Three Pilates Moves for Better Spine Health

Spinal instability can contribute to low back pain, but the “big three” Pilates exercises can help. A strong core can stabilize your spine to help keep your lower back healthy and pain-free. The muscles and ligaments surrounding your spine can weaken with age or from an injury, which can make movements like twisting, stretching, lifting, and bending difficult.

The lower back often has to compensate for this lack of mobility, which places greater stress and burden on its muscles. People with back pain often fear movement, which can make their back stiff and their pain even worse. Yet, a stable spine is also more flexible, so it can support a full range of natural movements and healthier movements reduce pressure on the low back and lower the risk of pain and injury.

Spine stability is achieved with a balanced approach to your entire core musculature. This means you engage all the core muscles at once — from the abdominals to the whole back. This comes in handy when you make movements that require sudden strength and a broad range of motion, like lifting and carrying groceries and placing them on the counter or floor. Spine stability means your entire trunk is working together in rhythm, like a world-class symphony.  

So how do you get a stable spine? Why the Big Three Pilates exercises of course…
The Curl-up, the Side Plank, and the Bridge. These exercises engage all the important muscles needed to improve spine stability.

Start with five repetitions of each of the three exercises. Then do three reps of each, and finish by doing each exercise just once.

The Pilates Curl Up, modifiable with or without the ball
The Bridge
The Side Plank