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What's up with PBS???

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  • What's up with PBS???

    Originally posted by Lannette 06-04-2003, 11:52 PM

    I’m going to start this thread with a few thoughts on PBS and I hope that people will then feel free to add to my thoughts and share PBS A-HA moments. (Please realize that for me, a few thoughts can rapidly turn into a few pages.)<img src=icon_smile_evil.gif border=0 align=middle>

    I think the thing that most amazes me about PBS is how versatile it is. Can you think of another exercise movement that takes 3-5 minutes to complete, can be used as a warm-up or a cool-down, is great to get you going when you’re tired, can also relax you when you’re keyed up and will help you reverse the postural changes of aging while you’re achieving all the fore mentioned things? (Also can you think of anyone who can write a longer run-on sentence than me?? )<img src=icon_smile_wink.gif border=0 align=middle>

    I think of PBS as a self-contained form lesson. To perfect PBS is to gain a better understanding of all of the T-Tapp movements because as you move through the workout you will see the concepts set forth in PBS repeated over and over again.

    Every time you do PBS you have a fresh opportunity to explore the concepts of linear alignment and enhanced neuro-kinetic flow as well as lymphatic drainage. Yet how often do we rush through it anxious to get to the “more advanced” movements. If you ever feel as though you can’t get in touch with your form my suggestion is to get out your instructionals and review but let that review start with an exploration of PBS.

    I pretty much talked about KLT in my other posts but what strikes me about it is the fact that it provides such a wonderful base for what goes on above and that it activates so many muscles simultaneously when done correctly.

    A few common form snafus? Be sure your feet are hipbone width apart. Try to locate your hipbones if you can but if you can’t you can stand one foot length apart by standing on your left foot with toes straight ahead and turning the right foot out ballet style against the arch of the left foot, Now pivot that right foot on the toe into KLT stance. One caveat, if you have feet that are small for your height or long for your height you could be off but in general this will get you ball park hipbone width.

    Be sure your toes are straight, do not, I repeat, do not trust this to feel. Look down and check and after you roll up the first time, check again. Almost everyone has a weaker and stronger side and the weaker foot will tend to turn out without you being aware of it. Checking often allows you to put it back in alignment and this in turn will help you strengthen it.

    There are tons of other form tips for lower body and I won’t go into them because I’m sure people will touch on them with their A-HA moments.

    Getting into PBS

    So now you are standing hip bone width apart, feet straight ahead, bend your knees, tuck your bottom and press knees out to little toes. With hands at sides and palms forward roll shoulders back and down and if you care to I usually have people lightly clasp their hands behind their back with palms facing back and roll their shoulders back and down while they lightly pull their hands down in order to pull the shoulders back and directly over the hips.

    Be sure when you put your hands on your hips you press your thumbs into your back as this will help you really take those elbows to the ceiling. Think of connecting your lats (the big back muscles on the sides of your back.) You can find them if you inhale and then exhale and completely thinking of pulling your shoulder blades together and down at the same time. (When you get really good at this you’ll also feel your upper/middle back muscles when you do this.)

    Flat Back

    When you bend forward think of hinging from the hips rather than bending forward using your back. If you sink too far back into your heels you'll lose some of the butt contraction so imagine that you're being pulled forward from the top of your head like traction and keep your head as an extension of your back and shoulders. Reach those elbows to the ceiling and don't let your tummy drop forward. Pull it up and in. I can't stress how much a mirror can help you with this. I have three narrow door mirrors I can position as needed to check my own form.

    Lymphatic flow and bending and straightening knees

    When you straighten your knees you are also stretching your hamstrings. Tight hamstrings are very common and can play a part in both lower back and knee pain. You also have lymph nodes behind each knee and alternately bending and straightening the knees works to pump these nodes. If you can reach back and poke your calf as you straighten your knees you will notices that it also tightens. The calf is the "heart" of the lymph system and tightening and relaxing the calf muscles is like a "heart beat" sending lymph moving along. Hint: if you have trouble keeping your hips level try thinking of straightening "back" rather than "up". Just take care not to jam the knee.

    Arching and scooping the back

    This is a feel good movement with a purpose.
    Arching and scooping decreases internal resistance and friction (reducing spinal viscosity).

