11 Pilates exercises for strengthening a weak lower back
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.