Anatomy in 3D

This past weekend, Susan Clark hosted her first Anatomy in 3D training at Pure Pilates. This training, aimed at familiarizing Pilates and other fitness instructors with anatomy,  involved building clay muscles on skeletons to gain a deeper understanding of their function and relationship to other structures within the body. Susan led a fourteen hour training focusing on all of the major muscles on in the body from the knees to the shoulders on Friday and Saturday and a specialized one-day workshop focusing solely on the deep core and pelvic floor on Sunday.

But how did this all get started? And how did Susan become an Anatomy in 3D instructor? Susan shares her experience attending the Anatomy in 3D Faculty Training and her motivation for adding the course to her teaching repertoire below!

anatomy in 3d training pure pilates instructor susan clark


After taking about 6 anatomy courses and teaching Pilates and Gyrotonic for a decade, one can still learn so much material! I completed the Balanced Body Anatomy in 3D Faculty Training in Sacramento, California this past August. It was a five day course covering in-depth detail of anatomy by applying clay to plastic skeletons. Who doesn’t love arts and crafts incorporated into a science class?! Five days of clay under your nails, referencing four different books, learning from people all over the world, and using your hands in a three-dimensional way is a revolutionary way of experiencing an anatomy course.

We had 12 people in the course. Six ladies from South Korea, a woman from New Jersey, and a women from Miami that I had the lovely experience of meeting at my Pilates Faculty Training in 2013. I had the opportunity to meet a woman from northern California and another woman from northern Virginia as well. Everyone brought their expertise, wisdom, experience, and enjoyable personalities to the course.

Our instructor, Dallas, was amazing and filled with so much knowledge. She had such a joy about her everyday when teaching such a complex subject matter and was able to explain very detailed information in a fun way. She is such an experienced Pilates instructor that she was able to re-introduce basic material with depth, and, at the same time, she blew us away with anatomy material that I have never heard before. She was able to create an environment that the most basic and the most experienced person could learn from…what a master!

And of course, it is Balanced Body tradition, to have a dinner hosted at Al Harrison and Nora St. John’s house. They are the education gurus of Balanced Body. If it wasn’t for these two individuals, we would not have the best training program in the world and the Pilates on Tour conferences. Both the food and the company were amazing.

The Anatomy in 3D course can be taught in many different ways. The comprehensive course covers the basics of musculoskeletal anatomy. In this course, students build all of the major muscles of movement in clay on a specially designed skeleton. Students learn the structure and function of bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves as well as the origin, insertion and action of the muscles. This course emphasizes muscle function and gives specific exercises for each muscle group in order to reinforce and apply anatomical knowledge to movement. This course covers the muscles and joints from the knees through the shoulders.

Anatomy in 3D can also be taught through anatomy-specific classes like Anatomy in Three Dimensions: Deep Core & Pelvic Floor. Balanced Body describes these four-hour workshops as ideal for short anatomy intensives on specific musculature and function, like the core and pelvic floor, pelvis and leg, shoulder girdle and upper arm, and lower leg and foot. These focused courses offer a deeper understanding of specific areas of anatomy that are relevant to Pilates and fitness instruction.

anatomy in 3d training pure pilates instructor susan clark

This was my third Balanced Body Faculty training and I feel honored to be apart of such an amazing organization and family. Pilates is about changing lives and Balanced Body has definitely changed mine.

– Susan Clark


Are you interested in completing your Balanced Body anatomy requirement or gaining continuing education requirements? Check out our Anatomy in 3D training page to read more about the programs and see upcoming training dates. More 2016 trainings will be added soon!