Teen Pilates and Youth Fitness

During the developmental years of growing young adults, nothing builds core strength as effectively as Pilates training. Pilates equipment, as well as a large variety of smaller core-strengthening fitness tools can benefit everyone from the high-school athlete seeking out a college scholarship to the student looking for a stronger foundation of strength, flexibility, agility, balance and coordination.

For those children under the age of 13, I use a large variety of fitness props that allow us to achieve all of the above fitness goals without the use of weight bearing machines. I use an extensive catalog of cross-training exercises in a fun and active setting so that health and fitness are seen as an enjoyable extracurricular to continue with throughout their lives.

Eme is available for Mom & Baby Pilates matwork, individual teen Pilates sessions and youth group circuit / matwork classes.

For an appointment call: 773-505-6462

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Tips for teaching Pilates to kids
By: Eme Cole, MS

1. Develop a curriculum that does not exceed 45 minutes to optimize their attention span
2. Make sure the mats are set up so that they can see you (to learn visually)
3. Begin with a brief explanation of Pilates & its benefits, as well as your credentials
4. Play up to date music that is enticing to the dedicated age group
5. Warm up with an imaginary jump rope and an imaginary hula hoop
6. Tell a story (ie. you know how in gym class they make you do endless amounts of those “full” sit-ups? In Pilates we do a much smaller ab curl but it’s so much more efficient that we only need to do a few to get the same benefit.)
7. Incorporate Pilates principles gradually (ie. torso stabilization is really important during Pilates exercises. So when you’re practicing large leg circles, think of gluing your torso to the mat and moving just from the hip.)
8. Incorporate sports references (ie. during side lying leg sweeps, let’s think about kicking a soccer ball in front of us, and stretching the leg behind us.)
9. Incorporate challenges (ie. who thinks they can roll like a ball without letting their fee touch the ground? Or… If you’re good at standing on your toes, try staying balanced while flapping your bird wings.)
10. Discuss loud vs. soft movements (ie. while we hold our hips up in this bridge, I want to see who can march their legs without making a sound.)
11. Add snapping and clapping to exercises (ie. hold a side plank while the free hand snaps 10 times. Or… During a bent leg teaser, add a clap above the head.)
12. Adding animal and other sounds reminds kids to breathe (ie. “swoosh” during rocking, “meow/moo” during cat/cow, “ribbit” during frog press, “art art” during seal roll.)
13. Incorporate games (ie. play rock paper scissors in the supine position: a double leg tuck for rock, a double leg stretch for paper, and a single leg pull for scissors.)
14. Don’t single anyone out as it may embarrass them. Instead, demonstrate the wrong way and the right way to the whole class and give positive feedback when they get it right.
15. End the class with a great song and a brief ‘let loose’ dance party.
16. Ask the kids for feedback, they don’t have a filter & it will help improve your practice.
17. Focus on fun. If it’s not fun, they won’t try it again until they’re adults!

May 13, 2014 at 2:00 pm | | No comment