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Invented by athlete Joseph Pilates in the 20th Century as a new way of rehabilitating and strengthening the body, pilates is an effective way to strengthen your core and relieve back pain. If you are new to pilates, it might be best to acquaint yourself with the basics beforehand. The back and core muscles are mutually supportive, so practising pilates focuses on building strength in the core, which in turn helps the back. If you are suffering back pain, always visit your doctor in the first instance. Here are some pilates exercises which are recommended to help prevent back pain.

#1 Pelvic Tilt

Lie on your back, keep your feet flat on the floor and bend your knees. Feet, ankles and knees should be aligned. Try to relax, and not to press your back into the mat- instead keep your spine in a neutral position. Exhale and engage your abs, and draw them inwards so that your lower spine is pressed into the floor. Now inhale to release and return to your original position. Repeat 5 times.

#2 Pelvic Curl

Lie on your back, keep your feet flat on the floor and bend your knees. Feet, ankles and knees should be aligned. Inhale and press your feet into the matt and slowly feel your tailbone curl towards the ceiling and allow your hips to rise, then the lower and middle back. Use your shoulders to rest on, and do not arch your back beyond this point. Engage your abs and hamstrings to support your back. Exhale and very slowly return to the start position, feeling your vertebrae lowering to the floor one by one. Repeat 5 times.

#3 Child’s Pose

Kneel on your matt with your heels under your butt, and knees hip distance apart. Lower your torso slowly over your thighs and rest your forehead on the floor in front of you. Reaching your arms out either side, breathe and relax. Hold this position and breathe into it. It may take a few minutes for your back to properly stretch out.

Book yourself in for a pilates class at ONE LDN to learn more about these core strengthening exercises!

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