Exercise! - Question for Pilates Video Users

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07-02-2002, 02:58 PM
Hello! Hey, I have a quick question for people who use videos to do their Pilates workouts. (I know there's already a Pilates thread, but this is a different question). I've been using "Beginning Pilates Mat Workout" and am not sure I like it. The workout seems way too simple, is really short, and hurts my tailbone. I reviewed some comments about this video on amazon.com and a lot of other people complained about back pain as well. Does anyone else out there do Pilates usng a video? If so, what Pilates video do you use and have you experienced any back pain?

Thanks for any feedback!!

07-05-2002, 12:31 PM
Hmmmm- If you have back pain you are not pulling in your stomach tight enough (also known as belly button to spine, setting your abs, engaging your abs). Pilates are designed to work the core- abs and back. Your back is probably is trying to overcompensate for the weak stomach muscles.

This takes a lot of practice- it is hard to keep your abs flat when you are working them- and now that I think of it this is probably where the workout tapes fail! An instructor would catch poor form.

Anyways a couple of hints that I have:

A) maybe this is dumb - but are you trying to do the advanced or intermediate level excercises without mastering the beginner level?

B) ok- barring that. Try to focus on pulling the abs in flat- which will support the back. Do this before starting the excercise. I like to think of it as a big kegel. Make sure the ribs are not wide like you are taking a big breath but 'pointing towards' your spine. So your tummy is tight from the belly button down and your ribs are closed- now start the excercise. It is a hard concept but once you get it you will start doing it all the time!

c) Don't let your back arch off the ground. keep it pressed hard into the ground- using your abs. modify the excercise it you find it happening

d)if your tailbone hurts- is it the rolling excercises? maybe you are holding yourself too straight- or a part of the back is not flexible- try skipping those until you have more flexibility.

Let me know if I can help!

:o :o :o

07-05-2002, 02:44 PM
Deberino -
Excellent tips - especially since I've been away from it for a while and was thinking of going back. You are right on with the trainer catching bad form too. It is worth it to take a beginning class if you can find one, because form is really critical with this program. Pilates is getting more popular - even the YWCA/YMCA is offering them now.

Thanks for the advice!

07-08-2002, 05:04 PM
Deberino--Thank you so much for those pointers. I'm still doing the beginning level, but don't feel challenged, so I think I must be doing something wrong. I'll have to look for a class in the area (not holding my breath) and maybe that will help. I'll go home and use these pointers tonight and let you know how things go!!

Thanks again!!

07-09-2002, 04:36 PM
Yes ! let me know! After reading your location I am thinking you might not find a class- haha.

I also found a good book that explains the concept of each pose and what it should be doing for you. I think it is called the 'Pilates Method" by Brooke Sheiler (or close)

My classes have been cancelled for the summer so I have been using tapes after I put the baby to bed. I am actually pretty happy with the results! Once I motivate myself to actually start the vcr that is.

07-10-2002, 02:24 AM
Hey Deberino,

Seems like you've been doing this a while. Have you any tips on avoiding neck strain? I started up again and after doing the video, my neck hurts. I've got a degenerative disc in the neck which doesn't help matters and you can't really use your hands to support the neck and do the exercises properly.

07-10-2002, 12:04 PM
I know about neck pain- I actually do Pilates to keep my upper back and neck pain manageable! But I don't have a bad disc - just bad posture!

Anyways, you can do most of the excercises on which you lie on your back with your head resting on the floor. maybe roll up a little towel and place under your neck. Your neck is trying to hold your body up because your stomach is not quite strong enough. If you are raising the head and shoulders off the floor think of lifting with your sternum (the area between your breasts ) if your neck hurts lift higher with the sternum ( visualizing this really makes a difference). the same visualization works with the bicycle crunches (I really don't love those too much) - try to touch your shoulder or rib cage to the knee rather than your forehead.

Don't do the rolling like a ball or the excercises where you are lying on your back and you lift your legs up and over your head and shoulders- these take a lot of control and it would be too easy to roll back on your neck even if you are not supposed too.

Once your stomach and back are stronger they will be able to lift your upper body without craning your neck and you won't have the pain. Fortuneately for you the stomach is the easiest muscle to stengthen! Good luck - let me know how you do. It breaks up my work day to check out these message boards!

07-10-2002, 01:15 PM
Thanks for the quick response! You are so detailed in your explanations, it makes it really easy to follow and understand. My neck thanks you too!

07-11-2002, 01:24 PM
Well, I got my Pilates for Dummies videotape and tried a little bit of it (mostly I just watched the instructor to see how she did things and made sure I was doing them right). This video is pretty much exactly the opposite of the first one I tried. It's a beginning Pilates video, but it's challenging (even for the little bit that I did) and didn't cause any pain (aside from the burning in the muscles, which feels to good to qualify as pain. :) )

Thanks for all of your pointers, Deberino, it's so nice to have someone who's willing to take the time to give good advice!

07-11-2002, 04:28 PM
sure! glad to do it! I have heard the pilates for dummies is good but have not tried/seen it. Maybe I will get it and rotate it with the ones I have. I get tired of looking at the same person all the time!

07-21-2002, 10:36 AM
Hi JessIsOK!

Iv done begginner Pilates at this fitness Centre that specialises in Pilates, they are expensive, but they show you how to do the moves correctly without injuring yourself.

These videos are alright, but for people who have never been showed by a proper teacher before how to do each exercise correctly, are going to have some trouble, because these videos still leave out some important information.

I suggest finding a gym or fitness centre, and having a few private lessons, just to get the technique right, and then go back to the videos.


07-24-2002, 02:13 PM
You never said what Pilates video tape you had.

07-25-2002, 01:45 AM
Many people like the Stott series videos. You can go to this web link http://www.videofitness.com/reviews/pilates.php where regular people post their comments about all sorts of fitness videos.