Pilates Workouts for a Healthy Spine

There is no longer any doubt that exercise should be an important part of our daily activities. When someone has a back condition, exercise can sometimes be very difficult. Based on your particular diagnosis, a specific exercise plan can be developed. Pilates is one example of a program that can benefit some spine patients but not all. For example, a patient with a spinal fusion should not attempt each and every one of the exercises mentioned. It is important to work closely with your physical therapist to develop a program that is just right for you. — Mary Rodts, DPN

Pilates Workouts
Pilates can be as simple as a 20-minute workout in your home on a mat with the purpose of maintaining a healthy spine or it can be a demanding hour-long session on several pieces of equipment in a studio with the purpose of conditioning an athlete or performer. The flexibility and adaptability of Pilates, applied by a knowledgeable instructor, makes it a form of exercise appropriate for just about everyone. A sampling of the different Pilates movements are shown below.

pilates open leg rocker
Open Leg Rocker

pilates shoulder bridge
Shoulder Bridge

pilates single leg stretch
Single Leg Stretch

pilates the saw
The Saw

pilates one leg kick
One Leg Kick

pilates side bend
Side Bend

pilates leg pull front
Leg Pull Front

Seek Quality Instruction
As a consumer you should be aware of the quality of instruction you are receiving, especially if you have a spine injury or concern. Pilates comes in many forms today. There are infomercials on TV selling videos, classes at your local gym, specialized studios with certified instructors, and healthcare professionals who specialize in Pilates as therapeutic exercise.

I highly recommend everyone take at least 4-10 individual sessions with a certified instructor before attending a group class or practicing individually. This will ensure you are doing the exercises correctly and safely. If you do have special health or spine concerns, seek a healthcare instructor who has a full understanding of your condition so he or she can guide you appropriately through the exercises and create a customized routine for you. As always, consult your physician first before initiating a new exercise program.

Pilates Promotes a Healthy Lifestyle
We all know the merits of regular aerobic exercise to keep our heart and lungs in good shape. Pilates is the equivalent form of exercise for spine health. The focus on flexibility, strength, balance, endurance, and coordination throughout the spine and whole body makes Pilates a form of exercise that promotes a healthy and active lifestyle throughout a lifetime.

Updated on: 07/19/16
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Pilates Exercise for a Healthy Spine
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Pilates Exercise for a Healthy Spine

Pilates is an exercise that focuses on activating the low back and pelvic muscles—the body's powerhouse, or core. Find out how Pilates exercise strengthens these muscles and leads to a healthy spine.
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