11 Pilates exercises for strengthening a weak lower back

This Pilates exercise serie is a great workout for the lower back, suitable for beginners as well. If you have a weak lower back you should train both the back muscles and abs. Also try to loosen and relax the lower back, it helps to reduce lower back tension and lower back pain. There are also Daily routines and the Pilates exercises serieslike 50 basic Pilates exercises. Also check out Pilates for the lower back and Pilates for beginners. Lastly, you can use the Pilates exercises encyclopedia to create your own Pilates workout. Have fun!

Pilates exercises lower back

Full video (members)

lower back exercise 11

This is the same video, but for members only. It has better quality and a bit less editing.

11 Single lower back exercises

These Pilates lower back exercises are great for preventing and reducing lower back pain and lower back muscle tension. You shouldn’t do these exercises if you have a (back) injury however. Always check with a physician first before doing these exercises. Participation is at own risk. In all lower back exercises here we try to find abdominal support, one of the reasons why Pilates exercises are so effective against lower back pain and tension. Try to search for abdominal support from doing the exercises in the right pose. Then you will restore a natural spine and posture.

1. Leg lift lower back

Lower back exercise 1

We are working the legs in this Pilates back exercise, but we are targeting the lower back stability functionality. You’re using your legs to trigger imbalance from the lower back here. The point of this exercise is to engage the lower back muscles in a stabilizing manner with abdominal support and a straight spine.

2. Rolling legs for lower back

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In this Pilates back exercise we try the loosen the lower back. You should feel the lower back and pelvic area loosen up. It should be a soft and nice feeling doing this exercise, so stop right away if it hurts. Rest your head on your hands and relax the upper body as much as possible. Great exercise against lower back stiffness!

3. Back extension lift

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Try to lengthen the spine during the whole Pilates exercise. Press the legs into the mat for support from the legs and glutes. This will take pressure off the lower back. This exercise can be too much if you’re suffering from lower back pain. It targets the whole of the back, but the lower back muscles really work the most here. Always stop if you feel pain.

4. Shoulderbridge lower back

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The Pilates shoulderbridge exercise is one of the best exercises you can do in general, so it definitely belongs here as well. We do it here with a slight adjustment: only roll the lower back vertebrae. Make sure you’re pushing from the feet and try to roll instead of lifting. This loosens the lower back en triggers support from the legs, glutes and abs.

5. Relaxation lower back

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Just hold the position for a minute or so and then switch to the other side. This Pilates lower back exercise is very light. You really need to relax, for it to have effect. There are other variation where this turn into a stretch or a loosening exercise. If you don’t feel much happening here, just move on to the next exercise.

6. Lower abs exercise

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This is a great Pilates ab exercise for the lower back because it brings back a natural curved spine and tries to search for abdominal suppert within that curve. One of the main points here, is that you need to try to relax the lower back as you work the abs, as much as possible.

7. Lower abs leg stretch

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This Pilates exercise for the lower back follows through on the previous exercise. By extending the legs there is a little bit more pressure on the pelvis. See if you can stil relax the lower back. You can feel how far the leg can be extended before the lower back muscles start working too much.

8. Total abs trick

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Try to come up with your upper body hanging with your hands on the back of the knees. This is a trick to relax the lower back muscles while doing this rather heavy Pilates ab exercise. If you really hang, your lower back doesn’t have to do much work. After that, we’ll work on some lateral stability coming from the abs. Always stop if you feel neck or back pain.

9. Outside leg lift

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The outside leg lift is a great Pilates exercise for triggering lateral stability in the lower back area using abdominal support. It’s also good practice to move the leg up while not moving along with the pelvis. The lower back remains stable.

10. Moving Sfinx

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The moving sfinx Pilates exercise is very much centered on the lower back. It works the lateral stability of the lower back with a curved spine using abdominal support. It’s a great exercise, but you are really working the lower back muscles. So, if you have too much tension in the lower back, then don’t do this exercise or minimize the amount of repetitions.

11. Pilates Yoga Child Pose

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The Child Pose is of course a Yoga exercise. In Pilates we try to focus on the upper back in this pose. By finding support on our forehead, we protect the back of the neckt. Then we try to sink into the mat with our chest, creating a bit of a back bend.


More Pilates exercises and workouts

That’s it for the lower back exercises on this page. You can also create your own Pilates workout by taking exercises from the Pilates exercises encyclopedia. They are grouped in ab exercises, back exercises, neck and shoulder exercises and general exercises. Amongst those exercises are the 50 basic Pilates exercises. Along with the Pilates for beginners, this is a great way to start doing Pilates. If you want to work on the lower back because of lower back pain or tension, then see the Pilates for the lower back page. You will find exercise series there like 11 Pilates exercises for a weak lower back. For Pilates exercises on topic, check out the Pilates exercise series. There are also free Pilates exercises and workouts to do for which you can sign up on those pages. Top 5 Pilates exercises for at home and 5 great Pilates workouts for at home are two examples. And of course there are a lot of great Pilates workouts to do.