Pilates Vlog: Joe and the Small Barrel

a fairy tale…

Remember Joe?

Pilates Vlog: Joe and the Small Barrel

By now you've seen him grace many a Pilates vlog of mine. He does a good job, he's a good sport and he's got a lovely sense of humor about his Pilates workout. Read more about his workout here.

He also professes to do only the Mat.

Which is mostly true…

Don't get too excited, only in my dreams does he beg me to teach him a Reformer exercise.

But he does use the Cadillac. He enjoys Leg Springs, Arm Springs and as you all saw, Rolling Back.

More recently, however, he's become a fan of the Small Barrel.

Pilates Vlog: Joe and the Small Barrel

I know, the small round apparatus… SO CUTE!

Battling the Computer Slump

It came to pass one day, after Joe had completed his Mat exercises, that I suggested he add some stretching over the barrel to his routine. For over a year now Joe has been in school for web design. Since that time, he's logged countless hours slumping sitting in front of his computer.

Hence my subtle suggestion.

“Stretch over the Barrel” (the Ladder Barrel I was thinking).

Now please keep in mind, if he were my client, I would have never decided to begin his barrel career with a Backbend on the Ladder Barrel…he also wouldn't exclusively be doing the Mat…etc…you know how this goes…

Joe is quite flexible (not quite loosey-goosey, but darn close) especially bending forward (my 1st clue) and he is not short.

And he's my husband, he does the full advanced Mat, and in the spirit of totally trying to look the other way and not pick-pick-pick his entire workout…blah blah disclaimer, blah…

This was indeed a day for learning.

Goldilocks and the Three Barrels

One second of beginning to lie back over the Ladder Barrel made Joe groan and abort.

“Whoa, that's hard…”

Okay, let's get the Spine Corrector…Joe sits on the step and tries again.

“No. I think it's too much here too…” Ix-nay on the Ine-spay Orrector-cay…

Small Barrel? For a man? That is not stiff?? (or so I thought) Well, one barrel left to try – let's give it a go.

“Oh yeah, this is doable…

Not ‘fine', not ‘good' but possible. And quite hard work for him, even now. The Small Barrel (we did a few Arm Circles only) was a good challenge for him.


Small Barrel. For a man. That evidently cannot bend backward nearly as easily as he can bend forward…

Yup. Now I get it.


Paying it Forward

I notice that with each workout Joe includes the Small Barrel.

He clearly sees the value, or moreover, feels the value of Small Barrel exercises in his body. He speaks of seeing various body types of older men, 20 or 30 years his senior, some of which have a hunched forward posture.

Joe sees the Small Barrel as his #1 way to remain upright for a lifetime.

The Vlog

In this short video Joe does 3 exercises on the Small Barrel:

  • arm circles – using 1 pound weights (he sometimes uses 2 pound weights)
  • one arm up/one arm down – using the weights
  • breathing (using a light pole)

Thanks so much for watching!

Related videos to combat the computer slump:

Computer Refresher 

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  1. Enjoyed observing Joe on the small barrel.
    Is Joe the victim of Andrea’s Pilates – He is a Gentleman!

    • Colin 🙂
      You are funny – yes, Joe seems very well to be my willing victim…and yes, he is quite the gentleman. Thank you so much for watching/reading and sharing your lovely comments! Cheers to you!

  2. Great video Andrea and what a good sport Joe is! I couldn’t tell at times, but was Joe’s head always resting on the barrel?

    • Josie,

      Hi there – thanks for watching and for sharing your question – you have a good eye!

      So at the beginning Joe’s head is not touching the barrel right now – however as he moves through the exercise and gets more stretch and opening in his back his head gets onto the mat for a bit. As he continues to do the exercise – over time – he will get to the point where his head will probably be on the Barrel throughout the exercise and he may even do the exercises on the Spine Corrector for a greater challenge and range of motion. Does that answer your question?
      And thanks again for being the awesome Pilates person that you are ! Cheers!

      • Thanks Andrea – that’s really helpful, thanks so much. You guys totally rock and I love your blog – sorry I didn’t get chance to really speak with you this year at Amy’s convention, hopefully next time! 🙂

        • Thanks YOU Josie for the kind words on the blog – it is so inspiring and motivational to me – and yes, we need to get some quality time in the UK together 🙂 Def in 2015!

      • Marta Martinez says

        Hi,thanks a lot for this video,I really loved these exercises and learnt a lot.The only think is also a question about his head,I understand the reasons that you’ve explained but unyway I feel some kind of desire to put a small pad or towell under.
        And sorry about my english!
        Very good video

        • Marta,
          Thanks so much for watching and for sharing your questions and comments.

          Yes, there are times when Joe’s head is not on the Barrel, I understand. For him in particular, he is not in pain, and does not have a neck issue. These exercises use gravity (nothing under the head) to correct the back position. If Joe were to have a pad or pillow under his head it would create the same posture that we are wanting the exercises to correct. I am not saying that there are not extreme cases where one would need extra support. And sometimes yes, it looks not so pretty and I ask people if they are okay and usually they are. If they are not, well we have lots of other exercises to do instead 🙂

          Thanks again for your kind words about the blog!

  3. Hello Funny Lady,
    I always learn something new from watching and listening to you. Keep up your great work, and thank you:)

    • Awww.. hello there, my far away friend. Thank you so much for your sweet words here. Really lovely to hear from you. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. And I know you are still killing it in your studio 🙂 Cheers to you!

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