I appreciate that you don't take it personally... really.
Now you quoted "Rolling exercises closes the chest, so I learned to exhale on spinal flexion.
" that was the quote that I really focused on. Was that what you learned or what you thought you learned?
When you describe it now it sounds more like holding the breath on the moment of "roll up"
I will answer in parts:
We don't ask a client to do apneas... you may ask them to hold their breath conciously for a very explicit and determined amount of time -think Breathing or Chest Expansion-, but in this case it is not part of the exercise (they may do it while they continue learning, and we totally allow it until they can improve in their breathing) so we do not ask them to do it explicitly. Whoever wrote that obviously hasn't managed to do the exercise with flow and with natural continuous breathing, or they are still so stiff that they require such effort to come up that they have to hold their breath for a section of the exercise. Which as I said is fine but hopefully they will improve and then when they manage they should write a manual but not earlier...
Probably the writer of that manual does the Roll Up like most: they inhale like they are taking a line of coke -and not a long line at that- and then block their breathing holding their breath (which in turns blocks the ribcage in two ways: the sudden contraction of the diaphragm is jerky and the blocking the air in freezes the chest) until they get up -rather than up- and pass the point of effort to start exhaling over the legs. Something similar on the way back.
Is a Pilates exercise, therefore simplicity is implied and necessary: you inhale rolling up, you exhale stretching over. You inhale rolling back, you exhale as you stretch back. You eventually breathe as smoothly as you move and the other way around, you don't even hear it. Not a fast sniff in and explosive exhale. One flows into the other: every time you hold your breath the exhale loses its natural quality. Sometimes we want that, though, but not usually when we move.
You do not think of closing anything, you roll off the mat -that will close you, again, emphasis on what to do not in how you do it. You try to make the breathing and the moving the same, so obviously if you don't stop, you keep breathing and, if you breath, you move. That is the goal. Jerky breathing with holds, jerky movement. And vice versa. Why did people change it? I do not know, but they actually manage to sort of make it happen with stops. They lose the connection to a general way of moving and later they are going to have problems with more advanced exercises that without flow are simply too hard and painful - Star on the Mat and Reformer.
I am not going to go over the Swan on the Barrel: is a pre-Pilates exercise that got upgraded and included in the order. Again, now you say that you exhale as you arch but in your previous post you didn't: " Exercises that opens the chest, usually coupled with spinal extension get a big help of inhaling. So, the Swan on the Barrel, for example, has 4 distinct moments that includes the inhaling while extending the spine.
Exercises that open the chest and especially the upper part of the chest (think Pull Straps, coming up in a High Bridge, Standing Arm Circles with Back Bends, High Bridge in Wunda, Back Bend 2 Short Box) and are done while pulling, under pressure or increasing resistance are done inhaling. Exercises that open the WHOLE torso and work the quality of 'going into an arch' are done exhaling (Swan Dive -Reformer-, Back Bend 1 and 3 -Short Box) That is the beauty of the method: what is the purpose and the conditions under which you must work.
You seem to imply that rounding is exhaling -or holding- and, now, arching is exhaling. Depending on how, and where and how much added external pressure you are under, how fast is the movement, how much range. It is totally lazy to try to find ONE way to describe things. People want manuals and they write them too quickly and they come up with atrocious concepts like "inhale when you x, y or z" and "we always exhale when z, y and x". it is as short sighted as it is unproductive.
You state: "Footwork (both on Reformer and Wunda Chair), Running, Single leg Stretch, One leg Circle, etc... These are normally (but not always, of course) movements done for more than 6 reps. They require a fluid execution, therefore the breathing wouldn't be natural.
" Why wouldn't be natural? Don't you breath when you move? For example The One Leg Circle: exhale as you lower and inhale as you come round again. It couldn't be more natural. Why do we teach it? because his bigger brother actually needs it even more. The Corkscrew. And his even bigger brother needs it even more: the Hip Twist (maybe you call it the Hip Circles). Things sometimes are laid out in a way that while not obvious to a beginner they make sense. Sometimes you learn something that at the moment of learning doesn't make sense.
Is just too easy to dismiss the breathing when we don't find it fits naturally with the movement. Again, same old problem, the trainer didn't master it so it didn't pass it on. But maybe with a little patience and perseverance it will fit.
And the same idea applies to other rolling exercises, like the Neck Pull or the Round on the Short Box. They require coming up either holding your breath or inhaling.
Again, much the same. The client will hold their breath because their movement and breathing patterns are poor. We can't actually take that and make it a standard. We allow it because it is part of the path they are walking. We truly hope that it will not occur eventually. We don't cue it and we don't forbid it or point out that it shouldn't happen (we try to only say what should be done, not what shouldn't be done) we do our outmost to improve their flexibility and their strength, so they don't have to fight so much and "hold".
In contrast, when doing the Back Bend no. 2 in the Short Box, -you probably call it the Flat Back and do not include a back bend in it) we do ask them to inhale and hold their breath until they touch the frame, exhaling on the return.
The beauty of what I am saying is that Pilates was not created with all the silly rules that they give nowadays. It really was tested and things like breathing, reps, resistance were polished to create an effect and not to "sound" clever, consistent, schooled or intelligent.