    Head rocks

    The average head weighs about 15 pounds so head rocks literally use the weighted-traction of the head to decompress the spine. Your hands braced against your shins with elbows forward stabilize your shoulders in order to make this move safe. Hint: don't pull your entire upper body forward and back but think of hanging in a relaxed manner with elbows forward and hands on shins and let your head bob or loosely swing forward and back. If you start the motion and stay relaxed it will swing easily.

    Roll ups

    When you roll up think of making your hands heavy with palms forward so that you roll up one vertabra at a time like you're stacking pearls. Pulling down in resistance as you roll up will give you a wonderful mini-massage of the spine. Think of rolling up with shoulders coming up next to last and head last and stack those shoulders right over the hips.

    Shoulder rolls and arm clasp

    When rolling shoulders aim for a full range of motion roll. Really explore every inch of movement you have in your shoulders and keep those palms forward as this keeps the shoulders from rolling inward. Before going into the handclasp roll your shoulders up, back and down. This allows the shoulders to open more easily and safely than simply pulling them toward the back. It also stabilizes the shoulders so you can safely perform the head movements.

    Your chest and armpit areas are rich reservoirs of lymphatic tissue. Opening the chest not only reverses the tendency to slump forward as we age but "puts the squeeze" on the lymphatic tissue in these areas. Arm pumps do the same thing.

    Interesting side note to weight trainers. Because we are taught not to ever lock out joints when we weight train it's possible to lose a decent amount of range of motion in the elbow area. I had lost quite a bit especially on the right side for some reason. I honestly didn't think it was possible for me to gain it back but over several years it's almost back!

    I'm going to leave it at that for now and let everyone else share tips and A-HA moments. Give us your thoughts on how you use this movement and anything else you feel like sharing. Next time you do a workout take time to work your way through PBS and you may be surprised at what you turn up.
    Last edited by Forum Angel; 03-20-2016, 06:15 PM.

  • #2
    tofucheesecake 05-11-2005, 03:03 AM

    I have a question - does anyone else find it virtually impossible to tuck their buns and keep a flat back at the same time? I absolutely cannot figure out how to do both. The only way I can keep my back from being arched is to untuck, which I think is losing me a lot of benefit in all of the flat backed moves such as this. Any ideas/tips/tricks?

    brngckn 05-11-2005, 03:10 AM


    You actually do not tuck when in flat back. Rather, you keep the backside tight, tight, tight and push the tush into the air until you feel a stretch in the hamstrings. Knees are, of course, bent and out to little toe. Pull belly button to spine, and keep those lats engaged, pulling the shoulders back and down toward the waist.

    T-Tapp Trainer, Houston

    Katiana 05-22-2005, 09:04 PM

    When should you feel the tingle in the arms during PBS? Depending on how far I am pushing myself I feel it a different times and I was just wondering if there is a time during the sequence that you should be feeling the tingle.

    Hope that makes sense.


    NeonJungle 10-09-2007, 12:14 AM

    I absolutely believe in PBS! I was so skeptical about TTapp to begin with and read everything I could get my hands on before giving it a go this past spring, and now I'm a convert. I've posted this elsewhere, but did want to put it in the PBS thread.

    I tweaked a nerve doing a rebounder workout, and had some numbness in my right calf. My doctor sent me for a doppler scan thing to rule out a clot, and there wasn't one. She said that if the condition didn't improve, I'd need to go for evaluation to make sure it wasn't a problem with a disc sitting on a nerve. I didn't, just lived with it for a while, because I wasn't keen on more evaluations and possible back surgery.

    Within a few weeks of doing TTapp, mostly BWO with some TWO in there, the numbness was *gone.* All that changed was what I was doing for exercise workouts and getting a new pair of shoes.

    I'm convinced it was PBS and TTapp Twist.


    Fadaigum 03-03-2009, 07:25 AM

    Would PBS strengthen the lower back and help improve lower back pain?

    When I do PBS, the bending down and then straighten left/right leg movements, except feeling both legs tired, I don't feel I am using any other muscles.

    bnc 03-03-2009, 10:09 PM

    Until I began doing PBS everyday, I would wake up every morning with hideous lower back pain and sciatica pain. Interestingly, I just read a report in a health magazine on the importance of stretching your hamstrings and calves for helping with back pain. The straighten and release parts of PBS totally do this. My dad uses the yoga movement "downward facing dog" to alleviate his lower back pain, which is also a calf/ham string stretching move. Also I've found that if I really pull my hands forward during the reach part, I get a greater stretch all over my back. So even though your legs are tired, I think as long as you keep KLT and don't pop your hip (you don't have to straighten all the way), you should feel some pain relief.

