SCW Spotlite: Issue 49

August 23, 2022
Enjoy the monthly buzz about all things fitness. Fitness Pros are always on the go, so we’ll leave the “Lite” on!

Returning to Running After Childbirth:

A Physical Therapist Role in Promoting Health & Fitness

by Lisa Martin

For many people, in-motion exercise that is both relaxing and propels fitness, is very important throughout life.  Running is an energizing activity for most individuals, specifically for those who have just given birth. 

Approximately 70% of runners who become pregnant continue to run during a normal pregnancy and often seek advice from a physical therapist as well as physician approval.  Having professional or medical guidance can play a vital role in the process of training on a personal level and teach exercise methods to safely return to running.  Runners who are postpartum often report various musculoskeletal changes such as pelvic floor concerns or muscular pain.  However, running also produces psychological and physiological health benefits.  Mothers who are postpartum frequently seek a physical therapist’s recommendation for specifics on how to return to running when ready and without pain. 

During pregnancy and following childbirth the body undergoes changes that may impact strength, neuromuscular control, endurance, and the ability to transfer high loads across the pelvis.  The runner may begin running at any time postpartum if they have been medically cleared and screened for running readiness, but the onset of symptoms or discomfort needs to be monitored and addressed by a health care team.  Each individual may have a unique experience so having a physical exam will determine the course of the physical therapy exercise program and education.  Proper recovery through the exercise program and return to running, helps assure appropriate physiological and musculoskeletal adaptation to training load.  Clinical judgement is used to progress or regress the exercise program. 

Though research-based rehabilitation guidelines regarding running after childbirth are somewhat limited, the physical therapist would use his/ her critical thinking skills and knowledge to progress everyone uniquely based on a comprehensive evaluation.  Clinical judgement is exercised with each runner, and modification of the exercises is based on runner- specific examination findings. 

Physical therapists that specialize in the pelvis, women’s health, and whom have sports medicine knowledge understand biomechanical needs, gait analysis, running analysis, and progression of exercises to safely advance strength and neuromuscular control of the core region, including the transversus abdominus, the pelvic floor, and progression of global musculature of the kinetic chain.

Keen assessment of the muscles and the entire kinetic chain while in motion needs to be evaluated.   Assessment of the musculoskeletal system, including possible presence of a diastasis recti, screening for impact readiness, pelvic floor evaluation, and systems review of stress, fatigue, sleep, and nutrition needs is completed.    The physical therapist’s result is an in-depth evaluation or exercise prescription to prepare runners for symptom-free running after childbirth.



About the Author: Lisa J. Martin

Lisa graduated from the University of North Dakota Medical School with a degree in Physical Therapy working in all areas including orthopedics, sports medicine, and women’s health intervention. She practices in the State of Minnesota and has provided health and fitness education presentations to physical therapy teams, nurses, MDs, and training in-services on dynamic stretching to various sports teams.  She has developed skills in the areas of biomechanical analysis for runners, skiers, cyclists, & swimmers.  Lisa has a SCW Mom’s in Motion Certification and has been a successful instructor for 15 years. She has a national certification through the APTA in antepartum & postpartum OB care and has designed and implemented women’s health programs successfully. Lisa is a medical educator through and delights in physical therapy work.


by Jackie Rodriguez

The music plays, hips start moving, feet start dancing, and magic begins.  Xco® Latin by Jackie, a mixture of Latin rhythms with athletic movements, draws in the crowds for the most extraordinary, intense, dynamic, and fun group fitness class on the market.  Invigorate the entire body with a special emphasis on the CORE, achieving results quickly.

Where Functional Training Meets Fun

The perfect combination of Latin rhythms and athletic movements called Movement Patterns that helps develop mobility and endurance.  It is not dance and choreography, but an intense, dynamic, and FUN class, burning up to 39% more calories than other conventional cardio workouts.

Jackie Rodriquez created this high energy, quick paced, music driven athletic dance program as a way to improve endurance, coordination, and rhythm. Every movement pattern educates the participant with a reason and an answer as to why they are doing what they do. As an international workout, Xco® Latin by Jackie has thousands of instructors and students.

Move Your Core the Latin Way

The combination of movement patterns, Latin rhythms, and Xco® Trainers activates and invigorates your entire body with a special emphasis on the CORE. The word Xco® means Excellent Core. This unique piece of equipment, used as a pair, swings throughout the class in 3-dimensional movements which creates a shifting mass generating a Reactive Impact, activating the core.

