How I beat Back Pain with Pilates: Week 2

It’s Week 2 and I have already noticed strength increases!

Here’s my Homework series followed by a narrated video of it all –

  1. 100 x 1 rep
  2. Roll-ups x 5 reps
  3. Single-leg circles x 5 reps, each way, each leg
  4. Single-leg stretch x 5 reps each leg
  5. Double Leg stretch x 5 reps
  6. Double leg lower lift x 5 reps
  7. Swan x 3

Monday

My abdominals didn’t give out as early this time. My hamstrings did burn out, however, in the same position – Pull Straps 1 and 2.

Did a crazy jack-knife style manoeuvre, called ‘Short Spine Massage’, pushing my lower back’s range of motion a lot more than I thought. A lot of my difficulties with going into flexion come from the mental blocks that I have. I get scared that if I go into a flexion position, my back is going to go ‘ping’ – something that has happened SO many times in the last year. This exercise proved that with the correct core muscles being activated, I can actually go a lot deeper into a flexion position than I thought was possible. This is great news!

Short Spine Massage

Amy got me to do an exercise called ‘Pull-ups’ – it’s very similar to training for a handstand press, using the piece of equipment called the ‘Chair’, *cue fatal music*. It was definitely a hardcore exercise but I loved it. The goal from that one is to be able to do it one handed, with the other hand raised! Nuts.

I have noticed in my body since last time just how much I habitually go into a bad posture, letting my left hip swing out to the side and back. I do it all the time! So part of my homework is to notice and correct this!

Wednesday

A few eureka moments!

  1. When I am sitting, stretching, cycling, whatever the movement or static position is; if my hips are aligned properly (not lazily swung out to my left), I can feel the lower end of my left eretcus spinae muscle working hard. In order to keep my hips aligned properly like this, I have to engage my left buttock a lot more that I am used to. There is a definite weakness in my left glute.
  1. My tight ITB band on both sides, prevents me from getting into deep hip flexor stretching. Stretching my left ITB band seemed to alleviate a lot of the ‘ache’ that I get from working my lumbar and sacral areas of my back.
  2. Cycling – I noticed that I even get lazy on my bike cycling around town! My hips swing out the left, and I rotate my legs externally/outwards, as that is easy for me. When I rotate my legs inwards more, aligning them ‘normally’, my lower back has to work much harder.
  3. Amy and I are now working with a smaller range of motion, but increased control and precision. This is so when my range of motion increases naturally, the stability and strength will not be lost. Otherwise, focusing on increasing my ROM without first nailing the stability and strength of all the little muscles and spaces, means that my foundation (or lack there-of) could potentially give problems later on.

Overall, I can feel my body working very hard in the sessions. There has been a tiny strength increase since I started last week.

I’m planning on doing this 10-minute routine twice a day until my next session in one week’s time. Exciting stuff!

Check out the next post, Week 3, to see how I rediscover a major muscle group that I forgot I had and watch video clips from my class!

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