What to Do When Your Client Has Zero Body Awareness

Let’s be honest, some people got it and some people don’t. Body awareness, that is. And that’s ok! Some people understand what an instructor means by simply hearing it and can set up just so. Others are going to need some extra visuals and/or tactile help to settle into a good working position.

So what do we as instructors do when we have a client that needs a little extra help with their working form? There are a few ways we can approach this, but here’s how I like to come at it: 

The first thing I like to do for a new client is to just allow them to experience the class. Unless it looks like they are set up to possibly hurt themselves, I may let them work with less than optimal alignment for several classes. Clients are more likely to establish a good pattern if they can find it and feel it them themselves. 

If after a few classes it seems they need more help, I may start to cue for the class as a whole (never singling anyone out for poor form) to use the mirror to watch their own bodies. As I demo in the mirror as well, I will share with the class the things I want them to see in their bodies and I will explain how to scale back to find that sweet spot. 

Once I have given those clear cues and given them time to spot things in own bodies, I will then pause the class and demo to the whole room the less desired form I am seeing (but again without singling anyone out), and I will explain why our bodies might want to do this. Then I will demo what I want to see instead. It may take a minute away from the class, but it’s a minute well spent if it brings more awareness to those that already got it and those that don’t!

Of course a good tactile adjustment can be plugged in here and there … really, just about anywhere! But for those that struggle with body and spacial awareness, they are going to need much more than the occasional tactile adjustment.

When all else fails, and many times it will, I’ll take some time after class to encourage the client, to let them know that I see them fighting for that good form. Then I’ll give them a couple personalized pointers. I’ll remind them that I’m here to help them and happy to work through this process with them.

It may take years (yes, years) of consistency, but when they finally get that solid long form plank or that happy neutral pelvis, the time you invested in that client will be so rewarding!!! Stick with them; they deserve it!

Want more guidance? BarreAmped® offers 1:1 coaching calls for barre instructors of any background.

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