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Old 04-14-11, 10:23 PM  
lorajc
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Pilates - How many times a week for?

I want to start doing Pilates every week because I have bulging discs and facet joint problems. I know pilates is supposed to be very rehabilitative, so I just got a new AeroPilates Reformer.

How many times a week should I do it (along with weightlifting and kettlebells, cardio, etc. - to help heal my spine?

Anyone here with a story they'd like to share?

Also, it's been a long time since I've read up on therapy for disc bulges. Anyone, go to the doctor lately and what sort of exercises or therapy did they have you do to heal your discs?

Of course, I realize this is opinions and experiences only and that it is not "medical advice" so don't be afraid to add your 2 cents. I've been to many doctors, physical therapists and massotherapists over the years and it's amazing how little they actually really know about healing thru exercise. No offense to anyone in that field ....but at least the ones I've been to only tell me, if it hurts don't do it. It's not quite that simple though.

What can I do with my daily exercise to improve my condition? When I went for PT in the past, all they had me do is exercises like I do at home when lifting, but with a resistance band!
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Old 04-15-11, 01:40 AM  
ilovemybirds
 
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I'm not a doctor, but I would imagine that doing it at least 2-3 times a week would be enough to really strengthen the core.
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Old 04-15-11, 09:38 AM  
KathAL79
 
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I would say a full session once a week is the absolute minimum, although this might be better for maintenance. But if Pilates is going to be your main form of strength training or if you want to make significant gains I agree that 2-3 times a week is a good recommendation.

Make sure that you choose workouts that include sufficient amounts of back work, that have a good balance between flexion (forward bending) and extension (back bending), and that work on stabilization and rotation both. Too many Pilates videos are guilty of focusing on the abs exclusively or too much, although that may just be a mainstream matwork video thing (and it's a common abs video thing anyway).

Disclosure: I don't have spine issues, although I did pull a muscle in my back once, for which I did yoga and later some Pilates to rehab. My usual schedule is Pilates 1x/week, weights 3x/week, cardio 2x/week, and rest 1x/week.
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Old 04-15-11, 10:27 AM  
lorajc
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Which vid's do you think (from your experience) have a good balance? I've got LOTs of Pilates dvds, as I always buy them saying I'm gonna start doing them more for my problems and then I do one workout and it doesn't feel hard enough (sort of like I can't get my stress release on unless I really "kick" it) but I've realized I absolutely need to make myself do them and make them harder with my form!

I did a Reformer workout this AM and I spent half of my workout trying to get my straps adjusted exactly even on each side. How frustating. The one was a tad off and I could tell when doing the exercises, as it felt harder on one side. It's driving me crazy.

I also just ordered those Tarbell Pilates DVDs for athletes. Her physique was amazing! They look good, as they add holding a med ball or weights, etc
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Old 04-15-11, 10:36 AM  
Lucky Star
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Moira Stott Merrithew says you can do Pilates every day, although in that case I wouldn't do a grueling routine. I think 2-3x a week would be a great starting place.

JMHO but if I were trying to heal my spine, I'd avoid weightlifting and kettlebells for a while. I'm currently taking reformer classes 1x a week and I find them very challenging and strengthening without harming my joints. I don't know your specific condition, but if I had disc bulges I'd be concerned that using weights in a standing position might add to spine compression..?

FWIW, once I'm done with my current class package - I can't afford any more, lol - I'll be doing mat Pilates at home, probably twice weekly (while doing weights twice weekly).

Good luck!
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Old 04-15-11, 11:00 AM  
Pam61
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Pilates is wonderful for the spine and core. I really see improvement in my mid-section, just from doing pilates three times a week. My diet, OTOH, is terrible, so I know it's the added pilates. And, it doesn't take long, 25 minutes to do the basic or intermediate matwork, depending on the pace.

I love reformer exercises, too! I had to part with my reformer in AZ (before moving to MN) and really miss it! You're lucky to have one, as it's great for back issues and to get the muscles stretched and lengthened!

I've been in a number of auto accidents, and nothing worked as well as pilates for improving the way I felt afterwards.
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Old 04-15-11, 11:24 AM  
KathAL79
 
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I don't have a reformer, but in general I find the Stott Pilates DVDs balanced, although some of their more recent ones have been more of a hodge podge of exercises than their previous much more thoroughly thought out fare. A big tip off is anything that's "for Abs," like some of Ana Caban's stuff (Pilates for Abs, PM Pilates).

I'm looking forward to seeing what you think of the Tarbells. I'm becoming pickier with my Pilates media as time goes on, but those intrigue me.
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I listen to my body and respond compassionately. - sankalpa from Jill Miller's Yoga at Home level 1, month 5 practice

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Old 04-15-11, 11:26 AM  
lorajc
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
HOw long do you ladies think I could go without weights and kettlebells and just do Reformer? One month? I don't want to loose too much of my strength, as I've already lost a lot from just lifting lighter recently.
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Old 04-15-11, 11:39 AM  
Lucky Star
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I couldn't say, other than to let you know my reformer classes are TOUGH!
But muscles have memory recall, and once back to your regular schedule you'd probably find yourself regaining your strength sooner than you think.
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Consistency trumps intensity every time, and moderation is the new 'extreme'.
"We are so fortunate that we get to exercise!" ~Erin O'Brien
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Old 04-15-11, 11:43 AM  
Westcoaster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
I have had a "sensitve low back" for ages, and have always guarded it, plus within the last year I'd had a periformis injury, and had to stop exercise all together until it healed.

I started doing yoga ( classes) and although I felt stretched and it was good for my head, I still would get the pain down the leg, butt and sometimes my low back would still twinge.. I went back to the Rael Pilates System ( DVDs) and kept doing the intro one - system 7( first in the series) and then progressed to 17 ( again). For me that was more helpful than the yoga.. Still don't know why. I also did the 10 minute Pilates when I didn't have much time, but wanted to make sure I continued by 'strengthening ( core) regime.

After that, I progressed to very light weights like Ellen Barrett,then Tracie and from there back to Cathe, but still watching my back and stretching before and after. I then went on to Tonique, which I felt was more rigorous, but did not use heavy weights.. and after that I discovered Kettlebells, which I definitely feel has strengthed my whole back area.. However, I was scared stiff ( literally) to try it, and was sure I did NOT feel any unusal pulling pain in my back. Now I am alternating KBs with S90 and loving it - and life again.

You will get back that strength. Please be patient, and take it in small steps.. Your body should be your guide.

Hope this helps.

WC
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