Putting your back into it!

A few weeks ago I skimmed over the fact that pilates had sorted my bad back out – but thought I should probably elucidate!

I have suffered with a dodgy lower back for pretty much all of my adult life. It’s flared up at random times – sometimes with something specific (pregnancy) but at other times seemingly random (getting out of bed!). I relied on seeing a chiropractor as and when it flared up but thought I’d just have to live with it as both of my parents had suffered periodically with bad backs so I assumed it was just the way I was built.

When I was moaning about it on Facebook one time (I do like to overshare!) a fellow local Mum suggested I should try pilates with her.

Now, I had (misplaced!) ideas about what pilates involved. To me it was what ladies did at David Lloyd (other gym chains too I’m sure!) who didn’t want to get too sweaty or mess their hair up. You know, the same ladies who swim breaststroke with their heads out of the water so they can chat as they dawdle up and down the pool?! I thought if you didn’t get ridiculously hot and sweaty you couldn’t possibly be working hard! I also thought it was just done on a mat in a big studio – and was nervous of looking like a tit in front of all of these lithe, toned yummy mummies (perhaps I should have realised that they must do something to look like that and so maybe it did work?!)

Anyway – I agreed to have a 1 to 1 session with Steff at the studio that she works from.

When I arrived I thought I’d stepped into Christian Grey’s red room (or what I imagined it be like having never read the 50 shades books!) The equipment looked ‘interesting’!!!

Pilates - Cadillac 2

Steff talked through my back issues – and then we did lots of little things for her to look at my posture, flexibility, strength etc.  I have to say that the first time I did come away feeling like I hadn’t done much – but thought I’d try a proper session the next time – and I was soon hooked!

Because I was rubbish at lying down (cue rude comments!) we did a lot of work initially on the Core Align so I could be upright.

Pilates - Core Align

It really made me think about how I hold myself and how I walk (who knew your bum was supposed to assist in walking – my legs were doing all of the work – which could explain why my bum is so wobbly?!)  It really was back to basics with all of my core and pelvic stability (especially after 4 kids, and 4 natural births of enormous children!)

We progressed onto other equipment soon (although these aren’t me – they are photos of the Balanced Body equipment that we use!)

Pilates - reformer Pilates - ladder barrel Pilates - Cadillac

I’ve also realised that pilates is about my whole body – not just my dodgy lower back.  Sometimes my feet / neck / upper back aren’t feeling great and we’ll address those in a session rather than just the ‘normal’ work.

My husband has also got involved – and we even ended up buying a cadillac (the bottom of the pictures above) for at home.  Although he does admit to a penchant for the ‘fluffy bunnies’ that your feet have to go into – and might be being a bit more ’50 shades’ about the whole thing than me!!!!

I’ve also become aware of the equipment being used by other people – the Beckhams have a cadillac, I’ve seen pictures of Andy Murray on one – and have read in magazines about ‘slebs going to their ‘reformer pilates class’!!

Pilates really has totally changed my back issues, posture, the way I walk – and the understanding I have of how my body works and fits together.  I hide this well under excess upholstery – but it has helped no end.

Now we’ve got the underlying issues sorted we are getting more hardcore – and maybe I will end up suspended upside down one day!

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