Three Top Pilates Exercises for Lower Back Stiffness

Hattie Beardon, Freedom Care Clinics Leeds Yoga & Pilates instructor, shares some top tips and simple yet effective exercises to help with lower back stiffness. For a video demonstration of the exercises see link.

Back pain is something most, if not all of us will experience in our lifetime. It can range from a dull ache to sharp, shooting pain and can be acute or chronic, and in some cases debilitating. The causes of pain in our back can vary hugely. From injuries and joint issues, to muscle or ligament strain. However, in the majority of cases, back pain is exacerbated (or caused) by lifestyle factors such as weak posture, sitting at desks for prolonged periods and commonly muscle weakness. 

Contrary to popular belief, the muscle that support our spine (core muscles) do not just consist of your abdominal muscles. These of course make up a large part, but it may surprise you to know your core also includes your Lats (Latissmus Dorsi), Trapezius and gluteal muscles. Strengthening and stretching out these areas regularly can help to relieve and may prevent back pain – a great way to incorporate this into your routine is through Pilates, a tried and tested method dating back to the early 20th century. It was designed by Joseph Pilates to help you take control of your body instead of your body taking control of you and is a service we offer at Freedom Care Clinics. We offer both one to one guided sessions or small group classes.

There are lots of simple yet effective Pilates based exercises which provide relief for back pain. Here are my Top 3.

Childs Pose (also known as Shell Stretch)

A lovely restorative exercise helping to release the lower back and shoulders.

Cat stretch 

Perfect for mobilising and strengthening the spine as well as providing relief from tight shoulders.

Pigeon Stretch.

A stretch to help with tightness in the buttock muscles which is brilliant for strengthening the lower back and relieving tightness.