Will this be a problem at a pilates class? I'm feeling a bit stupid now

(28 Posts)
Deadnettle Thu 28-Jul-16 18:16:27

I've just booked my first pilates 1 to 1 lesson for next week. After doing so I watched some pilates videos, beginner ones, and I can't even sit on the floor with my legs straight in front of me blush

It gets worse. I can't lie on my back comfortably or my front or side

Will this be a problem? Should I cancel? Or will the instructor be able to work around these issues until they are better?

I've recently had an abdominal hysterectomy and my back is killing me so I really want to go but now I feel stupid and I'm not sure why.

Fatcakes Thu 28-Jul-16 18:19:22

So long as your doctor has given the ok, it will be fine.
Your instructor will work around your difficulties. You'll start to see and feel positive changes in weeks rather than months.
Good luck.

Gardencentregroupie Thu 28-Jul-16 18:23:07

A proper qualified pilates instructor will be able to work with your body and will help you no end. Definitely don't cancel. My old pilates teacher did special antenatal and postnatal classes so she worked with c section, separated abdominal muscles, SPD, sore leaky boobs, tendonitis, carpal tunnel, bad backs, you name it, nothing couldn't be worked with.

WipsGlitter Thu 28-Jul-16 18:23:21

They should be able to work round it. But I eventually gave up on yoga and Pilates as I can't bear weight on one arm and was fed up with it all having to be modified.

Onenerfwarfrombreakdown Thu 28-Jul-16 18:24:45

I went to Pilates after back issues and it was one of the best things I did for my recovery. Instructor said she enjoyed the challenge lol but seriously she did work with what I could manage and we gradually built up from that. It really helped.
Give it a go. But remember like everything else, there are fab instructors and so-so instructors so if you're not completely happy that they are doing what's best for you, you can try someone else. It's quite a personal relationship that you build if you do it for some time.

Lorelei76 Thu 28-Jul-16 18:26:36

um, was this suggested to you?

my cousin had to spend weeks and weeks doing no exercise after the same surgery, we often work out together so I remember it.

also if you have never done Pilates before, it seems an odd time to learn.

Unless it was recommended to you by the doctor, in which case i'll shut up grin

Lorelei76 Thu 28-Jul-16 18:27:25

If you can't lie down comfortably in any position, it sounds worse than when I broke my back!!

Deadnettle Thu 28-Jul-16 18:38:31

Thanks everyone, I was feeling quite panicked about turning up next week!

I'm cleared to do pilates from monday when I will be 6 weeks post op.

The instuctor seems good, and I'm not allowed to join the group classes until they deem it safe for me to do so.

Lorelei the hospital physio suggested it. A lot. Tbh if my back wasn't so painful I wouldn't be doing it yet but it is so I am!

Back pain is awful. The hysterectomy was painless compared to my back. I hope your back is all better now Lorelei.

Deadnettle Thu 28-Jul-16 18:40:23

Oh yeah, I can't sit or stand comfortably either.

Plus I had an allergic reaction to the last lot of painkillers we tried.

Wolfiefan Thu 28-Jul-16 18:41:53

If your classes are like the ones I went to you will be fine. Instructor was a trained physio and did a 1:2:1 assessment first and taught me one or two basic things before I could join the group lessons.

Lorelei76 Thu 28-Jul-16 18:44:41

Dead, sorry to be a pain but just wondering - have you been given basic stretches etc to do for your back pain?

My back is fine now thank you, but based on what I learned from the experience - loads of physio! - I would have thought that with that level of back pain, you would be better off getting a bit more mobile and doing some stretching (guided by a physio ideally) rather than going straight to Pilates?

I did it to intermediate level in the past and if you are not accustomed to using those core muscles, even a beginner class can be very hard.

As I say, I'm sorry to waffle, I just think it would be a shame if you paid up and found it a waste of money till you are more recovered or have more mobility.

btw I feel you re painkillers - I couldn't take most of them so it was an interesting time!!

BlackAmericanoNoSugar Thu 28-Jul-16 18:51:02

If it's a one to one with a reputable teacher then she/he will work around what you are able to do. Make sure that you say if something is uncomfortable or painful, don't be brave and force yourself to do something that might injure you.

Deadnettle Thu 28-Jul-16 18:59:31

No stretches because I have 100's of internal stitches and I don't want them to pop! I think I can stretch from monday when my stomach muscles should be healed enough to cope.

My back pain is mainly caused, I think, because I have to sleep on it and it objects hmm I also have awful posture.

My back mainly aches, it's only been roll around on the floor and go to a&e to make sure you don't have a blood clot on the lung painful twice.

BlackAmericano I have no intention of been brave!

prettybird Thu 28-Jul-16 19:05:51

Are you having a 1:1 first so that she can understand your body and also give you more focussed attention before you start in a class.

