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What do you think of Pilates? I'm looking to take this form of exercise up following two bouts of surgery in the last 3 months for a ruptured disc (L5). I can't restart running for several months but need to build up very sad stomach/back muscles. Anyone found it useful/not useful???


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    Don't know but I'm going to try it too! Certainly the physio I've had for sad stability muscles has made a world of difference, and now its time to move on to maintaining that.

    (You run a whole lot faster if you don't wobble!)
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    Go for it. Not only will it stabilize the hips, pelvic whilst going through the running gait/stride, it will also minimise getting niggling injuries to lower back back, legs etc. I started doing Pilates last year and its been a revelation. The whole body feels lengthened. Plus it will kick-start the six pack off.
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    I strongly, and whole-heartedly, recommend it for everyone. Particularly if you've had back problems or surgery. However, talk to the teacher before the class, or get some one-to-one sessions with a trainer, to get tips on modifying certain exercises for your particular situation.

    I have been doing pilates exercises for a number of years (even before it became fashionable and in every health club) and it has made a world of difference. I no longer have lower back problems and my posture has improved. As for the running, I feel that I'm stronger and more stable because of it. An additional bonus of pilates classes is that they are quite relaxing (in a weird kinda way!) because the movements are slow and controlled and you really have to focused on what you are doing. Always feel great at the end of any class!

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    Great to read all your posts. I want to do this because my physio said I had weak stability, however that was at Medifix who ripped me off for £87 for two visits and then done a runner

    I cant afford Pilates classes but can this be done via a book on the subject
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    I've been doing pilates for about 6 months and have found that using a pilates video (as well as classes to ensure the correct technique) was useful when I could not get to the class. I would have thought that it would be difficult to do pilates effectively using just a book, with no way of knowing if you are doing it correctly.

    I know that most gym memberships include pillates as part of their free classes - but you would still have to pay for membership!
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    cealceal ✭✭✭
    I have done Pilates for some 3 years now and it has made no end of difference to my whole body. I am stronger in every respect. I hate missing classes. I sometimes have a 1 to 1 with my instructor who uses the Pilates exercise machine which is wonderful as it makes one's body use muscles in the ocrrect alignment, ie you cannot cheat. I do think that it is important to find a Pilates teacher who has the correct qualifications, there area lot of cowboys out there, instructors who have gained some sort of qualification at the odd weekend workshop. Ideally the instructor should be Body Control trained or Stott trained. Also there should not be more than 10/12 in a class, that is a requirement to Body Control instructors. Have you found a good instructor yet? There is a list in my studio so I could look up a suitable qualified instructor in your area is you wish. I am 62 years old with very strong stomach muscles which helps my back no end, gone are all the viists to the osteopath, in turn this has helped my running.
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    Can anyone recommend a good pilates video? I bought the yogalates video, but the workout is very short and there aren't many exercises (and the exercises not well explained). I can't get the hang of coordinating my breathing with the exercises - perhaps I am just uncoordinated but it seems very hard!
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    cealceal ✭✭✭
    there are a series of videos on the market produced by BODY CONTROL and demonstrated and explained by Lyn ------ her surname escapes me at the moment, all my videos are on loan at the moment, so I cannot look at the exact titles. However, WHSmith sell them. She does explain very clearly and precisely the breathing etc. Good luck
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    Thanks for all your replies. I had my first 1:1 Pilates session at home a couple of days ago with a fully qualified instructor. She asked loads of questions before we began (I also gave her a grilling about quals/experience etc) and I also had to fill in a detailed questionnaire. She also asked to speak with my surgeon to ensure he was happy with me taking up Pilates. She made me feel totally comfortable with this approach and I was more than happy that she was double checking before we began. We did an hour's session and I felt really relaxed at the end of it, but could feel I had done some good work. I've booked in 1:1s twice a week for the next few weeks and am really looking forward to my next session. Thanks for all your feedback - so far mine is also very positive! I'll keep you posted.
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    I have been doing Pilates at home for a few months now and I really enjoying the benefits. I am using a video from No4 My Way of Life 0870 241 5471. This is a beginner tape but they do have intermediate tapes as well. I often use the tape after a hard run as I find it a great way to stretch and relax.
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    On a similar theme...If you fancy giving yoga a go, there's a good beginners' class in London Bridge on Saturday mornings.

    Costs 35 quid for 6 weeks, which is as near a bargain as London gets!

    Think the next one starts in Sept. Will find the web address and post if anyone's interested.
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    I can't make it to the pilates class at my gym so I have started doing hatha yoga, which is very similar to pilates and I feel the benefits - highly recommend it

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    Here's some links runners in London might be interested in.
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