What a thing to ask!!!
I do say it:
a) Tonge in cheek, and
b) With Love! ❤️❤️✌️
What do I mean?
In the first instance, ALL the moves we do need to be safe and effective. No if’s, and’s or but’s
When we are doing a new move or a move that might be challenging in our small group class or 121 sessions, we need to make sure of a few things:
1. The moves are safe and effective — those are THE most important things
2. They work / challenge what and where we want them to
3. You can do them to the best of your ability.
We want to challenge you and your body, but not harm it. So when I ask a client “does it proper hurt, or are you being soft”, I am asking that the move be challenging to you (in many different ways), and make your body work harder that it would do normally.
More often than not my clients have some sort of pain, mainly physical, and movement can sometimes be challenging for them. I want everyone in class to be able to do a particular move (or a version of it), within their pain levels, or better still with no pain at all.
Proper pain needs to be avoided — it is not what we are striving for in a class. I often stay “I’d like you to have a good go at this move, but if it needs changing, we will change it”.
Good form, and technique whether in Pilates or iMoveFreely or Biomechanics, are paramount.
Increasing your pain levels is not desirable, and any moves that causes more pain (or starts pain) needs to be changed.
The phase “or are you being soft” hopefully encourages you to try your best, without having a significant effect on your posture, alignment or ability to do the move safely. It does not mean you are under any extra risk of injury: you are trying hard and your body is telling you so!
We want your body to move, to discover new ways of working, to improve your strength, flexibility, endurance and balance, but it has to be right for you. We are all different and will respond differently to movement and exercise.
Once we recognise the difference of ‘proper hurt’ and ‘being soft’, we can move forward safely, knowing our bodies will thank us in the long run.
How do we decide what is ‘proper hurt’ and ‘being soft’?
Proper hurt is when the move causes pain (if you are free of pain in that area) or if it increases your current level of pain. Obviously we don’t aim to hurt you at all in any class, that is why we keep checking! But, we need to know if the move isn’t right for your body on that day.
Proper hurt is a warning sign, and one that shouldn’t be ignored. To do so would be folly, and not in your bodies best interest.
Pain (or discomfort; however you prefer to think about it), is very individual and changes constantly. The body is a wonderful organism and is made up of complex and intricate nerves, muscles fascia, etc. If discomfort exists it cannot only affect the ‘injured’ part, but also the whole body. You know that yourself if you have had pain.
What causes pain?
That is a complex question with lots of answers depending on the nature of the pain, but here is s brief summary by Professor Lorimer Moseley – Pain Scientist, where he looks a persistent (often called chronic) pain – 12 weeks or more.
Now, that didn’t hurt, did it?