The Cadillac of Apparatus

Swan on the Cadillac

Welcome new subscribers!

Thanks for joining me on the wonderful journey that is the Pilates Method of Exercise.

The reinvigorating of my personal Pilates workout – fewer distractions and more time for daily workouts – has been a true silver lining of this year at home.

And my new plant friends.

The green healing color, as well as learning about their care and feeding, has helped me to stay calm and roll on…while I Roll Up and Roll Over.

Our current stay-at-home orders in California also give me plenty of time to commune with my Cadillac.

And it's just a couple of weeks before the start of my January workshop: The Cadillac Project!!

There are just a couple of spots left (Don't worry you can still snag your spot here).

And if you thought The Wunda Chair Project was fun…

Oh, the places we'll go!

I've been sprucing up my outline and reviewing the myriad of exercises Joe created for one of his most impressive apparatus, the Cadillac.

What a sh** ton of exercises!!

Also lots of moments when I think hmmm… that is interesting. It's made me look at the apparatus itself with new eyes.

Over the next 2-ish weeks I'll be sharing a few tidbits to tide you over until January.

Exercise Relationships

By now you've surely heard someone (or me) say “Pilates is a system” or even “Trust the Work.”

And your quest, should you choose to accept it, is to apply the Pilates System – the body of work that is the Pilates Method – to yourself and/or the body in front of you.

No prob.

It's so easy to say, right?

For this reason, it's helpful to notice and seek out the relationships between exercises.

We've only got one exercise and countless variations. Often you find yourself in a familiar place or position only to “suddenly” discover that you've been here before…

Pilates Confession #296

Shoulder Roll Down on the Cadillac

For the last few years, I've been working diligently to rid myself of a bad movement habit.

My habit really shows up in a particular group of exercises that requires the same skill despite having a different level of support, a different relationship to gravity, and/or a different apparatus.

Here's my exercise relationship du jour:

  • Reformer: Long Back Stretch, Short Spine Massage, Semi Circle, High Frog
  • Mat: High Scissors and High Bicycle
  • Cadillac: Airplane, Leg Springs in the Air, Tower, Shoulder Roll Down (Sari)

And I'll probably find a whole lot more of them.

Lifting up the entire back of the body with integrity is one label we could use for this skill.

I also think sometimes it's hard as humans to imagine that the lower body begins somewhere higher up than our hips and legs…

What other similarities do you see in my list?

Pop a comment down below and add to my list, I'd love to know.

Up on the YouTube!

Thank you so much for your kind words and great feedback on my YouTube channel.

I've just surpassed 6K subscribers and I can't thank you enough for watching!

More videos will be coming your way soon. Please let me know if you've got Pilates topics or Pilates exercise requests. I love them!

Recently, I thank you for bringing to my attention all the mid-roll ads you ran into while trying to work out with my videos. I've since taken care of the problem. You should no longer be pelted with ads in the middle of my videos – you will still see advertisements at the beginning and the end of the videos.

Thanks for your patience – and thanks for subscribing 🙂

Recent videos you may have missed:

  • If you're a twisted sister too, check out my “Scissors workouts” here, and here for a ton of 1-sided fun.
  • And here's a fun Wunda Workout where I try to never get off the Wunda Chair until the end!
  • Also check out this Cadillac workout for a preview of my January Workshop: The Cadillac Project.

Join me in January for The Cadillac Project.

Reserve your spot today.

Happy Holidays!

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  1. Hey Andrea – I have used this pandemic time to get both my hips replaced in July and October. I am able to do the mat now and walking well. Wondering about leg springs and feet in straps – I heard that those could dislocate a hip replacement. Do you have any knowledge of this or experience with hip replacement clients?

