Getting to the Bottom of It Part 1 - Pilatesology

Getting to the Bottom of It Part 1

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Very often the areas of the body that are least understood are the ones you can’t see: your back and your bottom. In this short video Sandy takes you through several exercises to help you understand how to put your rear end to good use in Pilates. Check out more videos in this series by using the Search Bar (upper right corner of your screen) to search for Getting to the Bottom of It. Filmed at Vintage Pilates.

What Others Are Saying


  1. Hi Sandy!

    Thank you very very much for this video— you know my butts very well;)— it took me a long time and a great practice with you to have stronger the ability in my body to work my butts strongly and effectively without gripping them and to understand how to work them really connected to the center and from the length and the two way stretch— it is a very important foundation to understand from the very beginning of the workout (footwork-hundred-etc)and that you can use throughout all the work in any position, like sitting, prone and what else, to really help lengthening the low back and to keep working EVERYTHING FROM THE CENTER…. Thank you Sandy!!!!

  2. mcowgill 7 years ago

    Excellent presentation on the value of the wall series. I am curious why three springs on the reformer?

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Thank you! Good question. I usually work on 3 springs because I can more effectively get into my center (for purposes of this video, my seat in particular). I can work on 4 springs but it can cause me to over use my seat and calves. The spring settings on all apparatus should be the most appropriate setting to get the BEST work out of each of your clients.

  3. shoshana 7 years ago

    Are you gripping your glutes? I thought that was not good for the SI joint.

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Hi Shoshana,

      If you feel like you are gripping, go back over this lesson and listen to the word cues I am giving. Be sure you are DOING the exercises rather than just watching me do them. It may even help you to close your eyes so that you don’t fall into old habits of gripping and you listen to the instructions as if you are doing the exercises for the first time.

  4. 2redfrogs 7 years ago

    Very nice against the wall. But why are the heels dropping down on the Footwork Toes & Archs……aren’t you loosing the deep Seat work there?

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Thanks 2redfrogs! In the footwork it is important to try to keep the heels lifted throughout, even though you will see a little lowering in most bodies as the legs straighten. Rest assured that my bottom was working deeply the whhooooollllle time!

      Thanks for the reminder – I will keep working to see if I can keep the heels even higher as I work without locking my ankles or losing the flow of the exercise. There’s always more to work for, isn’t there?

  5. joesmat 7 years ago

    This is what makes PILATESOLOGY so precious to home users like myself.
    Excellent piece of work here. Love this.
    Any reason why we should not do this little Wall sequence before going to the mat?
    With the Wall Exercises, Can I ask you please, to define the position you want the spine to be in, when your back is pressed against the wall?
    (Commonly defined as “neutral spine” or “neutral pelvis”.)
    You then demonstrated them on the Reformer, working from the “seat” as you described it. Do you agree the same thing can be achieved on the mat?
    Thank you very much.

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Hi Colin,
      So glad you find this useful. I agree that it is a powerful home tool. In response to your questions, I have occasionally started a lesson with a client against the wall before taking them to the reformer or mat – with great results. If I make that choice it is because I know that client and I have a specific goal for that day that can deepen their work on the reformer or mat.

      When doing the wall exercises, use the wall as a guide to help you find more length in your back. Use your abdomen, back and glutes to lengthen in two directions (up and down). Don’t press your back into the wall or try to force your pelvis into a neutral position. Focus on the action of lengthening.

      Good observation Colin, these principles should be applied no matter where you are doing Pilates – reformer, mat, chairs, barrels, wall, etc. Enjoy!

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