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Hands-On: the best job in the world.

The power of hands-on teaching.

As an instructor, one of my absolute favourite things about teaching Pilates is learning how my clients learn best. Giving them a deeper sense of awareness gifts them a greater mind-body connection. It also gives my clients the tools to make small changes in their everyday life to be more functional and efficient in their movement patterns. Those “ahh haa” moments are my favourite parts of my teaching day.

Cuing is an art and different cues work with different people. The origin of the word “cue” is somewhat unknown, but it is likely to come from the Latin word “quando”, which means “when”. In movement practices, such as Pilates, cueing is a way to get clients moving so they get the most out of an exercise. Typically speaking there are three ways in which we all learn: visually (by watching/observing), auditorily (by listening), and kinesthetically (by experiencing and doing). Most of us are combinations of these, while others are definitely more one than the other. Learning how my clients best learn, allows them to best achieve Pilates. In our in-studio classes at EnerchiFitness we use hands-on as a teaching tool to get our clients to feel where they need to engage, give them more awareness to an area of their body, the direction they need to move from or to, or simply as an assist to make an exercise easier or perhaps even more challenging. The use of touch can deeply enrich and educate the client perfectly without adding more words to an already over-filled mind.

Some of the many benefits of touch include:

  • Acts as communication

  • Give awareness to an area of the body

  • Correct alignment and technique

  • Guide the direction or intention of movement

  • Add challenge to a movement

  • Create a deeper two way stretch

  • Use pressure to enhance center connection

  • Better proprioception and physical feedback of where the body is in space

  • Not needing to use words or to continue to teach and cue while giving another client a different hands-on cue

  • Allows you to not have to verbally correct so hands on can be more gentle and compassionate

I love these words that Rael Isacowitz uses, “Ultimately, the effectiveness of your cuing will determine the effectiveness of your teaching. No one is just a visual learner or tactical learner. In the best case scenario, you will be well versed and competent in all modes of using and able to combine them in subtle ways for the best effect.” Hands on cuing needs to be given with care to avoid miscommunication. Being professional, deliberate as well as confident in the guidance of movement is something we value at EnerchiFitness.



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