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Pilates and back pain

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

Back pain can be caused by a number of different factors such as poor posture, repetitive movements and stress. The good news is Pilates can help to reduce the likelihood and severity of some causes. Pilates is a great way to strengthen your core muscles, which stabilise and support your lower spine to be in neutral alignment (your spine's preferred position).

It can also help to mobilise areas of stiffness by working into joints and stretching tight muscles. Our Pilates instructors will coach you about good postural alignment and good technique for each movement.

We have included below some exercises you can try at home for a few weeks but remember, you should seek the advice of medical professionals if you have any pre-exisiting conditions.

Strengthen glutes and hips in shoulder bridge

1. Lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor. You should just be able to reach your heels with your finger tips.

2. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, gently draw belly button to spine and imagine holding in going to the toilet. Gently push your lower spine into the floor, push through the heels and lift your bottom slightly from the floor. Keep pressing into your big toe.

3. Inhale to return the lower back to the floor. Repeat the exercise, exhaling to slowly roll up through the middle and upper back, stopping when you reach the shoulders. Inhale to slowly lower, feeling each vertebra making contact with the mat.

4. As you come into your shoulder bridge, hold yourself in bridge for a count of 10 seconds before slowly rolling back down.

5. Repeat 5 times.

Stretch and mobilise the spine in cat stretch

1. Start with your knees under your hips and your wrists under your shoulders. Your eye gaze should be at the front of your mat.

2. Take a breath in through you nose and as you exhale, gently draw belly button to spine and engage your pelvic floor.

3. During your exhale, tuck your tail bone under and start to push through the palms of your hand, until your spine is flexed (think of an angry cat).

4. Inhale to return to your natural alignment.

Estuary Fitness offer Pilates classes in Benfleet, Essex.

Book your class today or contact us for more information.

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