Back pain is one of the most common issues that we encounter with our clients. Think of our backs are like the overachievers on group projects in school – when one part of the group doesn’t do the work, the back is the first one to pick up the slack. Our backs are the parts of our body most likely to overcompensate when there’s disfunction or underdevelopment elsewhere in the body.
Because the back bears the brunt of so many other parts of the body, it’s important to include regular full-body workouts in your exercise routine to protect your back and alleviate unnecessary aches and pains.
How Pilates Can Eliminate Back Pain
Back pain is increasingly common in for those who work in office jobs. Sitting at a desk all day, leaned over to stare at a computer screen, creates repetitive wear and tear on the body.
When back pain does appear, whether in the short-term or as a chronic condition, many people think that they just need to strengthen the muscles in their upper or lower back. In reality, the best way to reduce and prevent back pain is by activating other parts of the body – and that’s where pilates comes in.
💡 “So many times when people have back pain, they want to just focus on that area. But back pain is often an indication that there’s disfunction elsewhere in the body as well.”
Pilates focuses on the core to create a strong foundation for movement in the body. In every class at RTR Pilates, we work to build up the abdominals and surrounding muscle groups. Through pilates’ emphasis on alignment and mobility, our clients find greater mobility, improve their posture, and become more aware of their body throughout their daily lives, all of which alleviates joint stiffness and muscle tightness.
There are a number of muscle groups that we target in our classes to reduce and prevent back pain, including glutes, abs, and hamstring flexibility. While abs provide stability, the glutes can compensate for the back, while hamstring flexibility can ease tension in the lower back.
At RTR Pilates, some of our favorite exercises include planks, bridging, and doing hundreds in the table top position. All of these exercises, combined with techniques designed to enhance flexibility, can make a noticeable difference in daily quality of life.
In addition to being a fantastic workout, pilates also acts as an hour in your busy day when you are completely, solely focused on how you feel in your body. This awareness and concentration is a powerful tool that impacts how you feel not just in class, but throughout the rest of your day and week.
💡 “For back pain, I believe in bridges off the foot bar and inner thigh work with the ball between the knees. Lounges (scooters) alongside the carriage are great for opening up the hip flexors. And, of course, our wonderful leg circles with the feet in straps, and clamshells with the band around the knees. Then stretch and breathe.” – Lisa, RTR Instructor
Safe, effective exercises
All of our instructors are trained to assist clients with modifications to accommodate for any sort of ache or injury, including back pain. In addition to our fantastic instructors, our Allegra II Reformer enables us to provide assistance on exercise resistance until a client is strong enough to hold an exercise on their own.
From there, we can use the reformer to slowly build resistance and strength.
The result? You never become complacent or comfortable – with every single class, you have the opportunity to become stronger.
In order to build consistent, long-term results to reduce and prevent back pain, we recommend clients attend class 2-3 times per week, allowing 3 months in order to see results. As with any exercise, the more frequently you attend class, the more likely you are to see results.
“Pilates improves strength, flexibility, and suppleness of the muscles of the hip and shoulder girdle. […] The Pilates program also teaches awareness of movement habits that may stress the spine, and helps the patient change these habits to those that preserve neutral alignment. Awareness of excessive tension and the use of proper focus helps the patient[s] use the body efficiently.” – Beth Glosten, MD
See the results for yourself
Join our community at RTR Pilates and experience the power of pilates firsthand! Get your first month of unlimited classes for just $129.