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emily_in_nc
10-25-2008, 02:29 PM
I just started a Pilates class offered by our new fitness prime at work who has been teaching for ten years. I absolutely love it and can already feel increased strength/control in my core after only three classes. It's so nice to be able to do a "real" workout at lunchtime that doesn't require a shower afterwards, but leaves me feeling good for the rest of the day. I have a long way to go and am in awe of the instructor's strength and control, but I am so happy I tried this!

(Best of all, the class is free! :p)

Miranda
10-25-2008, 05:35 PM
I used to do this class, but now I have some other med issues that I can't do all the class moves, so I don't go *sigh*. But, I still do one of the best ab exercises that I learned in that class that stays within my limitations... what a killer! The things I learned to do in that class certainly helped to strengthen my core for the bike. I don't know if your teacher does this, but... the last part of class was a relaxation technique that involved laying on the floor, lights out, and contracting and releasing each muscle group. Talk about feeling cleansed afterwards. Good for you being able to attend:).

redrhodie
10-25-2008, 07:16 PM
I take mat Pilates at the Y. I love it, but haven't been going as much as I'd like. You're very lucky to have this lunchtime option! I think it's the perfect partner to cycling.

NbyNW
10-26-2008, 10:53 AM
I was doing pilates 2x a week when I was in grad school and now once a week now that I'm working. That mid-week session really gets me through the week and gets me unstuck from my chair! It was also a great compliment to PT when I was re-habbing an injury.

I'm normally very lazy about situps/core work so piltates has worked very well for me.

tulip
10-26-2008, 02:54 PM
I started Pilates about 4 years ago on the advice of my chiropractor. I was having terrible hip and lower back problems. Pilates has helped tremendously, and has made me stronger and slimmer. I had a very good teacher in DC who was excellent at giving me modifications for my various aches and pains. I do Pilates on my own now, but when my stupid gym membership runs out in December, I'm going to take classes at a local Pilates studio.

jobob
10-26-2008, 07:05 PM
I recently started taking mat classes at a studio near my workplace and I'm really enjoying it.

crazycanuck
10-26-2008, 08:19 PM
I don't do the floor classes at the studio i frequent but use the trap table etc. I love it as it's helped my swimming & cycling heaps!

It's wonderful for stretching :D

OakLeaf
10-27-2008, 07:00 AM
I LOVE Pilates. I try to do a Stott Pilates DVD at least once a week, and/or whenever I just can't motivate to do an intense workout.

Just if you have any injuries or issues, be sure your instructor is well-trained. About.com (http://pilates.about.com/od/becomingandinstructor/tp/Certification-Programs.htm) has a (non-exclusive) list of major Pilates instructor training programs. There are a lot of "fly-by-night" sort of certifications, and similar to yoga, the cost and time commitment involved in truly learning to teach the Pilates method is so great that very few gym-based instructors are really competent. Healthy people who already have a basic "working knowledge" of their bodies can definitely benefit from gym classes, and/or from books or DVDs. But a well-trained instructor can offer so much more to anyone, and IMO is a necessity to someone starting out with an injury or back trouble, or who simply isn't an experienced exerciser.

Lest anyone think I'm dissing their program without good reason, I have one of those weekend certifications, and I sometimes get called on to sub as a Pilates instructor at my gym. I aced my "certification" exam, but I'm not qualified, and neither is any of our regular instructors. None of us at my gym knows how to analyze a student's movements, identify imbalances or prescribe modifications for someone who doesn't already know they need them.

emily_in_nc
10-27-2008, 05:40 PM
I LOVE Pilates. I try to do a Stott Pilates DVD at least once a week, and/or whenever I just can't motivate to do an intense workout.

Oakleaf, what DVD would you recommend for a beginner? I'd like to get one to complement the once-a-week class I'm taking.

As for my instructor, she's the head of our fitness center at work (recently hired) and has been teaching Pilates for 10 years. I don't know if that makes her qualified enough, but she is good at explaining modifications to the movements for people with back issues, shoulder issues, and so forth. Before the first class she gave a presentation on the method and talked a lot about Joseph Pilates and the principles of the form. She seemed to know her stuff, so I have been very comfortable with her as an instructor.

Urlea
10-28-2008, 07:27 AM
My husband and I went for our second Stott Pilates session yesterday.

I'm not sure if I will enjoy it yet. I'm used to being covered in sweat and worn out after exercise so this is a change. It's definitely work though.

Right now the part that deters me from it is the bad headache I get afterward. Do any of you experience this? :(

I can't figure out why it's happening. Perhaps I'm forgetting to breathe? Hopefully it will stop happening.

