In the last issue of Inner IDEA Body-Mind-Spirit Review, we asked “What has been the most dramatic physical transformation you have seen in a client? Here’s what you had to say.

“About 6 months ago I started training a client who had severe arthritis in her right hip, to the point where the hip was starting to deteriorate. When we first started working she had barely any rotation left in her hip and her upper back was curved forward. She had trouble walking up stairs, leaned slightly to the right from having the hip hitched up into her back, and hip flexion was almost non-existent. When we began working I focused on strengthening her abdominals and really teaching her how to let go of her hip flexors. From there, I began doing exercises that helped to stretch the hip and use the hamstrings. Then we went to the upper body and strengthened the upper trapezius and latissimus dorsi

“I wish I had taken before and after shots of this woman because the transformation I have seen is amazing. She can now stand straight with no upper curve in her back or leaning. She has gained rotation back in her hip and she can go up stairs without severe pain. She has learned to work from her hamstrings as opposed to her hip flexors and quadriceps and her hip flexion has increased and well the flexibility in her back. You should see her back extension exercise on the trapeze table! My client says that the severity of her pain has lessened three-quarters from what is was before we started. I teach her 3-4 times a week at 7 am. She is a joy to teach and I love every minute of our hour.”

— Danielle Conner, Las Vegas

“In the Pilates class I teach at a navy base, I mostly deal with clients who run, lift weights and do calisthenics. Many consider Pilates a ‘slow-burn core workout,’ in which they can perfect their form and work slowly through their entire range of motion on the major joints. They can take the time to really connect with their body and their breath, and task their muscles in new ways. I also spend time on flexibility training at the end of each class, which most of them don’t get otherwise.

“Last year, one 30-something lady began to attend. I noticed that she was very committed and focused, and worked hard on correct form and breathing patterns. She was also in training for the Chicago half-marathon. After about 12 weeks of consistent Pilates practice twice a week, she came to me and excitedly told me that Pilates had shaved two minutes off her running time!

“I asked her if she understood why, and she said it was because Pilates had improved her posture and core support, and made her more aware of her body and her breath. I was so proud of her, and pleased to have a ‘live’ example of how Pilates can be an excellent form of cross-training.”

Peggy Bayless, Great Lakes Navy Base, Illinois