How Can Pilates Help My Back Pain?
Pilates is a particularly good exercise for many people with back pain as it is designed to strengthen the deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, which provide support to the back. It has been found to reduce chronic back pain and the disability associated with back pain. The Neutral Spine position taught in Pilates is used as the most functionally ideal or “perfect” posture for our bodies. The strong focus on core (deep abdominal) strengthening creates stronger support muscles for the spine.
Why The Reformer?
The Reformer Makes A Dramatic Impression When You First See One, And An Even More Dramatic Change In Your Body When You Use It!!
The Reformer offers all the benefits of Pilates including overall strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance. These things, in turn, lead to daily life improvements like better posture, graceful and efficient movement, and for many, relief from pain associated with physical imbalances such as back pain.
What Is The Reformer?
It is a bed-like frame with a flat platform on it, called the carriage, which rolls back and forth on wheels within the frame. The carriage is attached to one end of the reformer by a set of springs. The springs provide choices of differing levels of resistance as the carriage is pushed or pulled along the frame. The carriage has shoulder blocks on it that keep practitioners from sliding off the end of the reformer as they push or pull the carriage.
At the spring end of the reformer, there is an adjustable bar called a footbar. The footbar can be used by the feet or hands as a practitioner moves the carriage. The reformer also has long straps with handles on them that are attached to the top end of the frame. They can be pulled with legs or arms to move the carriage as well. Body weight and resistance of the springs are what make the carriage more or less difficult to move. Reformers parts are adjustable for differing body sizes and different levels of skill.
How Do I Use It?
A wide variety of exercises are done on the reformer to promote length, strength, flexibility, and balance. Most Pilates reformer exercises have to do with pushing or pulling the carriage or holding the carriage steady during an exercise as it is pulled on by the springs.
One of the best things about the reformer is its versatility. Exercises can be done lying down, sitting, standing, pulling the straps, pushing the footbar, perched on the footbar, perched on the shoulder blocks, with additional equipment, upside down, sideways, and all kinds of variations. In other words, the reformer can train many parts and dynamics of the body in many different ways with just one relatively sleek piece of equipment.
How Often Should I Practice Pilates?
If you are new to Pilates and you sign up for one of our Beginner level classes this week; ie: I Have Issues or Back To Basics, that’s 100% more than you were doing last week, and that’s AWESOME!! In my experience, once a week can help supplement your other physical activities. BUT…Pilates 2-3 times a week is enough to start seeing noticeable changes. So, in about 10 sessions broken down into 1-3 sessions a week consistently, a Client will see a change.
*Of course, the results a Client sees from Pilates varies depending on the individual.
We have to take into consideration how active the person is prior to Pilates, whether or not they are involved in any other physical activities, and/or existing injuries.
*Really, the best tip to new Pilates Clients is to make Pilates a habit and create your very own goals!!
These two things will effect how you perform each exercise. To gain the best results from Pilates, it is also a matter of committing to focusing on multiple things during the exercises in class such as the coordination, control, and to breathe. Pilates, if a regular routine, should translate into every day activities because it builds a body awareness, strength, and flexibility.
By Implementing These Techniques Into Your Everyday Life, You Begin To FIX The Problem At The CAUSE, Rather Than Only TREAT The SYMPTOMS!
6 Exercises For Lower Back Pain
1. Pelvic Tilt or Imprinting
2. Chest Lift
3. Supine Spinal Twist
4. Hamstring and Hip Flexor Stretch
5. Roll Backs
6. Kneeling Arm and Leg Reach
As always, it is recommended to consult your doctor or specialist before beginning a new exercise program if you do suffer from LBP. Depending on the cause, some exercises may not be advisory. In some cases, it may also be necessary to be under the supervised guidance of a qualified Pilates instructor.
Schedule A Pilates Class Or Private Session Now!!