When I was a teen I did the Windsor Pilates videos. I recommend them. After about 10yrs. of not being able to touch my toes and a few months of doing the videos I was able to.

jobob
10-28-2008, 07:31 AM
Right now the part that deters me from it is the bad headache I get afterward. Do any of you experience this? :(

Could you be straining your neck? Make sure to focus on your navel when you raise up your head. Sounds silly, but it works.


I can't figure out why it's happening. Perhaps I'm forgetting to breathe? Hopefully it will stop happening.


That's possible as well. Make sure to talk to your instructor about it.

jobob
10-28-2008, 07:35 AM
I was so jazzed at mat class last night. My hamstrings have been really tight but after a month or so of mat classes I can touch my palms to the floor again. :cool:

The studio I go to teaches "classic" pilates. I'm not sure what the major differences are between that & Stott & Windsor, etc. But I'm enjoying it and seeing results.

F8th637
10-28-2008, 08:01 AM
I just went to a class on Saturday after not having been in QUITE a while and I fatigued my core fairly easily. Yesterday I was REALLY sore but I'm finally recovered.

I get the headaches too but didn't this time around. I think it's because of all the blood rushing in and out of my head from the different exercises. I did also make sure that this time I paid attention to not straining my neck. Maybe that did the trick.

OakLeaf
10-28-2008, 08:02 AM
Oakleaf, what DVD would you recommend for a beginner? I'd like to get one to complement the once-a-week class I'm taking.

In the Stott Pilates (http://www.stottpilates.com/videos/at-home.html) line, probably "The Secret to Flat Abs" or (a bit more advanced) "Firm & Fit." What I really like about the Stott Pilates DVDs is the warmup section that reinforces the basic principles every workout. What I don't like about them is that they move pretty fast with a lot of the movements. Someone who doesn't have pretty phenomenal control is going to wind up flailing their pelvis quite a bit if they try to keep up with the instructors' pace on some of the exercises (leg circles, both the single leg circles and the side kick leg circles, are the ones that stand out in my mind). My unqualified self would say to do them at your own pace, pause the DVD or just do fewer reps, do them at whatever pace lets you keep the connection between your ribcage, spine and pelvis, and work up to doing them at the DVD's pace.

I also like the Gaiam/Living Arts (http://www.gaiam.com/product/media-library/pilates-dance-dvds/pilates-for-beginners/pilates+beginning+mat+workout+dvd.do) DVD. That one goes straight into The Hundred without any other warmup, so just be advised if you prefer more of a warmup.

Urlea, yeah, definitely tell your instructor about your headaches. Make sure you're not jamming your chin into your chest, just elongating the back of your neck. A trick that helps me relax my neck - and I have no idea why - is to touch the tip of my tongue to the roof of my mouth while doing the five abdominal series.

OakLeaf
10-28-2008, 10:31 AM
also - I was just reviewing one of my DVDs, and she talks about people getting a lot of neck tension because they're not isolating their scapulae and keeping them neutral. If you're not already doing scapula protraction/retraction and elevation/depression in your warmups, you might try that.

Urlea
10-28-2008, 12:43 PM
Thanks for the suggestions! :)

I'll make sure to check and see if I'm doing some of the causes you brought up.

It would probably be smart to talk with the instructor too. We are planning to try it again Wed. or Friday so I'll keep you posted.

emily_in_nc
10-28-2008, 06:02 PM
Thanks, Oakleaf, for the DVD recommendations! Will check them out.

As for headaches, I have also experienced brief headaches and lightheadedness towards the end of class and immediately afterwards, but they pass quickly. I was wondering if they were from the downward dog position since we do that frequently towards the end of the routine. I also have problems relaxing my neck when doing the ab work. It tends to want to take on the work my abs should be doing.

tulip
10-29-2008, 04:46 AM
Thanks, Oakleaf, for the DVD recommendations! Will check them out.

As for headaches, I have also experienced brief headaches and lightheadedness towards the end of class and immediately afterwards, but they pass quickly. I was wondering if they were from the downward dog position since we do that frequently towards the end of the routine. I also have problems relaxing my neck when doing the ab work. It tends to want to take on the work my abs should be doing.

I find that for some reason, Pilates makes me very thirsty even though I don't sweat much. When that happens, I get headaches. Perhaps increasing your hydration in general and specifically before and after Pilates will help, too.

Resi
10-31-2008, 06:29 AM
I LOVE Pilates. I try to do a Stott Pilates DVD at least once a week, and/or whenever I just can't motivate to do an intense workout.

Just if you have any injuries or issues, be sure your instructor is well-trained. About.com (http://pilates.about.com/od/becomingandinstructor/tp/Certification-Programs.htm) has a (non-exclusive) list of major Pilates instructor training programs. There are a lot of "fly-by-night" sort of certifications, and similar to yoga, the cost and time commitment involved in truly learning to teach the Pilates method is so great that very few gym-based instructors are really competent. Healthy people who already have a basic "working knowledge" of their bodies can definitely benefit from gym classes, and/or from books or DVDs. But a well-trained instructor can offer so much more to anyone, and IMO is a necessity to someone starting out with an injury or back trouble, or who simply isn't an experienced exerciser.

