pilates tips. anyone?

  • i am currently doing pilates ( i have winsor and 4dummies) in addition to walk/run cardio. i am new to pilates, but i can honestly feel a difference in these early stages....i am asking for those w/ more expertise to 'kick down' some of the stuff they have figured out. for ex, i have to do it on an empy stomach, cuz that bellybutton to spine thing is difficult in itself...is this your experience as well?
    for one thing, could anyone, in their words, describe this powerhouse bellybutton to spine thing
  • Pilates is wonderful! I have been doing it a year and seeing amazing results. If you lie on your back, suck in your stomach to the point where your lower back hits the floor. This is what they mean by stomach to spine. You shouldn't feel any pain. I agree that any type of pilates/yoga is better on an empty stomach. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful pilates instructor, who studied Stott pilates. She is not a big fan of Winsor, because of the quick way the instructors do the movements. She has us to all the postures/movements very slowly. This is just something to think about. They have Stott videos out there for purchase. Keep doing it, I have NEVER noticed such a difference in my body! Hope this helps!
  • I too do pilates, and the bellybutton to the spine thing, to me, is isolating the abs and not so much about "sucking" as that (to me) implies using your diaphragm (i.e. sucking in your breath?) but of physically pushing your stomach muscles down using your core muscles. If I do it right it puts into play all the abs, the butt, and the lower back.

    I drink a couple cups of coffee with milk in the morning, but there's no way I could do pilates after eating solid food.

    And just as an aside, I could not possibly do pilates any slower than Winsor - I like Dummies because if anything, she moves things along a little bit faster. I do each movement with as much control as possible, but I've started doing it much like I do weight lifting. Concentrating on feeling each muscle working and pushing it as hard as I can, striving for correct form. This is probably why I have never succeeded at Yoga. I'm far too impatient.

    I have found that using a mat has helped a LOT. You don't say how long you've been doing pilates, but I've been doing it now for a relatively short period of time, about 2.5 months. It has increased definition, length and strength in my lower body to the point where my tendons no longer hurt when I run, and now it's my wind which lacks, not my muscles. It has increased my ability to handle my lower body workouts with weights, as well.
  • thank you! i kept both posts in mind when i did the tape, and bam! i got it...like a twisting the pelvis 'down', and the back on the floor. had trouble maintaining that position when i lifted my legs out at a 45 degree angle, but all the others, i got!
    thank you again!!!1
  • I recently ordered the Stott pilates Flex-Band tape and am anxious to give it a try. The tape was to come with one flex-band, but there was an error and she's mailing it seperately. Hope it comes soon! I'll be anxious to follow any pilates tips anyone offers.
  • I didn't know there were two methods of pilates, one fast and one slow. I have a few DVDs and the speed does vary. I thought that was just the style of the instructor. I like the slow method better. I feel that it offers you more control and I can feel the workout more.
    Kathy Smith (my favourite pilates DVD) says that is it not how many you do but how you do them that counts.