Pilates, created by Joseph Pilates, is a gentle, restorative exercise regime that suits most people in the process of recovering from injury and rebuilding their bodies. The foundation approach focuses on core strength, precision and control of movement.

Following these basic Pilates stability exercises will help recruit the deep core muscles, stabilize the entire spine and help decrease or prevent back pain.

Note: These exercises should be performed only with prior permission from a healthcare professional.

Ab Prep: Targets Abs

Starting position: Lie on back on mat, feet on mat, hip distance apart. Spine is in neutral position, neither arched nor flattened.

Exercise:

inhale: nod the head slightly

exhale: curl upper body off mat without pressing low back into mat; raise arms slightly off mat during curl.

inhale: hold position

exhale: return to starting position

complete 5-8 repetitions

 

Cat Stretch: Lengthens Spinal Muscles

Starting position: kneel with equal weight on hands and knees, knees slightly apart. Hands are directly under shoulders, and knees are directly under hips. Spine is in neutral position, neither arched nor flattened.

Exercise: To prepare inhale

exhale: starting from tailbone, round the spine allowing the head to bend toward mat.

inhale: hold position and tighten abdominal muscles

exhale: starting from tailbone, return spine to starting position; bring head up last, but keep eyes looking down.

complete 3-5 repetitions

 

Hip Rolls: Targets Abs, Glutes and Backs of Thighs

Starting position: Lie on back on mat, feet hip distance apart.

pelvis is in neutral position, neither arched nor flattened.

Exercise: to prepare, inhale

exhale: starting from tailbone, slowly peel spine off mat until hips are lifted and weight is resting between shoulder blades.

inhale: hold position and tighten abdominal muscles

exhale: starting from top of spine, slowly return to mat, lowering to starting position.

complete 5-8 repetitions.

 

(source: Stott Pilates & IDEA Health & Fitness, Inc.)