Pilates for low back strength & stability

In last month’s blog I mentioned that it’s important that your hip can move freely and independently of your spine. It’s also important though that your lower back and pelvis can work together effectively and efficiently.

Dysfunction in the lumbo-pelvic region can feel like hip OR back pain, OR even leg pain.

This can lead to the source of the problem being missed…  

Poor co-ordination and control of movements of your low back and pelvis can increase the forces on your sacrum (the lowest part of your spine) and the joints it makes with the pelvis (the sacroiliac joints). Sacroiliac pain can feel like lower back pain, hip pain or leg pain.

Lumbo-pelvic dysfunction is a common contributor to sacroiliac strain but can be overlooked, especially when the symptoms appear to point to the hip or thigh.

A range of excellent exercises to improve lumbo-pelvic strength and stability can be performed on the half roller (as you can see in the video below). In these exercises your back is supported by your abdominal muscles and movement of the legs is used to challenge your abdominal strength and trunk (core) stability.

We start the challenge with movement in one plane of motion (i.e. up/down or side to side) but can progress the exercise by adding knee flexion (which we call “Bike in the air”) or opposing hip circles (which we call “Helicopter”).

The second exercise shown in the video is “Reverse Abs” on the reformer. This exercise requires lumbo-pelvic stability to effectively move the reformer. It looks deceptively easy but, as the name suggests, this exercise is very good for getting your abs working!

Women at the Pilates club.
pilates reformer workout exercises man at gym indoor.

Want to know more?

You can learn more about the MOH approach to low back pain and improving back function by checking out blogs in the MOH Low Back series;

For more information, ideas and exercises check out our Health Tips blog.

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