In this blog post, we will bring some information about advanced Pilates exercises in the Cadillac equipment, the difficulties encountered by students and how is the evolution in this equipment. To talk about this subject, no one better than Rafael Jaque, current director of the Pilates Zen Center in Chile and Kauffer’s representative in his country!
Rafael has more than 15 years of experience in the method. He serves today as Director of the Pilates Group at the Chilean Pilates Society and is considered 2nd generation of Pilates, since he was trained by Lolita San Miguel, a direct disciple of Joseph Pilates! In addition to all this, he is also a certified Pilates Teacher by P.M.A.® (Pilates Method Alliance).
In this post, he will tell us a little more about the difficulties that the students encounter to do Pilates exercises in the Cadillac, the time it takes for each practitioner to reach the advanced level and what are the first impressions of the students about this equipment!
For Rafael Jaque, achieving an advanced level of Pilates exercises in the Cadillac should not be a purpose. He usually conveys to his students and instructors that the most important thing is always the person practicing pilates, not the exercise itself. It is imperative to see what your needs and qualities are, before moving on to advanced Pilates exercises on Cadillac. Only gradual evolution can lead the student or practitioner to progress and advance, more and more.
Rafael says that, to reach an advanced level of exercises in Cadillac, one must fulfill several physical qualities. For this reason, the time required for each individual is very relative and personal.
When telling us about the first impression that the students have when they know the Cadillac equipment, Rafael laughts and tells:
“The first impression of the Cadillac is “fright” and it amuses me a lot, since they think it’s like a “torture machine”. Soon, this equipment starts to draw more attention, when I explain that it can be a friendly equipment too and that practitioners can even hang on it.
That’s when they start to get motivated and start seeking more challenges. We usually begin the approach with Spread Eagle and, as their levels progressively advance, they can get to Hanging Ups, Cat Walkover, Full, and some other exercises.”
For Rafael, all difficulties can be very similar in any device. The main difficulty to do Pilates exercises in the Cadillac, in his point of view, is to develop and achieve the necessary qualities and obtain the relevant competence to be able to execute the movement with precision.
He believes it is preferable to perform a basic pilates exercise on Cadillac with quality, than an advanced exercise without respecting the processes.
When he tells us about the advanced Pilates exercises in the Cadillac, he says that one of the things that interests our students as a challenge is to think about hanging on this device.
“The exercise is presented as a possibility of exercise where, among other things, practitioners must have developed, in a balanced way, the physical qualities such as strength, flexibility, etc. and also have a good spatial orientation.
We must remember that, to reach the advanced level, our student must meet all the requirements mentioned above, they must have clarity and already integrate the principles of the method in their movements. We’re not hanging out just for fun.”
In addition, Rafael makes it clear that safety is paramount in all exercises where the physical integrity of the students may be at risk, so it is essential to do the exercises only accompanied by a professional.
As examples of advanced exercises in the Cadillac, we have:
Exercise where the student gets his feet on the trapeze and, with the help of the bars, he does elbow push ups, working mainly the back and arms. You should always maintain the correct alignment of the entire body, without modifying your pelvis, center and head, imagining as if you were holding your body on an inverted board.
Standing in the Cadillac and picking up the bars, the practitioner supports one foot and then another, as if he were walking on the trapeze. Then you raise one leg to the sky, leaving your body inverted. Finally, you then change your legs in the air.
By working on the trapeze or fuzies, this exercise is a good option to work flexibility, which today is not always an aspect that we give due importance. Our main focus will be for the student to keep the pelvis neutral, and not have one side higher than the other.
Can you realize that the Cadillac, as well as most Pilates equipments, requires a lot of dedication and patience to gradually develop the necessary characteristics of evolution in the method, right?
After all, as Rafael himself says, it is preferable a basic exercise that is very well executed, than an advanced one with no control or quality!