    • Hi Linda,
      Thanks so much for reading and for sharing your hip replacement experience and question here with us. I congratulate you on your recovery and your return to the Mat. I have worked with several clients who have had 1 or both hips replaced. Even though the various people have similarities in that they have a hip replacement, my particular clients were also all very different as far as how the hip replacement translated into their Pilates workout. I followed all the protocols when they were first returning to their workouts post replacement – in some individuals, I didn’t deviate very far from the initial post-surgery protocols as a couple of my clients were prone to dislocation – there were no hips dislocated on my watch FYI… With regard to the leg spring series – and using springs – remember they have to get into the springs – and depending on the individual this may be easy or complicated. The transitioning in and out of exercises may be where the possibility of dislocation could occur. I have found the leg springs to be very effective with the clients I have who have had hip replacement, they can be quite supported in these kinds of exercises for example on the Cadillac. I hope this helps to answer your question 🙂

  2. Love your posts and your fresh cheeky perspective! It was you who turned me onto Pilatesology for a free 30 day trial. It was because of that trial period and falling in love with all that Pilatesology has to offer that I began loving mat at home, since I could no longer go to a studio because of Covid. And it was because of all this I pursued my love of Pilates and got certified as a comprehensive instructor and am now teaching at a local studio. SO…..THANK YOU ANDREA!!! From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!!! Now my question for you….can you point me in the direction of a resource for creative cues? Whether it’s you, a book, or another Avenue? Please feel free to email me directly! Again, heartfelt thank you! I use to live in Coronado, and all over southern Ca….Carlsbad, Old Town, etc etc I ❤ Solana Beach!

    • Hello there !
      Wow thank you so much for sharing your story with me and congrats on your comprehensive certification! I am so excited by your Pilates journey. Thank you for reading and for sharing your question here with me.
      Okay, your question is a very good one – but you may not like my answer… so here goes:
      When I present workshops and travel to studios to teach, I am often told that my ‘cues’ or how I describe or correct an exercise (i am not so fond of the word cue – read this blogpost for more on that – are helpful to people.
      The main source of my verbiage regarding the Pilates exercises is the experience of my own workout of repeatedly doing the exercises. This gives me so much insight and experience of them in the body. And as a new teacher my experience of the exercises was the main skill I had. Lots of teaching experience gives you practice in whether how and what you say is effective, but I have found that sharing my experience of the work in my own body leads to having meaningful things to say to others. Also taking classes to hear the language of others is helpful, but I find that I must digest their information into my own experience rather than trying to inhabit another person’s language.
      Does this make sense? You’ll also gravitate toward other teacher’s expressions of the exercises based on how effective it resonates in your body, but you still would probably describe it differently.
      Solana Beach is so lovely – this is the first year I have not traveled for Christmas, so that has been one boon of 2020. Solana Beach for the holidays! Thank you so much for reaching out here and I hope someday our Pilates paths will cross in person 🙂 xox

      • Andrea Wilson says

        Thank you for this! I couldn’t agree more that experience in my own body gives clarity to my instruction….it helps immensely to hear from you that, that is true for you too! Inspiration for me to continue my own practice, with other instructors and taking my own classes…LOL. Sometimes I jump on the apparatus for just a few repetitions to see how my plan unfolds but not thru the entire workout, but if I take my own class all the way through I see (what you’re saying) is to feel it is to teach it better. I appreciate that advice very much! Thank you JP and thank you Andrea!

        • Hey there –
          All this sounds amazing and thanks again for your kind words 🙂 I find too that describing the exercises based on how you understand them in your body will help you to use simple words and to really sound like a real person without so many fancy Pilates words that sometimes make people go wha??? For example, I have done the Roll Up like a million times and as I get better I have better and better things to say about the exercise. Have an awesome 2021!! xo

  3. Mary Beth Mahoney says

    Happy Christmas Andrea & Joe. I just did a search for 2×4 to put on my gift wish list and found the video of the two of you working side-by-side. Wishing you all the best! Mary Beth

  4. Happy Holidays, Andrea. As usual, your post is funny and thought-provoking. Looking at the list of exercises that you listed as habit-forming, I can weigh in with my own experience. These exercises require us to release our beloved hip flexors, for a moment or for the entire exercise. Although this pops up throughout the System, these exercises are particularly challenging because there is no faking it. They literally don’t happen unless we open up our front body and tap into our often neglected back body. Hello, teaching via Zoom for months!

    • Hi Lisa,
      Thanks so much for reading and for sharing your experience here. Yes, there is no faking it – and it takes real conscious control at the moment to remember there are muscles on the back of me LOL It’s amazing the possibilities that open up when I can deploy the entire back of my body. Even in another exercise not in this category – the Leg Pull and Control Push Up – my body needs to learn there’s a whole system that can hold me up better than a leg ha ha
      Zoom is teaching us things I know!! Have a wonderful new year 🙂 xo

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