Why foundations before kettlebell classes?

I’m an impassioned scientist at my core, but maybe the flighty nutty professor type…. Those of you who have taken certification courses with me know that I tend to get off on anatomical tangents and have to be reigned back in or even in training sessions, I might start talking about some current research (or my kids…) while you suffer through a 70 reps. I’ve been known to forget a whole series on one side in barre class. In those instances, I’m grateful for my diligent students who remind me! When I’m excited about something, I get ahead of myself, which is why a meditation practice keeps the “flighty-ness” (only partially) under control.

My former hippie mom has been giving me crystals and hematite all my life to help keep me grounded. I'm aware. So it is no coincidence that I believe in creating a strong foundation, to get grounded in your personal health. This is also why we have a movement pedagogy that starts with Foundations courses. We train in objectives at Iron & Grace, allowing our clients to earn their progressions and give them what is needed for proficiency, but we are steadfast to the standard of good movement. One of my favorite Pilates mentors, Brent Anderson, founder of Polestar Pilates, once said to me, a good movement practitioner is grounded in science but practices with creativity and intuition. It struck a chord with me and continues to resonate in my day to day practice. To me, it says, FIRST get your facts straight, know the whys, stay on top of research and use best practices, but second be present, be present to the person you are working with, so that you can problem solve their movement maladies on the fly; keep a broad palette of skills so that you can be creative and facilitate the beauty that is the healing art of movement.

We’ve been working on the programming for our kettlebell program. Kettlebells are tough. While we believe that it is the universal tool for weight loss and efficient strength, flexibility and power, the reality is that some people are not cut out for the process; of building skills, giving every movement your attention, the focus and hard work. Kettlebell classes here, in our Lynchburg studio, create a lot of steamy windows and there is grunting, active, audible exhales and people whose bodies have transformed. They started with foundations or one on one instruction.  They did kettlebell training.  They went through an active learning process and earned their progressions. There was no pressure or competition, just focus,  hard work, practice and patience. That is what it takes to acquire most skills worth learning, right?  This one just sometimes means you rip the skin off your hands- and THAT is a rite of passage.

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