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Advanced Matwork: From Then to Now

The history of Pilates is one of immense inspiration and also immense change.

Find out why with the Advanced Matwork: From Then to Now workshop with Moira Merrithew. You’ll dive deep into the history of Pilates, experience Advanced Matwork classes as they were originally taught by Joseph H. Pilates, and learn how and why STOTT PILATES® has adapted them with the Five Basic Principles and foundations of biomechanics and anatomy.

Advanced Matwork: From Then to Now workshop participants will learn firsthand the evolution of Pilates, from the way it was to the way it is, for a fuller, more in-depth understanding of Pilates as a whole. Participants will move through the classic and contemporary repertoires, experiencing the Advanced Matwork exercises as they were originally taught, and discussing how updated scientific information was and continues to be integrated into the Matwork repertoire. They will also learn how modifications were first introduced into the repertoire and how these variations add to the applicability of higher-level exercises.

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of STOTT PILATES
  • Use this knowledge to more effectively combine STOTT PILATES with other fitness modalities
  • Better select and explain exercises to clients for increased effectiveness as an Instructor

Key notable updates to the original method covered in the workshop include:

Neutral Spine Alignment

The original approach taught flattening/straightening the spine. Pressing the lower back into the mat eliminated the natural curves of the spine, resulting in the lumbar spine being constantly in a state of flexion. Neutral spine alignment maintains the natural extension of the cervical and lumbar spine, and natural flexion of the thoracic spine.

Cervical Alignment

During flexion exercises, cranio-vertebral flexion was introduced to ensure stability of the head on the cervical spine. During extension exercises, encouraging stability through the shoulder girdle and allowing the ribs to open facilitates thoracic extension and the ability for the cervical spine to extend freely without strain.

The cervical spine should be a continuation of the entire spine during flexion and extension exercises.

Essential Repertoire

The creation of an Essential level that consisted of preparations and modifications brought focus on the local and global muscular stabilizers and established effective movement patterns.

Exercise Order

The order has been adjusted to ensure a more balanced workout. The importance of balancing the muscular support around the joints led to the original order of exercises being changed to ensure movements were not always biased toward flexion.

Shoulder Girdle

The importance of balanced scapular stability and mobility without rigidity was introduced to promote awareness of scapulohumeral rhythm.


An ongoing commitment to incorporating the latest research on fascial integration, functional movement and rehabilitation into our educational courses and workshops.

Use our Training Finder to discover Advanced Matwork: From Then to Now and other workshops held near you. Learn more about hosting training by contacting an Education Advisor at, or call 1-800-910-0001 ext. 300.

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