How I beat Back Pain with Pilates: Week 13


Ordered a foam roller online, arrived today. Had great fun rolling out the knots in my legs and upper lats. Going to be using it every other day and expecting to see great results!

Also been going down the park to do chin-ups and pull-ups again – partly to get my lats firing up, and partly to play around with exercises I’m putting together for a highlining training program.

Doing the pull-ups at the park, I’ve realised how not-strong I am in my upper back! Crazy! My chin-ups are ok – my biceps are still quite strong and I can manage a set of 10 reps of close-hand chins. But pull-ups are another matter. Wide-grip pull-ups and I’ve only got about 3 reps in me. Not good! So I will add my documentation of park workouts to here.


Homework in the morning, resting for the remainder of the day.


Two things – the LATISSIMUS connection, and the OVER-compensation of my right side.


  1.  The lat-connection. It appears in the last couple of weeks, since working on my shoulder stability at home (successful) I have been over-activating my subscapularis muscle in the right rotator cuff (picture), mistaking it for activating my lats. Whoops. I think it’s also partly due to deadhangingin the pull-up position, which made my lower shoulder muscles sore the next day. Then the lat/shoulder confusion increased as I kept telling myself I had sore lats! Quite a big mistake to make when you look at a picture, but a little trickier when you’re trying to feel your way between muscle connections.

    Subscapularis muscle shown in the Anterior Shoulder cross-section.

    Top of the Lat covers some lower shoulder muscles

    This coming week I need to work on building up the awareness of the latissimus muscles, particularly the length of them – how they connect all the way down to your hips. I have the awareness of my shoulder stability from working on it at home but now as I continue to practice chin-ups, I want to engage the lats all the way!

  2. Over compensation of the right hip. Since my last Pilates class, I think I must have become a little obsessive with pulling my right hip upwards, to compensate for the swinging-out of the left one. Well, it looks like I went a bit too far, as today in class, Amy said ‘There’s something going on with this right hip!’ and I had to confess it was probably because of my over-compensation obsession. Now that I know my right-sided muscles are strong enough, the challenge is to find the exact position where my hips are balanced! I was thinking one evening that a ‘spirit-level’ for the hips is what I need. I haven’t placed one on my hips, but I thought that it would soon help me to learn where the exact balanced position of my hips are. For now, doing a neck curl and actually having a look at them in action will have to do.
  • My shoulder-stabilisation work at home will now consist of 1 circuit on each side, as my right side is stronger but still needs a little more work plus maintenance.
  • Pilates homework remains the same.
  • Added workouts will be chin/pull-ups in the park, and push ups.
  • Knee is healing nicely – aiming to be back on the line when the next spell of good weather hits us!

Check out Week 14 to read about my Teaser revelations, hot babes in my class and my rant on the Contemporary scene…


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