Pilates Mat class for tight backs with Sandy Shimoda

Real Men Do Mat

Show Me...
Workout Tempo
Observe & Learn
Other Languages

Watch the preview

In Joe’s original New York studio all kinds of people came to study with him—from businessmen, to boxers, opera singers, to war veterans—and everyone was given a workout that fit their needs. Sandy's student for this mat workout is John, a chiropractor who spends long days pulling, pushing and adjusting his clients. His mat workout helps counteract the wear and tear his body takes in his profession. John is also an ex-football player and continues to play golf regularly thanks to the hard work he puts in during his Pilates sessions. Filmed at Vintage Pilates in West Los Angeles, CA.

What Others Are Saying


  1. aubergine22 8 years ago

    I am so thankful about this lesson. Not only did I absorb a tremendous amount of tactile and verbal cueing techniques, but more importantly, I learned about how to use my body as leverage to assist a super tight client into much-needed positions. Demonstrating all the spotting and assists with clarity and excellent form is going to help us prevent the inevitable injuries that come if lackadaisical about such considerations while teaching. Again, thank you, Sandy!

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Great observations. Practice your pushes and pulls on fellow teachers to build your skill before trying it on clients. It takes a while to get the right balance, but when you do you will help improve your clients’ workouts!

  2. arlene
    arlene 8 years ago

    Vigorous, sweaty, athletic. I love Pilates!!!

  3. Great work!

  4. Ynowak 8 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. joesmat 8 years ago

    This is very special.
    Observing the original hands on skill of Teaching mat,it seems to me, to be the “True Method” as Joe Pilates intended. Thank you for sharing.

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      You are welcome. For me – it’s all about the sharing!

      • joesmat 8 years ago

        In RETURN TO LIFE the instruction for the arm position is to – raise both arms 6″ to 8″ above the “thighs” – and then pump. Why is it not done like that to-day? Thank you very much.

  6. lghammerle

    Great conversation after the workout. I enjoyed hearing how Pilates has helped John and his hip replacement. Also, I like the teaser shown here. It is akin to the start of boomerang, where the lift comes from the stomach not the legs. Thanks!

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      We as instructors learn through the experiences of our clients and I find it valuable to share the incredible challenges that our students have conquered. The teaser John did is great for people like him who have incredibly tight low backs (you saw that in his rolling exercises). If they start upright they don’t have to battle the low back as much to find the stomach.

  7. Andrea Maida
    Andrea Maida 8 years ago

    Sandy and John – this was a great video to watch – even my husband Joe was riveted. John you did a fantastic job. Sandy, Joe proclaimed you “fierce”! That’s old news to me…hee hee.

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Hi there you people in San Diego land! I would say it took some ferocity on John’s part to endure the challenges I gave him that day! Thanks for watching….

  8. ladyjane 8 years ago

    Well done John, that was impressive! You work very hard,and Sandy really pushed you to get the “juice” out of each exercise and keep you moving. great work!

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      I’m with you – being impressed with John, that is. Each body has its own potential for squeezing and it is so fun to be a part of the juice making!

  9. presspaws
    presspaws 8 years ago

    Wow, looks like Sandy was also getting a great workout there, I was exhausting watching her! 🙂

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Getting involved and giving Jay’s pulls and pushes is invigorating for the teacher rather than exhausting. It is active, forces me to be aware of my body and keeping it supported, and it gives the student so much more information to learn from. I felt just as pumped as John did when he was done!

      • arlene
        arlene 8 years ago

        Sandy, your pushing and pulling to assist John also reminded me of the physicality on the part of both practitioner and client when performing Thai Massage- which I understand you also practice. When done properly, the “dance” is beneficial for the both of you and it is invigorating rather than exhausting. Bravo, that was very inspiring Pilates- student and teacher!

Leave a reply