7 Ways Clinical Pilates Helps Lower Back Pain

 In Clinical Pilates

Pilates is a type of exercise that is used to help flexibility, strength, muscle tone, and can even be a cardiovascular workout. As pilates has become more popular, the benefits of it have been shown to go way beyond regular exercise. A trained Clinical Pilates trainer will prescribe certain pilates exercises (such as the ones mentioned below) for different individuals to help alleviate lower back pain.

Knee Folds

To perform a knee fold, lay down on your back. Bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Contracting your pelvic floor and your abdominal muscles, lift one leg up, keeping your knee bent. Hold the movement for a few seconds before putting your foot back down. Repeat the motion with the other leg. Make sure the opposite leg is bent with your foot flat on the floor while you are lifting the other leg. Your back needs to stay flat on the floor as well. Do not move your pelvis or arch your back during the movement.

Angel Arms

On your back, bend your knees up, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your shoulders low and your ribcage flat, raise your arms above your head. Make sure you are contracting your abdominal muscles and your pelvic floor. Lower your arms back down. Then repeat the movement. Do not arch your back as your raise your arms.

Leg Folds

Sitting upright, hug your legs into your chest. Keep your feet on the floor. Hold your abdominal muscles in and your pelvic floor contracted as your alternate lifting your legs on the ground. Keep your back straight and do not hunch your shoulders. Do not rock your body, but try to keep it as still as possible during the movement.


Lying face down on your mat, have your legs together and straight behind you. Placing your hands beneath your shoulders, slowly push your chest off of the ground. Your legs and pelvis should still be on the ground. Your head should be in line with your spine.

Pelvic Circles

If you have an exercise ball, this is an exercise where you can use it. Lean on your ball, using it as a support. Slowly move your hips in circles, keeping your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor contracted

Chest Lift

Lay on your back with your knees bent up and your feet flat on the floor. Put your hands behind your head with your elbows out to the side. Lift your head up off of the ground as your lift your legs so they are parallel to the ground. Do not tilt your pelvis as you do this. Then slowly lay your body back down on the ground

Supine Spinal Twist

Lying on your back, bend your knees up, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Stretch out your arms to the sides. Keeping your knees together drop your knees slowly to one side, keeping your shoulder blades on the floor. Keep your lower back on the floor as you pull your knees back up. Then slowly drop your knees to the other side. Repeat the motion, holding 10 to 15 seconds on each side as you move.

Remember that with pilates, as with any exercise, if something causes you pain, it is better to back off and not push the exercise. Your goal is to reduce pain, not to injure yourself. Your physiotherapist will also be able to guide you to the best exercises to treat your specific needs to keep you pain free and moving as well as possible.

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