Lest anyone think I'm dissing their program without good reason, I have one of those weekend certifications, and I sometimes get called on to sub as a Pilates instructor at my gym. I aced my "certification" exam, but I'm not qualified, and neither is any of our regular instructors. None of us at my gym knows how to analyze a student's movements, identify imbalances or prescribe modifications for someone who doesn't already know they need them.


I just love it... you are honest about your certification. Indeed, to become a professional pilates instructor, it just takes more than a weekend course...this is a long process, the trainer has to know how to instruct the proper positions, and be aware that some people have back/neck... problems. And not to mention it is an expensive education.
I know a women she started to become a certif. pilates instructor... (crash course ) she has no qualification in this direction, her answer, I will learn and get better through the classes I teach... WOW... WOW... So I can study medicine and then practice on the patients...? I am shocked! All this Afaa and Ace and some of the Pilates education company's just want your money no interest in quality. They popp out instructors like in a factory...
OK, there are also good trainers, which have a passion to help people!
As a former professional ballet dancer, I can see right away who has a proper education in this field. So be careful... cheap classes are not always good for you. I go to the 24hour gym, what I see is like fast food exercises, low standart... I guess I just become more careful with my body as I age... I still want to walk when I am 90? ha ha ha

Pilates is a great excersise you just have to find the right teacher then you will see the progress very fast.

Resi

Blueberry
02-17-2009, 06:39 AM
I've been working with a friend who has done Pilates for years. She's awesome - and I do love the exercises. I can tell a big difference in how well I can do the moves from week to week. Very cool.

I do have a questions - has anybody used the Pilates ring? Does it help? Just curious:)

CA

tulip
02-17-2009, 07:14 AM
Ah, the Magic Circle. Yes it adds quite a workout. They come in different resistance levels. We don't use it all the time, just to mix things up once in a while and for an added challenge.

OakLeaf
02-17-2009, 07:18 AM
You can use the ring a lot of different ways, to add resistance for the core; to work arms and legs; and as an aid to alignment.

Zen
02-17-2009, 07:40 AM
We use a small ball, about the size of a large grapefruit.

emily_in_nc
02-18-2009, 01:30 PM
I haven't used the ring (or even seen one), but am still doing the mat class religiously, and still love it!

I can really tell a difference in strength and flexibility since I started. I'm hooked! Also doing a yoga class one day a week and did my first backbend since high school yesterday! Woohoo... :D

tulip
02-19-2009, 06:16 AM
I haven't used the ring (or even seen one), but am still doing the mat class religiously, and still love it!

I can really tell a difference in strength and flexibility since I started. I'm hooked! Also doing a yoga class one day a week and did my first backbend since high school yesterday! Woohoo... :D

When I did a mat class in DC, we would use the magic circle from time to time. It's great you are loving it! It turned my health around (I had bad hip and back problems). I hope to begin a formal mat class this summer. I took classes for several years, but since moving here have been doing it on my own.

Zen
02-19-2009, 06:21 AM
Pilates has helped me more than physical therapy ever did.
i can (almost) walk normally now.

Crankin
02-19-2009, 10:27 AM
It's funny, every time I try Pilates, it hurts. I hate it. I did it consistently about 4 years ago, but it never got better. The instructors are very qualified, too and I did lots of modifications. For some reason, yoga is much better for me.

Zen
02-19-2009, 04:47 PM
What hurts?:confused:?

Yoga doesn't have enough stretching in it for me. I like yogalates.
Sugar free, lowfat ;)

OakLeaf
02-19-2009, 05:02 PM
Yoga doesn't have enough stretching in it for me.

:eek::eek:

King Pigeon. All the various back bends and shoulder openers. Eagle. Bending your toes past 90 degrees, whatever that's called. Lotus. Hero is actually reasonably comfortable for me, but there are people in my yoga class who actually have to sit on TWO blocks to get into Hero. Heck, even plain old Triangle is a pretty good stretch.

If that's not enough stretching for you I don't know any discipline that has more...

crazycanuck
02-19-2009, 05:53 PM
Pilates has helped me stay (almost) injury free :). I don't do classes but attend a studio that creates individualized programs for you. I love stretching on the reformer!

Pilates even helped after I had my interesting bike crash. The folks started me off again two weeks after my incident with small movements & moved forward quite nicely.

+1 for Pilates done properly!

Zen
02-19-2009, 05:55 PM
If that's not enough stretching for you I don't know any discipline that has more...

It's an entirely different type of stretching. Pilates is more like lengthening.

