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Member Success Story

Retired Veteran Beats Back Pain With Pilates

Meet Club Pilates Helotes member, Ray! Ray is a healthy 58 year old, retired Navy veteran, and Pilates lover.  Before his current role as a software engineer, he was very active growing up in Texas, where he participated in many triathlons and 10K races. He enlisted in the Navy in 1987 and retired 20 years later. 

10 years after retiring from the Navy, he was injured in an automobile incident.

Seeking to ease his chronic back pain, Ray followed his wife into Club Pilates Helotes location to take an introductory class. It wasn't long before he decided to become a member and take as many classes as his schedule and body allowed!

Ray prefers morning classes, and always says he feels so much better after his morning sessions. "I stand a little taller. The core muscle workouts have helped tremendously with my back pain."

One thing even he found to be a shock about Pilates? His dedication to it!

"One thing that has happened is that I am consistent with my Pilates sessions.  I used to do Cross Fit training and walk on the treadmill, but the wear and tear my body has experienced prevents me from being consistent.  Pilates is easier on the body."

Ray has become a massive advocate to friends and family alike for Pilates for rehabilitation. "If you are recovering from chronic injuries or pain, Pilates may be the solution you are looking for," he commented.

Ray demonstrated some of his preferred exercises here:


Set up- Sit at the center of the mat with your feet to the corners/outside edge to open your hips. Flex your ankles back and stretch out through your heels. For tight hamstrings, try propping a yoga block to sit on to relax your psoas and hip flexors. Inhale, siting up tall with your arms out to a “T”, exhale as you twist through your rib cage reaching your front hand towards your opposite foot while the other arm reaches behind. Inhale to stack your vertebrae up and return your arms back to “T”. Exhale, and repeat on the other side. Alternate sides and do 10 reps. 


Set up - Lay face down on your mat with your arms extended to the corners and your legs extended, feet together. Anchor your hips and zip up your abdominals while lifting your right arm and left leg at the same time. Make sure to focus on lengthening in opposition through your fingertips and toes. Lower your arm and leg at the same time and switch, lifting your left arm and right leg at the same time. To progress this exercise, float both arms and legs off the mat and paddle the arms and legs at a faster tempo. Perform 20 reps. 

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