Pilates is a terrific low-impact form of exercise which helps to increase mobility. But what exactly is Pilates, and how can it be incorporated into your chiropractic care? For those looking to improve their back health and overall wellness, be sure to read on.
What Is Pilates?
If you are not sure what exactly Pilates is, you may be confused about how it can benefit your back health. According to WebMD, Pilates is a series of movements that will stabilize and strengthen your core. Pilates exercises are done in a specific order, one right after another. While the exercises may look simple, they certainly take a lot of precision and control. Pilates is all about concentration and breathing, but don’t let that fool you because you will definitely feel it in your muscles during each exercise!
Pilates is great because you can do it almost anywhere. All you need is an exercise mat either at home or in a class. Gyms and Pilates studios offer special equipment and trainers who can supervise you as well. With time and practice, you will get stronger, more sculpted muscles, and gain flexibility. An added bonus is that you may also have better posture as well as a better sense of well-being.
Do Chiropractors Recommend Pilates?
If you have low back pain, chances are your chiropractor will recommend you try Pilates. Pilates exercises will help strengthen your weak core muscles that may be adding to your lower back pain. Those with scoliosis, disc herniations, osteoarthritis, strains or sprains, and other chronic conditions see improved results when combining Pilates with their chiropractic care. The reason Pilates is so effective is because it addresses the underlying structural imbalances in the body that lead to back pain.
Which Pilates Exercises Are Recommended?
According to Healthline, there are many Pilates exercises that strengthen the core and improve back health.
- Shoulder bridge preparation – This exercise works the glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs, pelvic floor, and back muscles.
- Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet parallel and hip-width apart. Place a pillow, block, or mini ball between your thighs.
- Next, inhale to prepare. Exhale, and gently squeeze the mini ball, push your feet into the floor, and articulate your spine off the mat. Start by tilting your pelvis and then peel your lower and then mid-back off the floor until you’ve created a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
- Inhale and hold the position. Finally, exhale and articulate the spine back down to the mat, aiming to lengthen your torso. Do 5 reps.
- Leg lifts – This exercise works the transverse abdominal muscles and the back.
- Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet parallel and hip-width apart.
- Next, inhale to breathe into the back of your ribs. Then, exhale to draw your pelvic floor and abdominals up and in. Pretend that you are gently tightening a belt and lift one leg up into a tabletop position without moving your hips, pelvis, or back.
- Inhale and hold the position. Exhale to lift the second leg into a tabletop position, without popping your abdominals or arching your back.
- Breathe and hold this position for 5 counts. Exhale with control to return your feet to the floor. Do 3-5 sets.
- Roll down – This exercise works the abdominals and back extensors.
- Begin by sitting up tall with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. You can either reach your arms forward, or gently place your hands on the back of your thighs.
- Next, exhale to draw your pelvic floor and abs upward and inward and begin to tilt your pelvis to curl your lower back about halfway to the floor.
- Inhale to hold the curl. Then, exhale to return to the starting position. Do 5-8 reps.
Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness
Here at Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness, we have been helping our Long Island patients find relief and optimal health for more than 10 years. Our team is here to help you whether you are seeking help with back problems or pain relief, or just want to maintain and improve your general health and wellness. Contact us today.