With the new knowledge and information still fresh in my head, I planned the class with the intention for my practice clients to learn Rollover and Side Bend.

Don’t put the Cart before the Horse!
Like what Kris has emphasized throughout the Matwork program, I made sure I understood the intentions of the 2 pieces I have chosen to teach. With that purpose in mind, I poured through the Matwork manual for other related pieces that will activate and strengthen the muscles involved. I believe this will aid in the clients’ progression to be mobile enough to execute the more advanced pieces. But first, I have to hold the horses – its important to get the foundation right!

No full Side Bend yet …
To get the class ready for Side Bend, I wanted them to engage their obliques first. So, we did Tick Tock, Chest Lift with Rotation, Side Bend Kneeling as a preparation. As they were not familiar with Side Bend Kneeling, they had difficulties maintaining the curve. But after some corrections, they were able to feel the stretch on their sides and their obliques working. Instead of a full Side Bend, I had them stay in a Side Plank position for 5 breaths each side. I think this was a better choice than to rush them into Side Bend.

Setting up for Rollover
I moved on to my objective for the class – Rollover. We started with Rolling like a Ball, one of the pieces we’ve practiced a few times before. The class was able to do it well after reminders to focus on engaging their abdominal muscles throughout. After that, I had them lift their legs one at a time, and slowly both legs – we were ready for Open Leg Rocker! As some clients faced difficulties to rock back up, I asked them to bend their knees upon coming up. After a few repetitions, they seemed more confident and were able to come up with straight legs.

To build the awareness of using abdominal strength to curl the pelvis, I had them lie on a folded mat with their butts off the mat, on the ground. I then made them do 10 reps of elevating their butts off the ground, with legs pointing to the ceiling. It was a stomach killer for them. While such engagement is still fresh in their head, I taught them to rollover. I brought the focus to their triceps when I realize they were not pressing hard enough on the ground to support their rollover. At the start, they were apprehensive about doing the piece so I held on to their legs and place the side of my leg against their back for support. It took quite a few attempts for them to be assured enough to rollover without fear of falling over their heads.

A Lesson learnt
Well, I realized that as much as I would like them to execute my the pieces I’ve intended to teach, I have to be aware of the different body limitations presented before me, and that means I would have to slow down to focus on the basics if necessary. For my next class, I will strive for them to try Side Bend for at least 3 reps.

Written by Jasmine Lee


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