The perpetrators behind niggling neck and back pains are so diverse that it can be hard to pinpoint an exact cause. However, common causes include static postures such as sitting at a desk for long periods of time as well as repetitive actions such as heavy lifting without stretching in addition to doing something continually on one side.
Pilates isn’t just effective at making you long and lean. It can also be an incredibly effective way for managing neck as well as back pain by allowing you to strengthen, stretch and support the muscles. This is owing to the movements allowing you to improve your posture and utilise your own body weight to gain proper control around your shoulders while keeping good alignment of your neck.
Even though you can’t completely avoid slouching on the couch or slipping into an awkward sleeping position, some Pilates moves can assist with stopping these normal occurrences from leading to an achy upper body.
Full Body Release
For top to toe release, we recommend a standing side stretch:
- Stand straight with hands above your head and your palms together.
- Shift your hips to the left while arching your torso and arms to the right.
- Repeat on the other side.
Neutral Spine With Pelvic Tilts
Having a strong core has advantages beyond holding long planks as well as having strong, sculpted abs. A super strong core can also support your back and enhance your posture. Doing pelvic tilts performed with a neutral spine is a gentle way to wake up the deep lower transversus abdominis muscle which plays a massive role in supporting your back:
- Lie supine with your knees bent, feet hip-distance apart and touching the floor.
- Lengthen the back of your neck so that you are gently closing the space between your neck and the floor. After this, relax the shoulders and then rest the arms at your side.
- Breathe in. As you breathe out, draw your navel in towards your spine and make sure that you imprint your spine into the mat with a tiny pelvic tilt.
- Hold for a breath then return your spine back to neutral and allow the pelvis to return to starting position.
- Complete ten reps of the exercise.
Lower Back And Shoulder Stretch
A phenomenal way to stretch your lower back and shoulders is a combination of Child’s Pose as well as Puppy Pose. This assists with opening the lower back and chest, strengthening the upper back and elongating your spine:
- Start on your Pilates mat with your legs tucked under your chest.
- Make sure that you stretch out your arms straight in front of you, with your palms touching the floor.
- Then, smoothly transition to Puppy Pose by pushing your bum up into the air and keeping your chest – as well as your arms – on the floor.
If you are keen to become a world-class Pilates instructor then you need to do our Pilates Instructor Course. Follow this link to find out more.