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Students often ask me for specific exercises to help with issues like shoulder pain or flattening their stomach. The problem is that the human musculature is a complex system of multi-directional muscles. One or even two exercises cannot possibly make real body shape or pain-relief changes. To reflect the reality of the complexity of the human body and offer real changes—a systematic approach of going through all the related muscle groups needs to be adopted. For shoulder pain, we need to offer a sequence of exercises that cover the full range of motion of the shoulder. For flattening the stomach, a series of top three stretching and strengthening are necessary because the stomach is actually the front part of the top three.

Clients are programmed through the media, to look for the top 3 or 4 exercises to change their lives! Essentrics is not the type of fitness program that suggests that there are easy solutions to complex problems.

Single exercises will not deliver the results that people are looking for. A few exercises done incorrectly will only lead to disappointment and a disrespect of Essentrics. This is why we have to resist giving clients a couple of simple exercises when they ask for them.

Instead, we must explain to them the logic of working the full musculature of their problem area with a sequence of exercises and encourage then to do the correct sequencing. These sequences can take a short 5 to 10 minutes, but they will make a difference as long as the client has been instructed exactly how to do them. This brings up the next problem of correct tension and speed.

Remember that exercises are only a fraction of the solution; it is how they do those exercises that really counts. So often, people injure themselves doing exercises incorrectly—too fast or too forcefully. The effectiveness of Essentrics is much more about “how” clients do the exercises than about the actual exercises themselves.

As an Essentrics instructor, you know that the techniques are more important than the actual exercises—be sure to take the time to show your clients how to do the sequences. I recommend that you either offer a private training session to teach them the correct sequencing or direct them to suitable YouTube clips that will give them short sequences to follow.

Both of these reasons are why I am so reluctant to recommend exercises without making sure that they do full range of motion and understand the appropriate techniques to safely do those exercises. When you are advising clients, you will have to take all those points under consideration as well.

Try not to let your clients force you into giving them one or two exercises as a takeaway to do every day. You are doing your clients an injustice. Explain to them how their body works and convince them to do a full range of motion sequence that you show them. People are always looking for simple cookie-cutter solutions in fitness, but the human body isn’t a robot. It needs a more sophisticated approach then a one-exercise fits all answer—you can offer them that solution by using Essentrics correctly.

We wanted to get your feedback on our Live Teacher Trainings as we are always looking to improve and get better! Thank you so much to all the teachers who took the time to give us their comments on what they like about the workshops and what they would like to see more of in upcoming ones.

Here’s what some of you said:

“Personal feedback is certainly key, as is the opportunity to learn the latest developments in terms of research, technique, etc. The opportunity to interact with colleagues, trainers, and mentors is of course invaluable as well.”

“The training DVD is excellent, but sometimes it is difficult to see the angles. At the live training we were able to go over things that we had trouble with. It was a huge help to have questions answered on the spot.”

“I loved trying every skill, getting direct feedback, running through Pre-cho1 thoroughly from start to finish and loved the advice on how to approach the written test....I loved it all.”


What's been going on this summer with Essentrics?


Try finding the beat in the following songs. Start at the beginning and count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 all the way through. You will notice that the beat repeats itself and every time you get back to the 1 you will be at the beginning of the next phrase. Try to practice this with the songs you use for plies, side leg lifts, side to side lunges, arms and anything else with a beat. It will make it much easier to count and it will be much easier for your class to follow.

Warm up: Can’t feel my face - The Weeknd Joanne Manderson, Level 2
Kicks: The Avenur - Fade out Lines Sahra Esmonde-White, Founder
Side Lunges: The Dog Days are Over - Florence + the Machine Gail Garceau, Level 3

