Understanding the Block System®

The Block System® is a very unique and key feature of BASI Pilates™ developed by founder and director, Rael Isacowitz. It is essentially a specialized ‘filing’ system for hundreds of exercises, put in a format that categorized exercises in a logical sequence for Pilates repertoire and ensure progressive structuring of classes within a flexible system.

In the coming months we’ll be looking at all the different BLOCKS (equipment) individually within the Block System™ with their special qualities and the instructor’s approach to each individual Block. In my opinion the success of the use of the Block System™ boils down to making the right choices. So many options, so many exercises, but making the right choice for a particular client has the potential to unlock many possibilities.

BASI Block System

The Block System® is a very unique and key feature of BASI Pilates™ developed by founder and director, Rael Isacowitz. It is essentially a specialized ‘filing’ system for hundreds of exercises, put in a format that categorized exercises in a logical sequence for Pilates repertoire and ensure progressive structuring of classes within a flexible system.

In the coming months we’ll be looking at all the different BLOCKS (equipment) individually within the Block System™ with their special qualities and the instructor’s approach to each individual Block. In my opinion the success of the use of the Block System™ boils down to making the right choices. So many options, so many exercises, but making the right choice for a particular client has the potential to unlock many possibilities.

Key Considerations when choosing exercises in a Block

There are multiple exercises to choose from in each Block. The challenge for the instructor is often which exercise or exercises to choose from in that BLOCK?

Consider the following when choosing the exercise/s

  • Experience of the client, e.g. 6 months, 2 years
  • Level of the client, e.g. beginner, intermediate
  • Goals of the client, e.g. posture, weight loss
  • Restrictions, e.g. injuries
  • Special population, e.g. athlete, geriatric, pregnant
  • Time available, e.g. 30 min to 60 min
  • Progressive class structuring, e.g. from session 1 to 20
  • Maintaining flow throughout the session

 

The beauty of this system is that you can construct a class that will suit the ability of each individual client without compromising on their restrictions or athletic abilities. It takes years and a very skilled instructor to fully understand and comprehend the many complexities of the Block System™.

On a personal note… When I started out teaching Pilates (not BASI Pilates at the time) I taught exercises randomly. It was like grabbing exercises from the air as they were floating around without purpose. My appreciation for the Block System™ came when I saw that in a class of 12 clients you can tailor to the needs of each individual without teaching the same exercises to 12 people and challenge all of them within their range of movement and ability. It is not easy and the instructor has to know the repertoire inside out.

This system is progressive thinking. It gives structure, a plan, a map and definitely a great recipe to construct a class that will be balanced, well rounded, addressing all planes of movement and multiple muscle groups. It is awesome…

In the next newsletter we’ll be looking at the Warm up Block. The instructor’s approach and when to do what.

 

Regards,

Theo van der Riet – Botha
BASI Pilates™ Principal Instructor