FITNESS INNOVATOR


Sean Bergara’s unique and motivating approach to Pilates offers everyone the opportunity to grow, learn, and to take their practice to infinity and beyond.

Build Athletic Smarts

With the latest technology constantly redesigning fitness equipment to offer you a better workout, it’s a challenge to know what the best choice truly is. No matter how artificially intelligent and expertly wired your workout device or equipment is, you might be surprised to know the most innovative fitness tool was created in the 1920s—and has been right under your nose all along: the Pilates Reformer. More than one hundred years after its inception—and having seen countless fitness machines come and go—the Reformer still stands, used not only for its original purpose of rehabilitation, but also for athletic strength training and conditioning. Whether you want to build a strong core and

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Elevate Your Practice

Why do so many individuals have difficulties with much of the original Classical Pilates exercises? What would the world of Pilates look like if Joseph Pilates was influenced by today’s scientific information? Would he adapt new ways to teach movement? These are questions that often come to mind when speaking with classically trained Pilates teachers. Personally, I believe that if we could take out the “struggle” that so many have with Pilates, our industry would become the number one exercise choice. I strongly believe that if teachers understood the science of movement, they would be more adept at implementing modifications. Additionally, they would see the value introducing variations to help

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The Power of Cueing

Knowing how to communicate effectively when using verbal cues can turn an average teacher into an extraordinary one. Now that the pandemic mandates that we keep a safe distance from students and limit our tactile cueing, developing an arsenal of clear and concise verbal cues is more important than ever. First, let’s discuss verbal cues and how to prevent them from becoming nothing more than repetitive, ineffectual sound bites. As a teacher, it’s only natural to become a bit complacent with our verbal cues. The underlying problem is that we’re caught unaware by the common pitfalls and neglect to correct ourselves. Here are a few examples that are sure to

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Athletic Pilates

When I teach, my most often used quote is: “If the resistance applied to the extremities is greater than the ability to maintain proper breathing and alignment, then the resistance is too heavy.” Yes, I said it! It’s not about strength. It’s about balanced and coordinated movement. In addition to lifting functional loads, one of the most overlooked aspects of strength is flexibility. If a rubber band is inflexible and can’t be fully stretched, it won’t have the force to generate power. Athletic Pilates is similar to other forms of strength training, but is devoid of excessive and compressive spine loading. The most notable difference is that the emphasis is

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Get Down to Your Students’ Level

There’s a distinct and powerful difference between an instructor and a teacher. I define an instructor as one who provides students information on what the instructor has learned from a book, workshop, or training program. He or she has not personally experienced that which they teach. This is a one-dimensional approach to learning, and one that I see far too often. A teacher, on the other hand, offers a multi-dimensional approach to learning, making it a priority to personally develop their movement skills, apply what they’ve learned, and acquire teaching aptitudes through their personal practice. I, for one, believe that to be truly impactful, you must share your personal experience

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The Key to Teaching Authentic Pilates

Let’s start with an analogy. The beloved wine we know as Champagne is authentic only if it comes from the Champagne region of France. That’s why Italian white sparkling wine is called Prosecco. California sparkling wines are not veritable Champagnes. In relation to Pilates, the proper word for this is “classical.” If you teach the way Papa Joe taught, you’re teaching classical Pilates—the original style of Pilates. But if you teach in a way that is true to your personal experience and your beliefs about how the body works, don’t let anyone tell you you aren’t teaching “authentic” Pilates. The Pilates industry may have come under the influence of polarization,

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