Is it “OK” to Fart in Pilates?

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I’ve been teaching Pilates classes for about six years now, and been a personal trainer for nearly eleven years, so in that time I have seen my fair share of funny fitness farts.
None more funny than the unsuspecting, unexpected and highly uncontrolled trump during a practically silent Pilates class!

Now this does happen, so don’t think that I am having a joke with you! And if you have even been to a pilates or yoga class, and experienced this, you will know, that although quite amusing, it generally passes by without too much of a big deal.
As an instructor, I know who dealt it, and as the dealer you know it’s on you, but most people kind of just look around a little bemused and a bit giggly, wondering who the hell popped the squeaky one out!

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I am not going to seek out the raspberry blower in front of the whole class and embarrass them, that is probably the quickest way to lose your class participants. Hell no, I love my little pilates family, and would be mortified if any of them felt to self-conscious to walk into the room.
But know this rumblers & squeakers, Trumpet blowers and power puffers, I know who you are!!!!

Farts can be funny! Let’s be honest!

It was only about a week or so ago that one of my class let rip, just as we were doing the double leg stretch, but it planted a little thought in my head…. this could make for a different kind of blog topic.
I mean I am always looking for inspiration on topics to discuss on the blog with you, and they are always so serious and factual…. so I thought, sod it, let’s do a slightly funnier topic that can still be a little bit factual.

So is it ok to Fart in Pilates?

Actually, farting is ok, it is a natural thing, and if you tell me you have NEVER ripped one out, then I know you are lying to me. But in terms if Pilates, it is actually quite useful for me as a teacher.

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The core engagement that we hold during pilates, should actually prevent you from accidentally letting slip a tushy toot.
So if I hear you trumping, I know that you have lost contact with your breathing and are bearing down on your pelvic floor and abdominal wall to complete the movement, rather than controlling your contraction.

Which could mean one of a few things, you are trying to hard and over-extending yourself beyond your capabilities. Or, that you have lost focus and concentration and are not performing the exercises safely or effectively. Which is REALLY important in any exercise, but especially in Pilates, and especially if you are attending to help relieve back pain.

Why Is It Important?

If you are over extending yourself and pushing your core beyond it’s capabilities, you may exacerbate existing weaknesses, or even develop a poor core stability. Especially, if your technique isn’t rectified, and you continue to over-extend the muscles.

Yeah, you can have a bit of a giggle about it, and let’s be honest, from time to time we all get a bit windy and20180302_0607407494959214602528045.jpg lose our concentration. But it can also be super embarrassing for the trumpeter if they are new to the class or a little self conscious already.

Luckily, all of my classes have a core group, and they are all incredibly friendly, so everyone knows each other and before and after class, there is a fair bit of banter and jibing. Half of my daytime class go out for coffee together, so there is a real comfortable atmosphere in the group.

And they make new members feel so welcome, they really are a wonderful bunch.

It does make me chuckle though, how a group of fully grown men and women feel uncomfortable at the mere mention of the pelvic floor and how we should be holding it. I liken it to when you are trying to stop yourself from wee-ing, as this is probably the most easily recognisable action of the Pelvic girdle.
Maybe its embarrassment, as all of my classes are mixed sex classes, I don’t know?!

I talk about it a lot…. Engage your pelvic floor, tilt your Pelvic floor, contract your pelvic floor, hold you pelvic floor. Breathe, breathe, breath…. I often wonder if participants are getting bored, as I must sound like a broke record at times.

But one thing we are taught as exercise professionals teaching group fitness, is never to single out, and name and shame any one participant for wrong-doing. But to take them to one side privately and talk to them about their technique.
Teach them properly and personally.
Unless of course, they are happy to discuss things openly with the group.
In which case, this can actually be quite helpful, as expanding the information & knowledge to the group will help everyone, although it is not a subject that we would bring up without cause.

Could you imagine that… “Hey everyone, thanks for coming. My name is Lesley and I will be teaching your Pilates class today. But before we start, I just want to talk about Davids rip roaring trump from last week!” 😳

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I’m not entirely sure how that would go?!

Anyway, many women suffer with weakened Pelvic floor muscles following natural child birth, and it is quite common for them to experience little trumps during certain contractions and movements.
But it is important, at some point, to overcome the awkwardness, and talk about breathing, pelvic contraction and core stabilisation.
Your technique may be slightly askew, and in which case, the exercises will not effectively aid you in your goals.

But, rest assured, once you have the technique sussed, voila – no more rear end rumbles.

When the Pressure makes you Fart!

It’s not just pilates either. Botty bumblers can occur at any time when excess force is places on the pelvic floor. A cough, a sneeze, a jump, a laugh…. they all can react the same. But just take note that this could be a sign that your muscles might not have the stability that you thought.

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Secondly, if you are controlling your core by pulling down too much and creating an incorrect pressure on to the abdomen and pelvic floor, then the likelihood of something “giving” will be increased – either your pelvic floor itself, or maybe even your back!

So listen to you body & your instructor!

Thanks for Reading 🙂

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