Back pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal problems that people experience. Back pain is reported to be a more frequent problem than any other musculoskeletal disorder, according to the CDC.
Pilates can be a great way to relieve discomfort and strengthen your core (abdominal muscles) as it focuses on posture, body alignment, and breathing techniques, it’s an ideal exercise routine for addressing chronic low back pain.
Benefits of Pilates
Pilates is a unique series of movements that combines the principles of anatomy, alignment, and strength training. As a result, the body's core muscles are strengthened as they move through their natural range of motion.
Pilates also stimulates the nervous system and can help to improve balance, concentration, and flexibility. In addition, because all Pilates exercises are low impact, they are ideal for people with joint problems to continue their physical activity.
One of the most important benefits of Pilates is the improved function of the core muscles. This increases strength and stability throughout the body, translating into enhanced posture and overall well-being.
Another benefit of Pilates is that it can be done at any time and location. As a result, people can use it for strengthening and stretching purposes, making it useful for people with a busy schedule or who don't have access to a gym.
What Is Clinical Pilates?
Clinical Pilates is a specialized exercise designed to improve joint mobility, foster low-impact flexibility, and increase endurance, core strength, and postural alignment. It also helps you achieve greater control over your movements by promoting better body awareness.
At times, clinical Pilates is practised on a mat with different markings to guide your movements. The sessions are usually supervised by trained professionals.
It’s important to note that clinical Pilates is not the same as your run-of-the-mill group fitness class that uses a few reformer machines. Instead, clinical Pilates is a complete exercise routine that includes various mind-body methods.
Clinical Pilates has proven to be an effective treatment for musculoskeletal issues. These musculoskeletal issues include lower back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, and neck pain, among others.
How Does Pilates Help With Lower Back Pain?
A regular Pilates routine will help strengthen the muscles in your core. While the clinical Pilates routine will focus on the muscles necessary for stabilizing the lower back.
Clinical Pilates can strengthen the abdominals and lower back, which is essential for posture, spinal alignment, and stabilization during exercise. These benefits of Pilates are beneficial for those who experience lower back pain.
Moreover, when the muscles in the core are strong, they can help support the lower back better. This help takes some of the pressure off the joints and ligaments of the lower spine.
Core Engagement and Breathwork
Many exercises in a clinical Pilates routine promote core engagement and increased awareness of your posture and flexibility. You should focus on engaging your core and your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles when doing these exercises.
Keeping your core engaged during exercise encourages optimal posture and reduces the risk of compressing the lower back.
Clinical Pilates routines may also include exercises that focus on breathwork. This type of controlled, deep breathing provides an effective way to reduce stress, which can potentially help people with lower back pain feel less pain.
The idea behind these lower back rotational stretches is that it helps to engage the core and correct the alignment of the pelvis. It also helps stretch the waist, hips, and lower back muscles.
The rotational stretches for the lower back are a great way to work those muscles and get a great workout in 10 minutes! The following is a step-by-step guide on the rotational stretches that may be performed:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the ground. Your arms should be at your sides.
- Roll your knees to your right side while extending your arms to the side. Keep your back on the floor as you perform the exercise.
- Pause at the bottom of the movement for five to ten seconds before returning to the starting position.
- Perform this exercise twice on each side, at least twice daily.
The Clam: Hip Abduction
It is vital to keep your body balanced to avoid injury and discomfort. For example, your glutes should be strengthened to safeguard your back.
Clams are a simple but effective exercise that you can perform anywhere without equipment. You can also do side-lying hip abduction for a more gruelling workout.
- Lie on your side with your knees bent and your head resting on your hand or a cushion.
- Lift your top knee toward the ceiling and then lower it again. This is the only movement you'll be making as you move your knees together and apart. This exercise opens up the hips and the back at the same time.
- To do the second part of the exercise, bring both knees together while keeping the foot apart.
- Repeat them three times a day for better results.
The chest lift is another core-focused, reclining exercise often done at the start or end of a clinical Pilates routine or as part of a cooldown. To perform this exercise follow these instructions:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet planted on the floor, and your hands alongside the body.
- Next, bring your head and shoulders up off the floor. Focus on drawing in your core and using your abdominal muscles to draw your shoulders towards your knees.
- Pause for a moment, then slowly lower your shoulders back down to the floor while straightening your back and bringing your head down.
- Repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times.
A Swan stretch is a fantastic option if you are seeking to reduce back pain or increase flexibility. The instructions for this exercise are outlined below:
- Lie on your stomach with your legs stretched out behind you.
- Place your hands shoulder-width apart, a few inches in front of your hips and under your shoulders.
- Push through your hands to lift your upper body from the ground.
- Press your hips to the floor as you lift your upper body. Your spine should remain neutral to prevent further back pain.
- Then, hold the position for 15 to 20 seconds.
- Return to the ground and repeat five times.
Kneeling Arm With Leg Reach
The kneeling arm and leg reach is another core-focused exercise often done at the start or end of a clinical Pilates routine or as part of a cooldown. To perform this exercise, follow these instructions:
- Come into a 4-point kneeling position with your knees bent, and your hands on the floor, directly under your shoulders.
- Engage your core then slowly extend your right arm and left leg out until they’re parallel to the ground.
- Inhale to stay.
- Then slowly bring your arm and leg back towards you.
- Repeat this exercise with your other arm and leg.
- Next, repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times.
Clinical Pilates at Pilates Studio Singapore
If you experience lower back pain, you may find that Clinical Pilates Private Sessions is a great way to begin building core strength, stretch tight muscles, and improve posture.
Attending a Clinical Pilates Session can work with an instructor to determine which exercises are best for you and your pain. This will ensure you’re doing the most beneficial exercises for your condition.
Here at Pilatique Pilates Studio in Singapore, you can attend Pilate classes to learn Pilates or train to be a Pilate Instructor with our Pilates teacher training courses. So, contact us today to receive a complimentary 30-45 minute clinical Pilates consultation session.