The role of Pilates in keeping your back fit and healthy

I understand that the thought of doing any type of exercise at all when you are in some form of pain might seem a little scary and worrying. You don’t want to run the risk of making it any worse in case it turns into an injury and puts you out even longer. But I would like to put your mind at ease and let you know that just because your back is causing you issues right now, you don’t have to keep yourself stranded on the sofa until you wake up one day to find it has magically disappeared.

You see, even though physiotherapy is great and really helps to ease your pain, it can never be a full cure alone. The real long-term success at overcoming back pain lies within what you do in between and after your physio sessions.

Let me explain. Most bad backs happen because they are not strong in the first place, so in order to get your back strong your lifestyle and the types of activities you do play a huge part in your recovery. A lot of us have jobs that involve sitting at a desk all day. I see a lot of people who sit for long periods of time without regular breaks to move around, and then go home at a night to sit yet again for a few more hours before going to bed.

And seeing as your back is not made to sit, sitting puts a lot of pressure on the spine.

So the long-term solution?

Our back Pilates at is designed to get your core, glutes, and back stronger in a safe manner. We have worked with everyone from people who have back pain for years to new mothers who need strengthening after the birth of their child.

Pilates style exercises are great for people who feel frightened and nervous about returning to exercise after a period of back pain or after pregnancy, because it involves exercises designed to strengthen and control the muscles in your back – allowing you to return to other types of exercises like running, cycling, and gym classes, much quicker.

But let me just point out that there is a huge difference between “exercising” (running, golf, cycling ), and doing exercises like Pilates. An exercise like running is great to improve your cardio and the length of time you can maintain being active without feeling tired, but without strengthening exercises like Pilates, there is a greater risk of injury. So, we must build a strong foundation first, and then add in other activities.

Physio will get you out of pain and sets you up. Exercises like Pilates then should be used to help build long term strength. Be consistent with doing Pilates style exercises for two months, and then when you notice a difference you can start adding in other gentle exercises to make sure your bad back doesn’t creep up on you again.

With a PhD in movement and as a chartered physiotherapist and Pilates instructor, I have designed a Pilates course called Back Pilates which is brilliant for those who are willing to do five minutes of exercise every day and a 45 minute class once per week. A lot of new mothers three months after giving birth do this class with great success. You can do it any time that suits you online, and we have a great community to help. Email [email protected] to get our free book Secrets to a Healthy Spine, or for more information about back Pilates and availing of a free trial visit


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