How did you discover Essentrics and what made you want to become a teacher?
Miranda was my ballet teacher in my teenage years; I remember her introducing us to PNF at the barre to help with our splits…I later came across Classical Stretch on PBS in my 20s and was immediately hooked! What a nice surprise to get to enjoy her unique humour once again and discover this wonderful technique at the same time. I felt I had finally found a workout that was exactly right for me. It has stuck with me through the years, at first with the (now vintage!) Classical Stretch DVD and then with the Essentrics series. It was when I got back from a trip to a friend’s yoga resort in Belize 2 years ago, after seeing her share her passion with her class every morning out on the pier that I got to thinking…I could do the same with Essentrics!
Miranda était ma professeur de ballet quand j’étais adolescente, je me souviens qu’elle nous avait introduites au PNF à la barre pour nous aider avec nos grand écarts… Plus tard, dans la vingtaine, je suis tombée par hasard sur son émission Classical Stretch à PBS. Quelle belle découverte! Je retrouvais avec plaisir le sens de l’humour unique de Miranda et, du même coup, une technique extraordinaire. J’avais enfin trouvé l’entraînement parfait pour moi. Je suis fan depuis l’achat de mon premier DVD Classical Stretch (qui fait maintenant partie de la collection vintage!) et depuis, à travers l’évolution de la série Essentrics. Je revenais d’un voyage chez une amie qui enseigne le yoga au Belize il y a 2 ans, un peu jalouse du fait qu’elle puisse partager sa passion tous les matins là-bas, en enseignant sur son quai au dessus de la mer. C’est là que je me suis dit: moi aussi je pourrais faire ça, avec Essentrics!

Where do you teach Essentrics and how do you market your classes?
I’ve been teaching for 2 years now. At first, I was managing every aspect on my own: studio rentals, distributing pamphlets door to door, overseeing the sign-up process. It was a tremendous amount of work. Since January 2015, I’ve been hired as a teacher at different studios which allows me to spend more time planning my classes than marketing them. This has been a nice change for me. To get the word out more and more about Essentrics—I keep approaching local media (magazines, newspapers, etc.) and invite them to come try out a class and talk about it to their audience. We get to reach much more people at once this way. More and more, I am receiving calls from schools and sports teams who want to add Essentrics to their schedule—which is delightful.
J’enseigne à Québec depuis 2 ans. Au début, je gérais tout moi-même: location de locaux, promotion en distribuant des feuillets porte à porte, gestion des inscriptions, etc. C’était beaucoup de travail! Depuis janvier 2015 je fais partie de l’équipe de professeurs de différents studios. Je peux maintenant me concentrer sur la préparation des cours plutôt que sur le marketing. Cette façon de faire me plaît beaucoup plus! Je continue à faire connaître Essentrics en approchant différents médias locaux (journaux, magazines, etc) pour les inviter à venir essayer les classes et à en parler à leurs lecteurs. Ça permet de joindre beaucoup plus de gens d’un seul coup. De plus en plus, je reçois aussi des appels d’écoles et d’équipes sportives qui veulent ajouter les classes à leur programme, c’est vraiment fantastique.

What are your short/long-term goals in terms of teaching Essentrics?
I have recently achieved what was, until now, my main goal: becoming Level 4 certified! What I would truly love now, based on my Essentrics training and physical rehabilitation background, would be to work with up and coming athletes (cheerleaders, skaters, dancers, etc.) by joining their trainers and using Essentrics to prepare their bodies in an even more complete way.
J’ai tout récemment complété ma certification en obtenant mon Niveau 4 d’instructeur. C’était mon objectif depuis le tout début de ma formation. Maintenant, j’aimerais combiner ma passion pour Essentrics et ma formation en réadaptation physique pour travailler avec des athlètes en devenir (cheerleaders, patineurs, danseurs, etc). En me joignant à leur équipe d’entraîneurs, je leur montrer comment Essentrics peut préparer leurs corps de façon encore plus complète.

Favourite trademark songs?
I Can Fly // Lana Del Rey
To Build A Home // The Cinematic Orchestra
Wild Horses // Alicia Keys (Unplugged)

What is your favourite PCW?
As eager as I was at first to span out and try many different PCWs—PCW1 remains one of my favorites. I often go back and use it to add-on and modify into variations for different classes.
Pendant mes premières 30 heures d’enseignement, j’avais si hâte de découvrir d’autres PCW par contre encore aujourd’hui, le PCW1 demeure un de mes favoris. Je me sers souvent de la routine pour faire des ajouts et modifications et créer des variations pour différentes classes.