with a course that is completely online. Secondly, I was very nervous about being the oldest in my group and would I have anything to offer or would I make any connections. The thing about Breathe is that all of these worries end up not even being a thing. The support team are outstanding and can guide you through any technical problems and the course is designed in such a perfect way that you never feel too overwhelmed because of the way it is distributed over 5 modules.It really doesn't even matter if you are a beginner to the pilates world, you are so supported by the amazing lecturers and they truly want you to succeed , as Raph would say "shout out to Hailey Hawkins".Lastly the connections! Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine being in week 20 and so emotional. I have met some of the nicest kindest and supportive people ever and that has by far been the best part.Not sure what I am going to do next Tuesday now?
03:15 11 Jun 22
08:13 05 May 22
23:48 04 May 22
I can not thank you enough Breathe Education - the course, the resources, the people... it is honestly the best Pilates teacher training! And not only that, it is also a beautiful community who continually inspire, encourage & respect one another.
23:35 04 May 22
Such a great experience. Highly recommend to anyone looking to get a valuable pilates instructor training course. These people know their stuff and do everything to facilitate the best learning outcomes for each and everyone of their students. I just finished and I am confident in my teaching abilities for a very successful career as a pilates instructor! THANK YOU BREATHE!!
08:39 30 Apr 22
I completed my Cert IV of Matwork and Reformer Pilates with Breathe Education. I cannot recommend Breathe highly enough. I felt so supported throughout the entire course by both Breathe trainers and the whole BE community. I feel incredibly well prepared (and excited!) to start teaching Pilates. The whole online learning structure was set up for our success and understanding and each instructor really has such a breadth of knowledge. I loved this course so much that I've signed up for the Diploma and am very happy to keep expanding my own knowledge with Breathe!
04:27 30 Apr 22
Breathe Education offers a fantastic qualification for aspiring pilates instructors. You won't regret enrolling and becoming part of the Breathe community!
04:27 30 Apr 22
Such an amazing experience! Loved every single minute of it. All of the trainers were so welcoming and encouraging and there wasn't one thing that was unclear to me. The course structure itself is very easy to follow and there is choice for times etc. Well done to all November 2021 students, you will kill it out there!!
09:55 16 Mar 22
Had such a blast completing this course. The trainers are amazing, delivering the content in such a fun way! The online nature makes it easy to balance with everyday life, whilst gaining skills and the confidence to teach Pilates in the real world. Loved every minute of it!
06:34 15 Mar 22
After speaking to countless pilates schools I could not be happier that I signed up with Breathe Education!!!The course content is second to none using only the most recent research which leaves you mind blown. The deep dive into the traditional Joseph Pilates repertoire challenged me to move in ways I had only dreamed of in my own personal practice #fearlessmovement! The structure is so manageable, even with a busy life you find yourself 'doing the thing' and stand back one day thinking 'wow I am industry ready' in what feels like a blink of the eye!The online delivery is incredible... it allowed me to move countries half way through my course and still stay connected with the Breathe Community and on track to finish my qualification on time.Lastly, the trainers and the support team... wow wow wow!! You will not find a more supportive and motivating team out there. They truely want you to succeed and leave no one behind!Thank you Breathe... bring on the diploma in the future!
Fitness For Fun with Sarah
04:02 15 Mar 22
Such an incredible well rounded, evidence based course with a beautiful and supportive community!
04:05 10 Feb 22
I loved the breathe course and was able to grow my confidence not only with teaching but with talking to groups of people in general. All the instructors/teachers were amazing and knew their stuff! I feel confident to go into the workforce to teach and encourage others. Definitely will be recommending!
04:03 10 Feb 22
Thank you so much for not only building up my confidence in teaching pilates but building up my confidence in every day life and motivating me to be the best version of myself! I have enjoyed every moment of this course and feel so prepared to go out and teach :) Thank you xx