How I beat Back Pain with Pilates: Week 11


Can finally handstand again! The left wrist is feeling much better. My handstands feel stronger already. Went for a slackline session on Sunday, the first in many weeks now that my ribs have healed as well. Was surprised to find how much easier the Chongo mount is now I have been working on my flexibility at home. Positive stuff!

The “Chongo” Mount


Homework sessions now look like this, before breakfast.

2 X circuits of right shoulder rehab using low-strength Thera-band.

  • External Rotation x 10 (right only)
  • Internal Rotation x 10 (right only)
  • Straight arm pull downs  x 10 (both arms simultaneously)
  • Resistance band adduction x 10 (right only)
  • Teres minor internal rotation x 10 (right only)
  • Teres minor external rotation  x10 (right only)

Really feel my right rhomboid working on exercises 3 and 4.

Knee strengthening

  • Seated Knee Extensions with Thera-band  3 sets x 10 (left only)


  • 100 (with Thera-band for arms)
  • Roll ups x 5
  • Single Leg circles (with neck curl to look at hips)  x 5 each leg (find it difficult to keep hips stable)
  • Single leg stretch x 5 each leg
  • Double leg stretch x 5
  • Double leg lower lift x 5
    (Try to do these 3 in sequence with no rest between)
  • Swan x 3 (hold each for 3 breaths, 1 breath rest between)
    Side-kick series
  • Forward and back x 10
  • Raise and lower x 5
  • Circles, both ways x 5
  • Bottom leg lift x 10
  • Teaser 1 with legs supported – x 3
  • Teaser 3 x 2 sets of 3
  • Teaser 4 x 3 (arm circles: 3 each way + shaving the head x 5)
  • Teaser 3 (half down, then up) x 3
  • Teaser 1 with legs supported (half down, then up) x 3
    3 breaths rest between exercises.

Total time is about 40 minutes.

Today I had very mild twinges in the area of my S1 disc. No pain, however.


  • Another great class. Amy spotted that in order to correct my hips (swinging out to the left and out of alignment), I need to activate the right side of my core/abs/obliques more and my right buttock. It’s a very subtle activation but it makes a lot of difference and means correct form and posture. That was the focus for today .
  • My right shoulder is looking stronger, and isn’t dropping as much as it was. Homework with the Thera-band has been paying off.
  •  I was a little shaky in class – possibly too large a dose of Guarana powder before starting, combined with the excitement of going up to London after class to the Outdoors Show 2012!
  •  I was losing my connections at the peak of my inhalation breaths. That’s because breathing only into the back of your ribsis bloody difficult. I feel like I’m restricted in the amount of air I can take in! It’s currently a reflex action to let go of the connection so I can take more air in! The connection in question is my upper abdominal-to-ribs.If anyone has some tips for the Pilates breathing technique, please share!!

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