Becoming a certified Xco® Latin by Jackie Instructor is easy as 1, 2, 39%, & 100%

  • 1-the training is fun and dynamic
  • 2-the XCO® trainer tools are one-of-a-kind
  • 39%-more calories burned
  • 100%-total body workout

Get your ticket to the dance party of the year!  Join Jackie and her team from Xco® Latin by Jackie at SCW Midwest MANIA®, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, and learn to “Move Your Core the Latin Way.” Registration starts at $99 for three full days of movement, education, workshops, shopping, and so much more.  Over 150 sessions and 15 pre- and post-certifications led by world-class presenters at the beautiful Caribe Royale Orlando. For more information about XCO® LATIN by Jackie visit Join in the CELEBRATION, we’ll be waiting for YOU!


About the Author, Jackie Rodriguez

A dynamic, charismatic, explosive, and passionate presenter, Jackie graduated from Sacred Heart University with a double major in Biology & Physiology. Jackie has an extensive 30+ year fitness career and is the program creator of Xco® Latin by Jackie, a worldwide licensed modality that mixes Latin Rhythms with unique Movement Patterns using intelligent physio tools Xco®-Trainer Twin Sets. She is an international fitness presenter at Spoex – South Korea and FIBO in Germany, Portugal, & Columbia.

How to Build and Promote Your Brand

by Brittany Corners

Have you ever experienced the dreaded empty studio when a class is supposed to start? It can be disheartening and confusing. Your classes are great, you prep the perfect sequences, transitions, and playlists, but no one shows up for your amazing class that you spent time creating. While there can be many reasons (pandemic included), this doesn’t have to be the norm.

This is where building, and promoting, your unique brand comes in.

Chances are, you didn’t start teaching, coaching, and training because you have a passion for marketing. However, your brand is an important element for growth, especially when first starting out, so here are some ways you can effectively reach your target audience.

As a yoga studio owner, and a professional marketer by day, I’ve learned a few tried and true tips to fill your studio and even start waitlisting your classes. These five actions will help you establish your brand and give you practical next steps to start promotions, right away.

Be authentic

This is a vital part of establishing your brand. Whatever you do and however you promote yourself, show up as your truest self. Whether you are passionate about your vegan lifestyle, are a carnivore through and through, are serious or goofy, structured or go-with-the-flow, make sure to show up as YOU!

You don’t need to be perfect or have it all figured out. By focusing on authenticity, you will be able to build a brand that is unlike anyone else because you are highlighting what makes you stand out. Don’t worry about being everyone’s cup of tea because the right people will connect with your authentic representation.

Be consistent

Just like a workout plan, you won’t get results if you promote your brand “every once in a while.”  Creating a brand and extending your reach so your community knows about you takes time and consistency. Even if you have the most amazing post or ad, someone might miss it if they are traveling, distracted, or not in the headspace when they see it.

Building out a schedule can be incredibly helpful so plan ahead to ensure that your promotions make it out into the world.

Make it a point to post at least 5x a week with different content, promoting your upcoming class. This taps into the first point about being authentic; share inspirational quotes, success stories from your clients, tips on form, your favorite recipe/snack, or even a behind the scenes look at your class prep. If you make sure that each post has value, and is consistently posted, you will gain a loyal group of followers who will build a connection with your brand.

Be strategic

Everyone has a preferred platform to follow instructors, coaches, and studio owners. You might also have your own preferences for what algorithms favor your type of content. However, all preferences aside, be strategic and intentional about where you post.

Pick your platforms based on where you are seeing the most engagement and then share on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, your website, etc. Share over and over and over again.  Not everyone is online at the same time, let alone uses the same social media app, so make sure you are showing up where your audience is online.

You might need to try out different apps, different types of content (i.e., reels vs. stories vs. live sessions), different times of day, and different hashtags to find the right combination that gets the likes and shares you need to grow your brand.

Share the love

Take pics of your favorite students and tag them (with permission), sharing how proud you are of them and their journey. It doesn’t have to be their amazing weight loss journey, with a before and after picture, it can be any activity you want to share.

Try celebrating an extra set, a little more mobility, a steady streak of classes taken, a new move learned, or a fresh perspective shared. Not only will your students feel appreciated and seen, but the people who pay attention to your brand will build a greater connection with you. This will draw people in as they see themselves in your current students and give them a reason to stop in for a journey of their own.

Tell your story

As humans, we love to hear that others have similar thoughts, experiences, and ideas. It helps us feel seen and recognized. Telling your personal story is a powerful way to build relationships and loyalty with your client base. You never know what parts of your story will draw out something new in someone else, making the world a better place.

If you started your own journey due to a health crisis, share what you can so others in the same situation can see a way out. If you are still struggling in certain areas, consider opening up, so that your clients can be encouraged and know they aren’t alone.