    Tracey 03-03-2009, 11:01 PM

    If you find you can straighten your leg during PBS try pushing out KLT even more and you will find you can't completely straighten and you get a deeper stretch. Also, as you reach forward as far as you can also think resistence the other way by locking lats. I learned these things from doing video reviews with trainers. REally makes a difference.

    Fadaigum 03-04-2009, 09:03 AM

    bnc, this is very interesting to know that stretching hamstrings and calves can help with back pain, thanks for telling me So, now after doing T-tapp, your back pain and sciatica improves?

    For the reach, you mean reach out like diving? In this movement I feel only my upper back being stretched.

    Tracey, pushing out KLT means pushing out knees more? If so, I did. But the more I push out my knee, the more I feel tired in my calf.

    But then if as what is said by bnc stretching hamstrings and calves help the back pain, I will be more patience to see the result.

    So, does anyone feeling lower back being stretched during PBS? Or, in fact no need stretching lower back to strengthen the lower back?

    brngckn 03-04-2009, 09:47 AM

    Fadaigum - be sure that on PBS "dive" you are not only reaching away with the wrists, but also tucking hard (hips should be forward under shoulders, not behind shoulders).

    Kirsten, the Travelin', Flyin' & Hoopin' T-Tapp Trainer from TX
    Master Trainer/Trainer Mentor, MBA

    bnc 03-04-2009, 10:18 PM

    Fadaigum- yes, since committing myself over the past 1.5 months now to T-Tapping regularly (which for me means at least getting in BWO+ daily) I have had my back pain and sciatic pain gradually disappear. I don't believe it was PBS by its self, (although it is a marvelous way to begin and end the day!) but the use of all the BWO+ moves that have strengthened and stretched my muscles over this period. Because our bodies are not made up of isolated parts, what we do to one area effects the others. Thankfully T-Tapp puts all of them to work for you (skeletal, muscular, lymphatic, etc.) to help your whole body become stronger and healthier. So don't be discouraged if you are not feeling your lower back muscles stretch out during PBS- do the whole workout in the best form you can on a regular basis and, IMHO, you should start to feel some relief. It wasn't until I read your posting and thought about it that I realized its been at least 2 weeks since my last bout of hideous morning back pain. Go T-Tapp!

    Blissful 03-08-2009, 09:47 AM

    Originally posted by brngckn
    Fadaigum - be sure that on PBS "dive" you are not only reaching away with the wrists, but also tucking hard (hips should be forward under shoulders, not behind shoulders).

    total aha moment for me on this! I've always felt a nice stretch in the dive part but now realize my hips have probably been more behind my shoulders not under them. Boy when I tried it the correct way I think I gained another inch (in addition to the one I've already gained ) in height! thanks for the great form tip

    nanburr 10-26-2009, 10:31 PM

    Excellent reminder about the hips being under instead of behind the shoulders! I'd better watch that!

    Just another plug for PBS: It is wonderful for avoiding headaches! I think part of my being prone to headaches has to do with being sway-backed (tending to short torso, too). Those muscles in the lower back get tight, but the hamstrings and calves are all connected. Stretching the LEGS in PBS, as well as the lower back, really staves off my headaches! I hardly ever have them anymore!


    NewTtapper 02-20-2011, 10:49 PM

    Experience with PBS

    I never feel like my back is flat enough...although I had my husband check and he said it is!

    I also feel very inflexible when I have to straighten one leg and then the other...which I assume will get easier with time.

    Also I notice when I am doing the neck movements that I really feel the lymph glands near my throat...they kinda hurt a little...I have to assume it is because PBS is draining my lymph's...?

    I never feel like I am doing the head bobbing part correctly....also due to feeling very inflexible!

    Still I am encouraged to keep trying and working on my form

    (I met Teresa Tapp this past Friday in was very encouraging to be around hear a bit of her evident vast knowledge. She looks amazing from her skin to her body so it makes me that much more eager to learn all she know and employ it to my own life!)

    Tamra 02-21-2011, 01:14 AM

    A good idea is to try and do PBS in front of the mirror. Do it for a while to ensure your back is really flat and with time your muscles will remember the feeling.

    It is OK that you cannot straighten the leg which will come later when your flexibility increases. Now, the main thing is to ensure you do not tilt.