Inhaling 'solidifies you'. And not just because, as you state " it is biomechanically understandable, since it presses the diaphragm down, raising the intra abdominal pressure, which gives you much more stability" which is part of it but also because it raises the upper back, places the shoulder the clavicles -and therefore the shoulder blades- in their ideal position for strength, lifting the upper spine places the neck in best position (exhale strongly and you get the opposite effect on the cervical spine), inhaling makes activating the back muscles way easier -as opposed to exhaling which emphasizes the stomach and if over done, hurts the back) therefore inhaling is the easiest way to have the best posture which is also the strongest one. Add to it that inhaling is the natural action humans and other animals take when going into 'action', therefore, it is the preferred one in Pilates because it is the closest one to nature.
It may sound cool to talk about biomechanics and all sort of intelligent things but the coolest thing is to be able to move really well naturally. Because then moving is easy, productive and freeing. We can then just concentrate on what we want to do with ourselves, which is the one mission the method was made for.
Yes, learn all you can because you are a trainer and you will need to help especial clients, but when you are the clients or when you have to asses a movement, don't confuse the description of what happened when someone did something -a particular muscle contraction, a joint that moved or didn't- with the reason why they did it. The clients who have a clear view of what they have to do in terms of movement will always be superior to those who know how those movements are produced. However good your description will be, it will never be complete and worse you may make a client overemphasise one part of their body over the rest, in Pilates that is a sin, often encouraged by trainers who ask about 'core', 'stability', 'center', 'c-curve'...
To quote Joseph: "do whatever you want, but do it with your whole body". Or Romana: "eventually, your whole body is your Power house"
Don't get stuck in the parts. Eat and trust that you will digest, whether you know about digestion or not.
I will answer the rotation in a short way. I can tell you is not so much for the adductors as for the bum, hips and the outside of the legs but basically when standing in the "v" it is easier for clients to find and activate more muscles. Women tend to use the inside better than men and men use the outside better. Women usually notice that with the "V" they get into their hips, bum and "handles" better, men suddenly find their inner thighs. In fact, when doing the "v" the adductors tend to bulge for many, mainly those with wide hips.
After you log in the book website got to https://www.pilatesart.eu/cb/public/index.php?id=114
and halfway down I explain some of it. WHy it is useful but also why it should not always be done. Again, another case of 'not always the same', more colors and more shades of those colors.
Roll up, Neck Pull, Single Leg Kick, Long Stretch, Up Stretch, Long back Stretch, Shor Box, Monkey, Tower, Pumpin Standing, Pumping, Tendon Stretch, Spine Twist, Rowing Front, Rowing Back, Rowing Back With Bending Down, Weight Lifting, Shave, Running... most exercises are actually parallel... again, you may have to rotate outwards a bit someone legs -for example a beginner in Going Up Front, to help them find their 'hips' - but eventually the exercice maybe was created parallel -again like the Going Up Front which obviously was parallel since we can see the middle strip of wood on the high chair or the moveable platform against which you are supposed to put your foot.
If a person is to be able to do the One Leg Squat they better have strong hips and an active bum. Their inner thigs won't help much or they may pull a hamsting. The "v" helps to work them. But obviously the One Leg Squat is parallel. In fact if the inner thigh is too strong it will pull the knee in at a crucial time when the hips and thigh should be lifting you up, that is not desirable.
Yes, you can 'cue' the V for the inner thigh but most clients need to hear "the whole leg" and most of them especially the bum and sides.
On the other side of the spectrum the "v" also is an intermediate stage in opening the hip. We not only go from V to parallel but from V to waaaaay more open (Like the original SIde Splits, Side Balance Control, Floor Frog, 3 count Frog, Star, Balance side Standing, Arm Frog Facing Chair...) so before you ask me, please don't tell me about the "open the knees 2 inches wider than the shoulder" because I will explode in a gazillion pieces.
It is one of the most UTTERLY AND STUPIDLY USELESS CUES TO EVER CURSE THE METHOD. And it is highly inconsistent: after all you are goin to sit a client on the Wunda for a Horseback, or make them to Going Up Side on the chairs... we do want our client to achieve more. Of course, if you have an issue is different but we are talking about the healthy not the sick.
Most manuals treat the client like it is stupid or sick and their writers fill them up with pseudo medical stuff to look better and justify their price. If you practice the method with more freedom from their 'rules' and absolutely no freedom from changes in the coreoghraphy, you will obtain freedom of movement -since you were focused on improving the movement ITSELF and not concentrating in whether you were respecting their rules- and a strong will power -since you didn't let yourself down by changing the exercise, you conquered yourself to change into the person that could do it. It is not a question of conquering an exercise. Just improving yourself.
TO be honest, too many are too impatient, chicken, lazy and with no discipline to stick to it.
Have a great week and enjoy your freedom!!!!!
Remember, the "METHOD" is not an entity. It doesn't care if you do it well or not because it doesn't exist. You do. And you use its recipes to became a better you.
The "why's" are super interesting. But once you know them, forget them. Trust the method. Doing Going Up the Mountain will strengthen your knees whether you know that it does or not, though hopefully you feel it. As you improve the shape that you are supposed to be in during the execise you find that it also strengthens your hips, shins and ankles, while from day one it made you re-use your balance ability improving your ability to stand on one leg while the other moves. You can now put on your underwear way more easily on the morning which means a lot for a client, not because they can do it better but because they don't have now a negative thought about themselves already at the beginning of their day.