Hands On the Mat

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Junghee is highly sought after for her clear and direct approach to the classical method and here she shares her own hands-on techniques for teaching the mat. Do this workout with a partner so you can feel the hands on cues that Junghee shows or observe it to learn teaching skills that will transform your students' bodies. A big thank you to Brett Howard and The Pilates Haus where this session was filmed.

What Others Are Saying


  1. joesmat 5 years ago

    This Delightful Human Being – Junghee – has such depth of understanding of the work. The Ronde de Jambe and Leg Circles she informs us came from Ballet.
    I only do mat and to-day observed this lesson to remind me of the key points. Note how Junghee stays true to her Teacher.
    I hope you can bring much more of her understanding and interpretation of the Classical mat repertoire to us on PILATESOLOGY, this time, to include ALL the mat exercises!

  2. joesmat 7 years ago

    Alisa – Might you consider bringing Junghee Won back again soon, so that she can go through the “entire mat series of exercises”, in the same detail?
    This is a treasure unfolding.
    Such a delightful lady, and very smart. Hence the Phd on the Pilates Method.
    Thank you Junghee Won for sharing your unique skills.

    • Alisa Wyatt

      Hi joesmat! We will definitely ask Junghee for another video with this much detail for the entire mat. This was meant to be only the exercises she uses hands on cues for so some got left out. It sounds like you got as much out of it as I did–I hope you have someone you can push and pull on!

  3. pilatesgal50 7 years ago

    Wonderful hands on that really work! I will be making great use of all of it. The entire Open Leg Rocker hands on you showed are brilliant! You are brilliant!

    • Junghee Won Author
      Junghee Won 7 years ago

      Thank you Pilatesgal50 !! 🙂

  4. presspaws

    I used the open leg rocker trick with one of my clients this evening and her whole body shape and stability with the exercise changed – thanks so much!

    • Junghee Won Author
      Junghee Won 7 years ago

      Hi Presspaws,
      I’m so glad to hear that! Yeah!

  5. tanyapaty 7 years ago

    Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! It is personal touches like this that make private sessions so incredible. Looking forward to using what I’ve learned with my clients 🙂
    Can you please explain a little bit about when the heels should stay squeezed together and when is ok/better to have the legs open in line with the hips when doing Swan exercises. I’m assuming what is important in either position (heels together or legs open) is that the thigh bones don’t roll out – is this correct?

    Thanks for the wonderful hands-on tips!

    • Junghee Won Author
      Junghee Won 7 years ago

      Hi Tanyapaty,

      I made Alisa to open the legs a bit for Swan Prep. or Neck Roll, because I want explain about upper body extension which means she had to hold a bit longer with the position of back extension. The muscle should move as contract and release… I didn’t want her to hold with contraction of her back so I made her legs open a bit which can avoid too much holding contraction of her back muscle. That’s all. I have a tight lower back so closing legs/ squeezed heels and inner thighs press together makes me feel more tension/contraction on my lower back. When I open my legs a bit, I feel a bit relaxing my lower back.

      I understand that back extension should be from upper back, not from the lower back but lower back muscle contract anyway. That’s why we avoid back extension with some people with back issue.

      so.. When I do my Side Kick (Front and Back), I raise my leg a bit higher than the hip (ASIS) for backward, I feel a bit less pressure on my back. Yes, It would be less hip (Psoas) stretching. But we have some other exercises to open the hips on the apparatus and some exercises with standing(vertical) positions which is less pressure on the lower back. So I don’t want to be too picky about the closing legs together for Swan.

      Than you so much of your detail question which makes me more careful to think. 🙂

      • tanyapaty 7 years ago

        Thank you so much for your response. If I am understanding correctly, a person with a tight low back will feel discomfort during spinal extension with the heels together. So good to understand, as I actually feel less tension in the back with my heels together. Activating the glutes & inner thighs when on my stomach helps keep my pelvis aligned & takes pressure out of my low back.
        Thanks again for the explanation!

  6. 2redfrogs 7 years ago

    Some wonderful cues but correcting the Criss Cross putting your hand between their legs and under their bottom? I “m sure it feels great but how many of your mat clients can you do that to???

    • Junghee Won Author
      Junghee Won 7 years ago

      Hello 2refrogs,
      Thank you for watching the film!
      It’s not for correction, I would say. It’s for more challenge. I don’t do this hands on for the group Mat class of course! Even not only this exercise, Criss Cross. All other exercises, I can’t correct or putting hands on for everyone for the group class. It is for private session.

      This class is for observation as you see. Not workout class. 🙂
      Thank you for your questioning!!

  7. Thank you Junghee and Alisa. This was wonderful. Brilliant hands on!

  8. Ynowak 7 years ago

    Showing all the various spotting for each exercise was so helpful! I can’t wait to try some of these on clients. Especially the open leg rocker! Brilliant idea to have them squeeze your hips!

    • Junghee Won Author
      Junghee Won 7 years ago

      Thank you for noticing that, various spotting! Yes, depending on what you like to correct or giving deeper feeling on particular part, you can play around in many ways. You are awesome!

  9. lghammerle

    Alisa, with the pads during teaser you looked much longer! Thank you Junghee and Alisa!

    • Alisa Wyatt

      Right?! That is a crazy awesome trick! I tried it with my older client today who has a terrible time holding his legs up and he was blown away at how much better he could keep his torso long and support his legs. Thanks Junghee!!!

    • Junghee Won Author
      Junghee Won 7 years ago

      Thank you for pointing that!

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