    When you do the head movement, make sure your your shoulders are down, elbows are up (to the best of your ability) and the butt is tucked. This is very protective to your spine.

    PS Teresa looks gorgeous and she is amazingly knowledgeable person.

    CanadianDiane 08-12-2011, 10:04 PM

    When doing PBS, I noticed on one of the tapes that when Theresa straightens one of her legs, the other heal lifts up. Is that how the hips stay straight?

    BlessedMama 08-12-2011, 10:10 PM

    Yes, Diane, that is a way to keep the hips level. It can still be a coordination effort, though!
    Last edited by Forum Angel; 03-20-2016, 05:26 PM.


    • #3
      lilreddgirl 09-04-2011, 10:49 AM

      Arch Scoop and Dive Form

      Someone mentioned that to get proper PBS form, we want to tuck hips under shoulders during Arch and the Diving Arms part. I'm looking at my BWO+ and it definitely looks like her shoulders are in front of hips, especially when she's 'Diving.'

      It's definitely a different feel and I felt much more of a stretch along spine when I was 'diving' forward than trying to make sure shoulders are above hips.

      Any thoughts? Does Teresa actually have he shoulders over hips and in BWO+ ?

      lilreddgirl 09-05-2011, 08:07 PM

      ok I tried it some more ladies and I can see how it's possible to tuck under shoulders while 'diving' and still 'feel it' across the spine

      Perhaps Teresa just looks like she has her shoulders in front in the BWO+ because of camera angle (front view, no side shots)

      congrats to me for doing PBS daily and sometimes twice a day the past - over a wek ! - this has been the most consistent I've *EVER* been and it feels so much easier than usual... i have melted my resistance ... i feel blessed!

      and i feel so much better at the computer (no unbalanced shoulders) and... this is great ... am able to "drop it low" on dance moves and hold myself up with my thighs! no toppling !! so awesome

      Herbwifemama 12-01-2011, 10:45 PM

      When we have to clasp our hands behind our back, I can't make my palms touch. I think this is just my really bad inflexibility of upper body, but will PBS help with that over time, am I not doing it right, is there a way to modify it, or should I try some other stretching exercises?

      BlessedMama 12-01-2011, 11:32 PM

      Herbwifemama, you can do PBS with a towel to help with flexibility. Having at least the heels of the palms touch is important for proper alignment.

      Do you have BWO+ only? I think the tweak for the towel is on MORE, at the end of TWO, and in LadyBug.

      This isn't PBS, but a good tip with the towel:

      You can use that tip with the towel behind. You want wrists in alignment with shoulders, so not too far out on the towel, nor too far in.

      First thumbs will point towards one another, then twist thumbs towards your buns. R thumb goes clockwise, L goes counter-clockwise. That might be all the farther you can go. If you can, try to twist thumbs to the side walls. You are still initiating this movement in the upper arms/upper back area, NOT the elbows or wrists. This will open up your pecs, even if all the farther you can go are your buns!

      Not sure if that is adequate to describe it--it would be better if you can view it on the dvds. I think somewhere here a trainer shared tips. I'll see if I can find them!


      BlessedMama 12-01-2011, 11:47 PM

      Found this from an old post on modifications for Rotator cuff issues--this is from the Must Read Threads:

      Primary Back Stretch:

      You can do Primary Back Stretch, however, you should use a towel form the arm pumps.

      How to do arm pumps with a towel:

      When doing the arm pumps on Primary Back Stretch normally the most important thing is to make sure that your palms are touching all the way and the thumbs are aligned. However, when you have a rotator cuff issue, clasping the hands in the back is too much of a rotation for the shoulder. Do avoid any irritation try getting into the T-Tapp Stance and grasp the towel behind your back with your hands about shoulder distance apart. Your thumbs should be facing in towards each other. Now, you will rotate the thumbs out towards the sidewalls as much as you can. This will make your shoulders rotate back and the elbows in. It might not be comfortable at first, but it is a form of physical therapy and helps to increase flexibility. MAKE SURE THAT YOU DON’T LET THE WRISTS ROLL IN. Keep the wrists straight as you rotate the thumbs so that you maintain linear alignment of the wrist to elbow.

      Also during Primary Back Stretch make sure that when you go into a flat back that you push with the thumb into your back. There are form tips given in more advanced workouts that will want you to push with the heel of the hand. When you have a rotator cuff issue it is more beneficial for you to push the thumb into the back.