This also ties into the first point about authenticity. Don’t overshare or dive into areas of your story that you don’t feel comfortable making public. Simply because you are building a brand doesn’t mean you need to get too personal to make an impact. The goal here is to humanize yourself and build connection by sharing parts of your story.

Whether you are a seasoned instructor or just starting out, building your brand, and then promoting it is crucial for long term success. These five tips can help you build out a unique position in the marketplace and hopefully ramp up your promotion so you can keep your classrooms filled and students engaged. You have so much to offer so let’s make sure every interaction counts!


About the Author, Brittany Corners

Brittany is the VP of Marketing for Burnalong. She has a proven track record over the past 15 years of successfully driving marketing and website development initiatives while making data-driven decisions to support business needs.  Connections are at the heart of what she does, which is why she is constantly motivated to deliver meaningful solutions through marketing programs and efforts.  In addition to being an executive marketing leader, Brittany is also a 500 RYT yoga instructor and co-owner of Moonbird Yoga located near St. Louis, MO. 

Poles Aren’t Just for Night Clubs

by Carla Gilfry, MA

Floor to ceiling poles usually evoke the image of a Pole Dancer.  It’s time to change that vision!  Have you ever tried working out with a pole? Is yoga one of your faves? Let’s combine the two and talk about Polga (Pole Yoga). The use of the vertical barre as a workout is not something new, however, the use of poles while doing yoga is something that is worth trying.

Pole Yoga, or simply called “Polga”, combines the elements of pole fitness with Hatha yoga poses while using a “vertical barre.”  The outcome is a fun workout that assists with alignment, stretching, and strengthening in poses while retaining yoga’s meditation and relaxing aspects. This uniquely amazing program is what makes Polga standout compared to other pole fitness and yoga programs. 

Curious about the benefits of this workout on your body?  It is similar to ballet barre workouts that you see in fitness centers and studios, but in a vertical barre form.  A Polga workout is a brand new, fun way of getting stronger and more flexible and is one of the few recent workout crazes that is shaking the fitness world.  It is by far one of the most graceful and fun ways to burn those calories up!  The vertical Polga (pole yoga) barre workouts have a heavy focus on legs, gluts, and core muscles, so yes, you will get a defined booty and six-pack abs! It is principally a combination of Pilates, dance, yoga, pole fitness, and functional muscle training.

 No need to worry that you can’t do it!  You can perfect a Polga workout without any previous pole fitness or yoga experience and expect a fun, active, and sometimes challenging workout.   And as added bonuses you will find muscles you never knew you, create mindful centering, and feel deep muscle burn without a negative impact on your joints.  Plan to sweat, burn calories, and know you had a satisfying, confidence building workout, all while reaping the rewards of a stronger, healthier body.

The benefits sound convincing, but the question you may probably have is “whether or not it is for you.”  Who may benefit most from this unique pole yoga vertical barre workout?  Polga workouts are appropriate for individuals of all fitness levels, both men and women. Yes, men can do Polga and can benefit greatly from it!  Men practice yoga, so why not Polga? It is ideal for individuals who wish to improve their overall strength and flexibility. Many of us often sit in a hunched position at a desk or in front of a computer for long periods of time, and it takes a toll on our body and mind. Pole Yoga helps stretch and strengthen muscles that we neglect due to our sedentary lifestyle. It is appropriate for individuals who are seeking an intense but low-impact full-body workout that will offer quick results.  Specific moves and poses focus on small, isolated groups of muscles and is great for those who are just starting an exercise program, athletes, yogis, runners, golfers, and anyone else who wants to improve their overall strength and flexibility.

Your first Polga workout might feel intimidating and scary, but through practice, you’ll start to find it easier and soon realize you are just having fun. Just give it a try. Maybe bring a friend, that way you have someone to laugh (and challenge) with.

Polga (pole yoga) is growing and reaching more enthusiasts! The world’s pole population is growing at phenomenal rates! It has grown so much that almost every city has a pole studio, and often several.  The fitness industry is constantly looking for ways to help the mind, body, and soul. Polga is a very effective way to do that. Change takes time and Polga is the change the fitness industry needs.

To experience Polga, register for SCW Midwest MANIA®, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, plus stop by the Polga booth in the FREE EXPO to receive complementary Basic Moves Polga Training Cards.  If you can’t make it to Chicago, visit the Polga Fitness website at or call 816-256-5040


About the Author, Carla Gilfry, MA

Carla, aka Frankie G, is a psychologist turned pole fitness business owner who has over 20 years of business & fitness programming experience. She combines her two worlds by highlighting the fun of pole fitness with the essence of yoga & mindfulness. She helps people step outside their comfort zone or social norms and step onto the pole. She has helped over 100,000 people improve their lives through her classes, programs, workshops, and events.

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