Healthy Back Pilates

If you have a back injury, Pilates may be an ideal form of exercise. Pilates is a very safe, low-to-no impact exercise system. It targets the core muscles of the body, including the deep muscles of the abdomen, lower back, and buttocks. By strengthening the muscles which surround and support your spine, you'll lessen back pain, reduce neck and shoulder stiffness, improve your posture, increase your energy, and boost your spine health.

Most back pain outside of trauma is a result of bad posture when sitting, standing, or walking. The main things to remember to prevent bad posture are to sit and stand up tall, keep your belly pulled in, and keep your shoulder blades gently relaxing down your back. When you find your correct posture, you should feel the ease it creates in your whole back.

You may need to slowly work up to sitting properly for long periods of time. Even your postural muscles need to get in shape. But the more awareness you have, the better you will feel. If you stand a lot, think of keeping your knees soft; don't lock them. Try to keep even weight on both legs. Keep your belly pulled in.

But bad posture isn't the only culprit. A sedentary lifestyle is also often to blame. Let's face it: People just weren't meant to sit at a computer monitor for eight hours a day — or to sit on a chair at all, for that matter. Sitting isn't easy on your back. If you think about it, when you sit in a chair, the back muscles have to work all the time to keep you upright. Your legs are not able to help out at all. Furthermore, staying in one position doesn't promote good circulation and muscle tone. Break up your work day by getting up regularly from your chair and stretching out, going for a walk, or doing a Pilates series, if you can.

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Choosing the right Pilates studio is important for any client, but it's crucial for clients with back injuries.  Fortunately for you, but unfortunately for our instructors, they are all too familiar with back injuries.  One instructor has scoliosis and another has L4/L5 herniation.  We utilize a combination of self-myofascial release, stretches, and pilates exercises to get you on the right track.  The most common comment people make after starting at our studio is, "I constantly think about my posture now." 

Another recent comment can be seen below.

" I cannot thank you ENOUGH for last night’s class!!  The soreness of my sacrum was eliminated (I feel like a new person today, compared to yesterday!), I worked on strengthening/toning some very neglected muscles, and I slept like a log - - all three were JUST what I needed!  THANK YOU!"

 "I tried classes before at other studios and I just wasn’t impressed – the instructors were not attentive and I didn’t FEEL any benefits from the class.  Despite having tried classes before, I have been repeatedly told the benefits of pilates to (re)build my core strength in a low impact manner.  I have been seeking alternative options for exercise since my sacrum injury, so I thought I would give pilates another try.  After my first session with you, I was hooked."