Not being able to straighten your legs when sitting is fine: your instructor will either (or both) give you a yoga block to sit on/suggest you bend your legs to make yourself comfortable.

Lying on your back, in a 1:1 your instructor will work out how to make you comfortable. It's rare that your legs are straight out: usually they are bent and you're supposed to have a small curve in your lower back. Part of your preliminary lesson will be learning where your "neutral" is.

Good luck.

Lorelei76 Thu 28-Jul-16 19:08:08

so have you only had back pain since the hysterectomy (which would make perfect sense)?

Deadnettle Thu 28-Jul-16 19:13:17

Yes an hours 1:1 so the instuctor can get to understand my body. After that I'll be in a class of just 3 (including me) until I'm deemed fit to join the proper class.

I can't lie comfortably on my back with my legs bentblush It hurts my upper back.

Deadnettle Thu 28-Jul-16 19:15:42

Lorelei pretty much. I've been aware that my back was slightly unhappy for a while, which I put down to bad posture but I wouldn't say I suffered with a bad back iyswim?

Lorelei76 Thu 28-Jul-16 19:33:27

well, I'm not an expert and I really will clear off after saying this...!

I am a bit puzzled it's been suggested to you. I'd recover from the hysterectomy for a few more weeks and then go, but that's just me.

anyway, I hope you are fighting fit on all fronts very soon!

Deadnettle Thu 28-Jul-16 19:44:32

There's no need to clear off lorelei!

Pilates was suggested by the physio at the hospital where I had the hysterectomy, before the backache started. When I mentioned pilates to my GP on monday, she said it was fine to start. I'm hoping it'll help my back, if my back didn't hurt I wouldn't be trying it yet or at all

I've only booked the very first one, so I'll attend that and go from there.

I'm actually recoving really well from the hysterectomy, much better than I expected. I haven't needing painkillers for it since day 5 and its not caused me any trouble whatsoever. If it wasn't for my back I would be feeling fantastic!

prettybird Thu 28-Jul-16 20:07:46

Deadnettle: sounds like a good instructor if she is easing you in to the "full" class after a 1:1. My instructor is the same - as are more reputable instructors.

I've not suffered from a bad back since I started Pilates 16.5 years ago (shortly before I fell pregnant with ds). I used to get lots of pain between my shoulder blades and lots of problems if I cycled long distance. None since then.

Even now, I try to have a 1:1 about twice a year if I can afford it when I get to use the instruments of torture Pilates machines, which helps highlight any imbalances in my body and also make me feel exactl which muscles should be working.

The classes afterwards are interesting as I try to get used to positions which don't feel straight but which actually are confused. Even now, after classes for so many years, there are still some exercises I can't do (I have a very stiff upper back which doesn't help for some and for others, my abnormally but not noticeably short arms make things difficult) and others where I have an epiphany: "So that's what it's supposed to feel like, --it makes it so much easier--" shockblush

prettybird Thu 28-Jul-16 20:09:48

Your instructor might put a slim pillow under your upper back and two behind your head. One of the people in my class does that. I, on the other hand, have to put a slim pillow under my belly/pelvis if I'm lying on the front, as otherwise my back over arches.

mineofuselessinformation Thu 28-Jul-16 20:22:06

That sounds a good way to start. I do yoga, and the instructor always goes through any health conditions with new members of the class before their first session.
Go! The worst that will happen is that she may give you a few exercises to do at home if she doesn't feel you're ready for a class.

prettybird Thu 28-Jul-16 20:29:31

Forgot to say, I also use two slim cushions under my head (unless we're doing spine curls or bridge) at least initially in the class although sometimes I can take it down to one later in the class. It just depends on my body on the day. We can change from day to day.

Enjoy your 1:1 and relax. Your instructor won't force you to do anything that you're not comfortable with (that's not the same as "find difficult" wink)

Deadnettle Thu 28-Jul-16 20:48:34

Thanks for being so detailed prettybird, its very helpful.

There are 2 pilates instructors in my tiny town, one who has her own studio, lists her qualifications and has been around for a while (as in I've heard of her), does health checks on her students and requires an hours solo session before joining any classes. The other instructor uses the gym, only does classes afaik, and doesn't mention training at all that I could find on her website. Guess which on I chose?

I will do my best to enjoy it!

prettybird Thu 28-Jul-16 21:45:35

Good for you. smile

My instructor went through lots of exams, exams about physiology, observed classes etc before becoming accredited. She was BodyControl accredited and is now getting Polestar (?) Pilates accredited (it's a bit more dynamic) and is planning on melding them.

We used to have students occasionally take parts of our class while she observed as part of their accreditation process.

There are some "Pilates" teachers who've just been on a weekend course and then think they know enough. Not suggesting that the other teacher is like that but I'd be wary of any teacher who didn't want a 1:1 first, unless you can convince them that you've already done a lot of Pilates (or similar) before.

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