Is pilates bad for you?

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    May 18, 2009 5:50 PM GMT
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-440309/Is-Pilates-bad-back.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/22/fashion/22FITNESS.html?_r=1&ref=fashion

    (I should say up front that I am a pilates fiend, and have 3 private 1-2-1 studio classes a week mostly with an advanced instructor in Romana´s pilates (there are two other teachers I have when my main one is not around). Romana Kryzanowska took over the NYC where Joe and Clara had taught and this sort of pilates is one of the most original that there is).
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    May 18, 2009 8:48 PM GMT
    I don't think that one can say that Pilates is bad for you. Back pain can come from so many different problems. Some of the common problems are: disk degeneration, anterior pelvic tilt, facet joint arthritis, ligament strains, spinal stenosis, osteoporosis and on and on. Many back problems are helped with extension exercises and worsened by flexion exercises. Spinal stenosis which is very common is just the opposite; extension makes it worse. Pilates will help many of these problems and I'm sure it could cause injury in some individuals. One of individuals interviewed said that Pilates will not help your back pain if the problem is caused by the hips. I have to be careful with yoga since certain positions can set off back spasms. From personal experience never do the plow position if you have back problems. I was laid up for a weekicon_lol.gif You just have to find what activities helps you and avoid those that cause injury. Pilates and Yoga helped my back problems, but I have to use common sense and be careful.
    Since Dr McGill is my hero, I follow his suggestion of bracing the entire abdominal musculature when lifting rather than just contracting the transversalis. Since you enjoy Pilates and it is not causing pain, just go for it.

    The Plow Pose
    HP_216_Halasana_248.jpg
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    May 18, 2009 9:04 PM GMT
    I wasn´t actually asking for advice, but rather to start discussion about core training/pop pilates.

    I have no doubts whatsoever that pilates taught by a properly qualified teacher, tailored to the individual and using the whole range of exercises is very good for you.. but I´ll reply to the articles in a day or so...

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    Jun 17, 2009 8:18 PM GMT
    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/tag/phys-ed/?8dpc
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    Jun 18, 2009 1:41 PM GMT
    I now practice pilates twice a week as essential part of my cross-training. It's the hardest workout of my week. The deep breathing technique I mastered benefits my strength training as well.




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    Jun 18, 2009 3:36 PM GMT
    Without really being qualified to answer, I somewhat disagree with the articles. Kind of a chicken or egg argument here. Deliberately drawing in does make it harder to do things with your lower back and that is what Pilates does; it makes you develop, for instance, upper back muscles so that you carry more on your upper back as opposed to your lower back. When I draw in I instantaneously engage my upper back. Sitting in a office chair all day also weakens your lower back, so NOT doing Pilates is just as evil. On the other hand, the article points out something that I think Pilates practitioners should take into consideration.

    I had a really good instructor in Chicago. From what he taught me, Pilates was done on even amputees so, if there is a back problem (or limb problem), you work around it and if you tell your instructor what issues you have, they will act appropriately. I had sciatica and worked my way through it with a chiropractor first and conservative medical treatment (NSAIDS). Eventually, it went away on it's own with daily treadmill and stretching.

    Having a vested interest in conditioning my body to never have a problem like that again, I asked around and a friend recommended a Pilates instructor. In the initial meeting I told him exactly what I had been through. "Sciatica," he said "that means to me that we are going to have to limit unsupported forward movements for a while." "We can work around anything by doing another exercise" The beauty of Pilates, he said, is that if one thing cannot be accomplished there are many other ways to engage the same muscles. So the goal is to make movements efficient by training until you get what you need and this is why it is so important to work with a professional.

    I will say this though, my instructor always said that I had a superior sense of my body movement and was very responsive to his commands. He once told me, "Damn, you are good, I had to work with a client for ten minutes to do what you just did" Why do I say this? Those who are aware of the movement of their muscles are, I think, much more sucessful at and have more to benefit from Pilates. Self proclaimed "palsies," be careful. Unaware, haphazard, unfocused, and lax moves can in fact hurt you.

    So, I think the article could serve as a warning if you read it right, but as with many journalists, they get your attention with "The Sky is Falling"
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    Jun 18, 2009 4:10 PM GMT
    This sounds like one of those Anti-articles invented to fill newspapers etc.and provide a big bowl of choclate ice cream type comfort to people that are way out of shape and feel guilty about it.

    I remember the anti- vitamin articles, the anti fiber articles, the anti herb articles. I even met a doctor recently that was absolutely anti- exercise. THe only basis of these articles is a case study where someone has taken it to some absurd extreme.
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Jun 18, 2009 4:12 PM GMT
    Alpha13 saidThis sounds like one of those Anti-articles invented to fill newspapers etc.and provide a big bowl of choclate ice cream type comfort to people that are way out of shape and feel guilty about it.

    I remember the anti- vitamin articles, the anti fiber articles, the anti herb articles. I even met a doctor recently that was absolutely anti- exercise. THe only basis of these articles is a case study where someone has taken it to some absurd extreme.


    My thoughts exactly. These people are messed up.
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    Jun 18, 2009 6:01 PM GMT
    I read some of Stuart McGill´s critiques and they do seem to be talking about what one might call "gym pilates" (please don´t get offended if you teach pilates in a gym: I´m using it as a technical term). By that I mean the teacher did mat certification in a weekend, and teaches big groups without being able to personalize the workout to the individual or really keep a watch on waht they are doing due to numbers and lack of knowledgee. No-one thinks that this is an ideal way of working.

    The authentic method has over 500 exercises on 10 or more apparatuses. It works everything below the neck down to the toes. It´s not just about the transverse abdominal, and in my tradition we don´t even talk about drawing it.

  • HndsmKansan

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    Jun 20, 2009 12:11 AM GMT
    I think pilates is outstanding... I have a client that actually teaches classes at the junior college... and at the YMCA. Very important and for me an essential part of my cardio.
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    Jun 21, 2009 11:42 PM GMT
    well in some "gym pilates" (technical term... see above), it is reduced to something less than ideal, hence the traction for his critique (and the perception of physios that people come to them having got injured from pilates, which I have heard from a few physios)
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    Jun 22, 2009 8:08 PM GMT
    I think yoga is better, because the positions seem more natural to me.
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    Aug 19, 2009 11:17 PM GMT
    Reflecting more on this as I go on with my teacher training: the power house is NOT NOT NOT about sucking in and destabilizing. It´s about engaging the whole power house (inner thighs, glutes, abs - all of them - and back) to stabilize the core. I tried the sucking in thing the other day and it makes you WEAK. it´s horrible.

    icon_eek.gif

    Oh and a "natural" yoga posture (teasing: I like yoga)

    yoga-poses-nui.jpg
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    Aug 19, 2009 11:28 PM GMT
    It was bad for Jesus Christ.

    What?

    Oh, you mean the exercise, not the Roman governor.

    Never mind.
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    Aug 20, 2009 5:41 PM GMT
    TexSportsNut saidIt was bad for Jesus Christ.

    What?

    Oh, you mean the exercise, not the Roman governor.

    Never mind.


    You have been spending too much time with JPrichva. That´s his "joke".

    icon_rolleyes.gif