Crankin
02-19-2009, 08:31 PM
I guess my back hurt the most. And my neck. Like holding your head up doing 100s. I can do the abs part, but can't hold my head up without pain. The fact that no matter how long I kept trying, my back still lifted off the floor, out of "imprint" when doing some of that stuff.
The yoga classes I take are fairly easy, I guess. Yet, I have seen improvement since I started. I am very flexible, so that's not it. I'm just weak, lopsided, due to untreated scoliosis, and all my other assorted sports injuries. Heck, PT only helped me temporarily and I was religious about my "homework." I still do all of that, 4 days a week.
Maybe I would feel better if I stopped all of this exercise stuff :rolleyes:.

tulip
02-20-2009, 05:27 AM
I guess my back hurt the most. And my neck. Like holding your head up doing 100s. I can do the abs part, but can't hold my head up without pain. The fact that no matter how long I kept trying, my back still lifted off the floor, out of "imprint" when doing some of that stuff.
The yoga classes I take are fairly easy, I guess. Yet, I have seen improvement since I started. I am very flexible, so that's not it. I'm just weak, lopsided, due to untreated scoliosis, and all my other assorted sports injuries. Heck, PT only helped me temporarily and I was religious about my "homework." I still do all of that, 4 days a week.
Maybe I would feel better if I stopped all of this exercise stuff :rolleyes:.

I would venture that if you did a series of one-on-one Pilates sessions on the reformer and other apparati that your neck/upper back issues and your core strength would improve significantly. It would be pricey, but that's what I would do if i could afford it. I hope by next year that I can do that at least once a month while also doing the mat exercises.

I've found that yoga and Pilates, while having some similarities, are actually quite different in a number of ways. The breathing, for one, is really different. In yoga, the emphasis is on filling up your belly and relaxing those muscles, while in Pilates it's all about scooping and tightening the "powerhouse." I enjoy them both and get benefits from both.

emily_in_nc
02-20-2009, 04:30 PM
I've found that yoga and Pilates, while having some similarities, are actually quite different in a number of ways. The breathing, for one, is really different. In yoga, the emphasis is on filling up your belly and relaxing those muscles, while in Pilates it's all about scooping and tightening the "powerhouse." I enjoy them both and get benefits from both.

Agreed completely! +1

Crankin, my neck also bothers me on the "hundred". It's like it is trying to do all the work for my abs. But once we move on to the rest of the routine, my abs seem to warm up and do more, so my neck doesn't bother me so much. I still have to lie my head down from time to time, though, and rest those muscles. It's not the back of my neck that bothers me, tho, is that what bothered you? For me it is the muscles in the front of my neck, trying to take over for my abs. I am hoping as my abs get stronger, that will lessen. I still have a ways to go as I still get sore abs after class, but I'm only taking one Pilates class per week (and one yoga).

OakLeaf
02-20-2009, 04:37 PM
One of the things they talk about in Stott Pilates is that a lot of the neck strain is actually coming from the shoulders - if you really work at stabilizing the scapulae, the neck will relax at least some. It seems to work for me.

Also a trick I learned that I have no idea why it works, is to touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. That helps your neck relax too. :confused:


+1 on Yoga and Pilates being very different! I've been doing one after the other Saturday mornings, so I get the contrast pretty starkly!

Blueberry
02-20-2009, 04:42 PM
My neck has good days and bad days. I have to warm it up. I also have to really focus on the powerhouse - when I don't, my neck is quite painful. Seems like when my form gets bad, my neck hurts.

CA

tulip
02-21-2009, 05:25 AM
I've found it very helpful to concentrate on looking at my bellybutton while doing the exercises that (used to) strain my neck. Try focusing on your bellybutton (NOT the ceiling!) for the hundred, roll-up, rolling-like-a-ball, open-leg rocker, neck-pull, teaser, and seal. Since I haven't taken classes in a while, I'm not doing the more advanced exercises.

Looking at your bellybutton forces you to round your neck and upper back, whereas looking at the ceiling results in a cantilever effect with your head, which is very heavy!

emily_in_nc
02-21-2009, 02:46 PM
I've found it very helpful to concentrate on looking at my bellybutton while doing the exercises that (used to) strain my neck. Try focusing on your bellybutton (NOT the ceiling!) for the hundred, roll-up, rolling-like-a-ball, open-leg rocker, neck-pull, teaser, and seal. Since I haven't taken classes in a while, I'm not doing the more advanced exercises.

Looking at your bellybutton forces you to round your neck and upper back, whereas looking at the ceiling results in a cantilever effect with your head, which is very heavy!

Thanks for the tip, tulip! I do fine on the roll-up, rolling-like-a-ball, teaser, and the others you mention I'm not famliar with (or our instructor calls them something different), but the hundred gets me every time. I believe I'm looking at my legs to get the angle right (I don't think I'm looking at the ceiling), but I'll try looking at my belly button next time!