Mar 21 2016

You know how to move bodies, but do you know HOW the body moves?

The human body is an exquisitely complicated piece of machinery made up of a complex web of muscles and tissue that support and move its bony structure. You work with bodies every day, but how well do you know the intricacies of how the body functions to produce the movements that you are teaching your clients?

When you have a clear understanding of functional anatomy and biomechanics, working with bodies becomes like putting together a challenging puzzle. This can be an overwhelming task, but when your knowledge is spot on, it is a fun and rewarding way to transform lives. 

It is surprising that many Teacher Training programs for popular practices including Pilates and Yoga do not require a thorough Anatomy course as a prerequisite. Few even mention its importance for becoming a skilled and responsible mover of bodies. 

As Movement practices, especially Pilates, are quickly moving back into the realm of therapeutic exercise and post-rehabilitation, a thorough comprehension of how the body stabilizes and produces movement is imperative. Most importantly, what is happening in the body when the structures are not performing properly to produce balanced movement and suppport. 

Continuing to treat all bodies the same, and all movements as equally important alienates a significant  part of the population. After all, how often is your class or client-base full with perfect healthy bodies free of all pain and dysfunction? Our lifestyle today is not conducive to the historical definition of ideal posture. Do you understand why this is not achievable for most?

BODY HARMONICS® offers the most extensive range of Functional Anatomy and Biomechanics workshops available to Pilates and Movement Practitioners. PMA-Approved. Visit for a complete list of workshops.

Written by Holly Wallis, PMA®-CPT, BODY HARMONICS® Teacher Training Faculty
Director, ReActive Movement, 6200 La Salle Avenue, Oakland CA, 94611

© 2016. All rights reserved. 


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ReActive Practitioners have extensive training and experience working with many structural and functional conditions, including...

  • Posture/Gait Imbalances
  • Hip Instability/Mobility Issues including pre-/post-operative care for hip scope and replacement
  • Shoulder Instability/Mobility Issues including frozen shoulder, rotator cuff imbalances/injuries, pre-/post-operative care for shoulder replacement
  • Spine Issues (Spinal Stenosis, pre- & post-operative care for discectomy, laminectomy, spinal fusion, DDD, ankylosing spondylitis, spondylolisthesis, disc bulges/herniations – Post-rehab)
  • Knee Instability/Mobility Issues including Patellar Femoral Syndrome, pre-/post-operative care for knee scope and replacement
  • Scoliosis – Functional & Structural
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteopenia/Osteoporosis
  • Pre- & Post-natal including diastasis recti, C-Section, SIJ pain/pelvic instability and dysfunction
  • Low, Mid- & Upper back pain (incl Core Stabilization/Muscle Recruitment issues)
  • Muscular Recruitment/Patterning Issues including habitual compensations, faulty recruitment/patterns
  • Chronic conditions – Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, chronic pain syndromes, MS, etc
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Standing & Walking stability issues including balance issues, leg discrepancy, neurological disorders (ie stroke)
  • Functional Movement Issues (ie difficulty performing movements of everyday life ie sit-stand, bending, lifting, pushing, pulling, managing stairs, etc)
  • Sport-Specific Training (golf, tennis, cycling, climbing, swimming, running, education for safer and more effective gym training, etc)
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