      (Link: )


      truly blessed 04-03-2012, 07:43 AM

      When I use the towel and do the rotation part, I can't hold it. So I "cheat." I hold the shoulder/arm/hand position, release the towel and grab it so it isn't "rolled" one hand at a time, so my thumbs face each other. Shoulders are still well back. This way I can't "release" the tension of the towel, unrolling it as i were. Is this okay??? Or any suggestions?

      ayj67 04-03-2012, 10:20 AM


      There is another arm position on Total Superslow that you don't need to hold the palms or towel.

      Roll you shoulder standing T-Tapp Stance, arms down and lift side way like 30% from the body, loosely hold thumb up, and turn from shoulder joint so that the thumbs are pointing to the side wall then to back wall and lats tight. Now lat tight, ribs up, butt tight, KLT and lift the arms to the backwall and pump. Shoulder blade is still pressed in, you are still pumping lymph, shoulders rotated out and pecs open.

      truly blessed 04-03-2012, 11:30 AM

      Oh, wow, thanks for this tidbit, Ayj! I'll try it out later today when I do my routine. I just copied and pasted your words into my PBS file!

      I'm wondering if the shoulders need to be fairly strong to keep the hands the same distance apart while pumping?

      ayj67 04-03-2012, 11:40 AM


      Without claspings the hand, the length of you arms down not affect your shoulder rotation, you can rotate your shoulder out to as much as you flexibility allows (rotate as much as you can without pain, don't forget ribs up shoulders down, lats tight when turning), this is actually the most comfortable way for me, as I have board shoulder and short arms. The short length does not really allow straight arms elbows twist without strains on my wrist. I have hidden carpal tunnel and I tend to over do with towels.

      ireneg 04-03-2012, 01:40 PM

      My back hurts if I stick my butt up in the air so I just try to keep level. I can't arch it without pain (I do have some slight sciliosis). Am I doing something wrong?

      ayj67 04-03-2012, 02:44 PM


      Are you talking about flat back? If you have back pain, during arching back, you actually elongate the space between the ribs and hip, and pull navel to the spine and press the spine straight and tighten glutes. Your flat back is truely flat as a straight line from T-1 to L5, see if that helps. Yes, look at the mirror.

      This flattening the spine/lats tight is an advanced move, you need it for your pain management. It is shown on the more advanced DVD like Total Superslow, this straight spine/no kidney bean/tighten lats/stacking really feels good if you have back pain.

      homefire 04-04-2012, 10:49 AM

      PBS is my very favorite move in all of T-Tapp. I credit it (the neck roll part) with ending my horrible migraines, and when I get lazy and don't do it for a few days, I nearly always get a headache. It's painful to do it with my nasty neck issues, but it FAR better than the headaches, and will actually help to relieve one better than painkillers.

      The first part, where you straighten legs during flat back, is ABSOLUTELY THE BEST way to eliminate lower back pain EVER. I used to have constant pain when I stood for any length of time, but the past few years I have no problem. It's the most complete cure I've ever seen. I am constantly reminding my husband to do it when he hurts, but unfortunately that's the ONLY time he does it. :-/ He knows it works, but hasn't been able to get the habit yet.

      Quite honestly, the pain relief I get from PBS is probably the main thing that keeps me Tapping. I don't like to exercise and never have, but I really LIKE not hurting!


      homefire 04-04-2012, 10:55 AM

      ayj, I was just trying your tip in post #55 and I'm wondering if this might be helpful for my mid-back. Hmmm.

      If you notice, I talk about how much it's helped my neck and lumbar, but I don't discuss my mid-back. Between my shoulder blades is a total mess, always hurts, and I haven't found anything that helps it a great deal. I'm going to give this a try for a bit.


      ayj67 04-04-2012, 11:18 AM

      Ronda, are you trap dominant? Do the arms moves hurt you? What about doing sitting down on floor moves that you have to prop youself up with the arms (ribs up, lats tight)?

      Using trap instead of tight lat while curling the core (flat spine is you best bet) will keep aggravating old issues.

      You have the Broom or More, concentrate on improving the lats activation and muscle development with More Broom, More Chair and the Broom, especially the Broom Workout #2. It is BWO+ with the Broom, your trap and lats are isolated, you had to use the lats with the broom stick on your back.
      Last edited by Forum Angel; 03-20-2016, 05:28 PM.