Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Strengthen Your Core & Reduce Back Pain with Pilates

Do you suffer from chronic back pain?  Are you afraid to see a specialist because you don’t want to just pop a few pills every time there’s a problem?  Have you tried other exercises, but the pain just keeps coming back?  Well, Pilates might just be the answer to your problems. 

Pilates Exercise Video class
Pilates "Hundred" exercise (Photo credit: myyogaonline)
Pilates is an exercise program based on improving and strengthening the core muscles; however it stresses movements while holding positions.  Staying in certain poses and moving only your extremities requires you to work your stabilizing muscles.  This gives you a full body workout while paying particular attention to your abs and lower back.  Pilates is not only a fantastic way to get in shape; it can help stretch and strengthen key muscles which will allow you to function with less back pain. 

A majority of back pain is caused by improper posture.  Sitting incorrectly at a desk all day can put undue stress on our backs, causing pain.  Pilates is a great way to promote proper posture.  Not only do all the exercises require correct posture and align the spine when done correctly, but they also help you maintain that posture even when you’re not working out.  Pilates strengthens the “core” muscles of the abdomen and back that support your body and keep it in a proper upright position.  When these muscles are toned, you’re more likely to maintain a good posture and reduce the amount of back pain you experience. 

Curso de Instructor de Pilates
Pilates (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Along with promoting good posture, Pilates also helps work the muscles and improve flexibility of the entire body.  If your back pain is due to a muscle injury, improved flexibility can relieve some of the pain you may experience.  Even more so, it can prevent you from injuring the area in the future by strengthening the muscles and maintaining correct posture and position of the various bones of the body.  Simply by working the muscle, you will improve blood flow to the muscle and relieve pain. 

If you are looking for relief from minor back pain, you can find appropriate exercises from a book or video tape to help.  If you are suffering from more severe pain, you should consider taking a class, getting a private lesson from a personal trainer, or using Pilates machines.  By having help, you will be sure you’re performing the exercises correctly and getting maximum benefit from them.  If you have a personal trainer, you will know that the exercises you’re performing are designed to help with your specific problems.

Note: While Pilates can be helpful for relieving back pain for many people, you should talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program. 
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