Library Of Movement Cues


As Pilates and movement teachers, we all have instructional cues - words or phrases we use to help our clients “get” it. I’ve often been told my cues are very “colorful” and that I should share them with others ... So I’ve assembled this Library of Cues that I have developed over the years that almost always get results. I call them “Maria’s Funny Names for Things.”

Some of them are unique to me (at least I think I made them up!) Some of them are borrowed from other instructors (I’ve credited the ones I can remember.) That’s why I’m calling this a library - feel free to borrow all you like, or email me at with your best cues to add to the library.

Watch these in action on our YouTube Page:  Click Here 

How Many Do You Recognize?

Blowsuck = As you exhale (blow all the air), you suck the abs in and up (engage the transverse abdominus)

Kumquat = Imagine there is a kumquat in the back of your armpit, gently squeeze the juice out of it (movements include: open the collarbone, slide the scapula down the back, engage the serratus to wrap the scapula around the ribcage, slight external rotation of the humerus)

Piece of Pizza = To find weight in the sacrum, imagine a piece of pizza with a big slice of pepperoni, keep weight on the pepperoni

Fuzzy Bunny  = during forward flexion or rollovers, imagine a cute little baby fuzzy bunny in your lap - Don’t squish the bunny! (Note: I have several stuffed bunnies in the studio to illustrate this point)

Stripper = any movement that involves pelvic tilt or pelvic rolls (e.g., semi circle, long back stretch, up stretch) 

Humping = pressing the pelvis or pubic bone forward during plank (which can cause you to lose neutral and compress the spine)

Doink = the term I use to describe swayback posture or hyperextended spine

Pez Dispenser = for axial elongation - with hands behind the head, imagine you are a pez dispenser and gently life the back of the neck to dispense the pez out the back

Grape = For foot placement, imagine a juicy grape in the arch of your foot; placing equal weight in big toe, little toe and heel of foot - try not to squish the grape or let it roll out.

Pee in the Woods = I use this one to teach the perfect squat position with weight back over the heels - You don’t want to pee on your shoes!

Th’ass = The spot where your thigh and ass come together (top of the hamstring, bottom glute, gluteal smile) Got this one from Pilates Body by Valentin.

And last but not least, Yes Mistress Maria! = the proper response when I ask “Did you feel that one?”

Want more? Click Here for Installment 2:

Got a good cue to add to the library?  
Email me at Library_Cues_2.htmlmailto:mandresino@yahoo.comshapeimage_2_link_0shapeimage_2_link_1

Installment 1 (Below):               Want More? Click Here for Installment 2: