Think about our everyday habits.
As Pilates instructors, we are more often aware of our alignment throughout the day-mainly because being in poor alignment is uncomfortable -especially if you grew up as a dancer, or had the privilege of beginning Pilates as a teenager.
But what about our clients? Unless they have similar backgrounds, Pilates is the first true experience they have had with proper alignment.
So, tell me if this sounds familiar:
You’ve been working with a postnatal mom with diastasis recti for 10 or more sessions –
teaching her the basics of Pilates
Transverse Ab engagement
How to move from the core.
You are diligent about alignment, and emphasize breathing through every movement,
and you are CONVINCED that she’s got it down!
Yet, She comes back to your session,
shoulders rounded forward,
hips tucked under…Just not at her best,
and TOTALLY NOT implementing what you have been teaching her.
And you wonder-are we getting anywhere??
Maybe it’s because your client has been doing THIS:
There she is -doing her everyday activities in HORRIBLE alignment -throwing all your hard work out the window!
As soon as your client leaves the studio, she goes right back to her old, destructive habits.
WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS!
And guess what that something is??
WE HAVE TO CHANGE THEIR HABITS OUTSIDE OF THE STUDIO!
Pilates principles HAVE to become a life-style!
The question is, does your client want it bad enough? Because she WILL have to work on it outside of the studio?
And do you know how to implement a diastasis recti protocol that fits your client’s individual needs?
I can help you with that.
But keep an open mind, because it’s totally out of the norm. And will require you to care for your client like you never have before.
The following tips will help you help your clients keep up with all of the hard work you do inside the studio, and start to apply it OUTSIDE of the studio:
1. Watch how your clients walk into the studio and out
of the studio
- This will give you a good idea of how they are doing everyday activities
2. Ask them what their everyday activities are.
- Then work with them to change HOW they do them.
- A good rule is to stick to 1 activity a week.
- I like to start with sitting to standing-A basic, everyday activity that WILL make DR worse if they are doing it wrong.
- Cooking is a good one also. It is spent standing and moving just enough to ensure mom keeps her shoulders released but Hugging the Belly back.
3. Require them to set a reminder or an alarm on their phone
- with the specific instructions for practicing proper alignment on their specificeveryday movement for the week.
4. Encourage them to stand up tall as they walk to their car
- with the proper alignment techniques you have taught them.
5. Confront them-with grace, when they begin to walk into or away from the studio in poor alignment.
- Know your client’s personality well enough to know what level of confrontation they need.
- From gentle and understanding to firm and directing. Ask your client, “How bad do you want it?”
6. Set reminders for YOURSELF, and text them throughout the week to encourage their progress.
- This type of attention and service to your clients will make a world of difference!
- Knowing that you care above and beyond what is expected makes clients want to succeed. It keeps them accountable.
- From a business standpoint, add this as part of a packaged coaching deal.
7. Ask your client to send you a weekly video of them doing their everyday activities properly,
- and then send appropriate feedback.
- Encouragement first-compliment them first-then add your corrections.
- Always end with a positive note.
8. Plan a session in their environment.
- Plan to walk around with them for an hour and ‘fix’ them.
- Or if you can’t go to their environment, per se, take them on a walk outside of the studio.
- Watch them as they get in and out of their car, how they lift and carry their bag, etc.
9. Explore deeper hindrances to their healing such as emotions, sleep patterns, and eating habits.
- Life will certainly hinder healing. Take into consideration whats going on in your client’s life.
- From a sleepless toddler to a fight with the husband, or much more serious issues such as postpartum depression or eating disorders.
- Stay within your scope of practice, but don’t dismiss this part of a client’s life.
- Keep a list of professionals that deal in these issues, such as psychologists, social workers, nutritionists, and doctors who specialize in holistic medicine.
10. Firmly establish yourself as the expert-as the leader.
- Remember that your client hired YOU to help her reach her fitness goals. So you have the authority to guide her accordingly.
- Be CONFIDENT in what you are doing.
- This helps her to trust you more.
- Also, it is human nature that we want to please our teachers.
- Your firm but loving hand is vital to your client’s ultimate success.
If you implement these actions into your training, you will have gone above and beyond to ensure your client’s success.
You WILL start to see true, sustainable progress,
because you know that your client is now doing this:
Not only do you get that priceless personal victory of helping your client succeed,
you will get more referrals knocking on your studio door,
because you stepped above and beyond the norm!
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about how to better serve your clients!
You are a vital part of the good of this world! Keep it up!
If you would like to dive in deeper, and learn more about how to help your Diastasis Recti clients,
Let me know if you have questions or comments!