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Callanetics

nettycuzzio
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Callanetics
Callanetics is an exercise program that focuses on posture, by stretching and pulsing muscles.  Which is also based on the study of other cultures as well.  I broke out my dvds again.  Many of the exercises tell you to tuck your pelvis.  What is your opinion of callanetics?  Could one still do this program, modifying the exercises by not tucking the pelvis?  In any exercises that tell you to tuck your pelvis, would it be safe to modify it so you don't tuck?

Thanks for your input.
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Definitely modify the exercises so you don't tuck. Many exercise programs or trainers tell you to tuck the pelvis to flatten the lower back and prevent arching. You do indeed want to prevent arching (swaying back) but not by tucking the pelvis (see "rib anchor" and "inner corset" in 8 Steps to see how to avoid swaying in a healthy way). Also, keep the principles of the Gokhale Method in mind, modifying any exercise routine accordingly. For example, change out anything that involves rounding forward for hiphinging forward. Don't do anything that involved arching back from the lumbar spine. And make sure that your joints (knees, hips) are well-aligned as described in several chapters of the 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back book.

The advice I give my students who ask me about exercise routines is to choose something that they love doing, and just make sure to do it with good form.
nettycuzzio
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Thanks for the response.  I am glad I will be able to modify my program for I do see significant lift in certain areas when I do this program. 
Elena Vasileva
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Hi Esther,

I'm glad I found this topic, because I had recently a discussion with a couple of friends about tucking the pelvis. They were going to pregnancy yoga, where they were tought to tuck their pelvis. And even though my guidelines, based on the 8 steps how to stand and to walk, hepled immediately one of the girls to eliminate her sacroilliac pain, many of them said: But they tought is to tuck the pelvis, or I went to a gymnastics class and they tought me to tuck the pelvis using my ab muscles. (They gave this vidoe as an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJbFRQHzFtg) And I was dismayed to be honnest.

I don't think that I've ever tucked my pelvis, but this time I tried to tuck it just slightly, and not surprisingly, as a result, I couldn't squat, walk properly, or run. I think I couldn't even breathe properly.

So I'm actually wondering what is the idea behind tucking the pelvis in general, isn't it pretty obvious that it immobilizes the whole body a great deal?

LuckyPenne
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I taught Callanetics, and the tucking or curling of the pelvis serves as a modified crunch.  Everything is done in super slow motion to work the innermost muscles.  With the floor exercises, the curled pelvis, neck, and back are maintained while pulsing the arms to the side, similar to Pilates.  These exercises were developed by Callan Pinckney based on her classical ballet training.  She was incapacitated due to trekking around the world for many years carrying a 60 pound rucksack on her back.  This method of exercise prevented her from having to endure back surgery or the threat of being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life.  She did suffer from problems later on in life, however, and was unable to teach classes.  The long-term effects of this exercise may have been a factor in her back health down the line.  She passed away the year after I certified to teach.  I consulted with Esther about it and decided not to resume teaching the method.

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