Pilates Exercises to Improve Lower Back Pain

scoliosis workout

I am going to take a wild guess and say at some point in your life you have experienced lower back pain.

Lower Back Exercises

It may have been a slight twinge, a general ache or a sharp pain that took your breath away. It may have lasted .5 seconds or two weeks. Maybe you have had chronic lower back pain for years and have just learned to live with it.

Our lower backs do a lot for us! In exchange for their lifelong service, we tend to beat them up or simply ignore them. We think that lower back pain is just something to deal with and that maybe we can do a few crunches here and there to help out.

I want you to turn to your lower back right now and say, “I love you and I’m sorry you are hurting! Thanks for helping me all these years. I’m about to read something that will help us both! Go team!”

Let’s get started, shall we?

When people come to me with lower back pain, it usually involves aches and pains anywhere from the lower back itself into the pelvis, buttocks and hips. There are many reasons for lower back pain, and I always recommend someone see a doctor if they haven’t been evaluated to see where the issue might lie for them individually. Whether the cause of the lower back pain is a recent injury, a previous surgery, being 38 weeks pregnant or bending over laying tile all day, they all have some basic similarities I like to address:

  • Muscle imbalances – meaning some muscles might be overworking while others aren’t doing their jobs.
  • Decreased core stabilization – this doesn’t just mean more crunches! It means the deep stabilizing muscles that should be helping to support the lower back aren’t responding the way they should.
  • Poor posture – either due to staying in certain positions all day, congenital issues like scoliosis or simply from chronic pain (having pain all day makes you stand very strangely sometimes).
  • Immobility somewhere in the spine – if the lower back is unstable and moving too much, the thoracic spine above and the pelvis below tend to get locked up and not move enough.

Pilates Lower Back Exercises

My number one goal with anyone who comes to me with lower back pain is to let them know there IS something we can do about it! I’m not saying I can fix it completely or eliminate it for good (I have seen it happen!).

I AM saying there are things we can address and exercises we can do that can help get the body moving again and take some steps in the right direction.

Movement is LIFE to the body.

It’s basically giving your joints a dose of WD-40.

I want to help you know how to move so that you can feel better, decrease your chance of re-injury and feel empowered in your own body.

The workout today is meant to improve the mobility in your hips and pelvis, while increasing core and hip strength. In my experience, I have found these areas to be keys in lower back health! While there is no cookie cutter method for improving all folks with lower back pain, these tend to be exercises I give most people when they start.

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of some of these lower back exercises! They are meant to retrain your body, so they are subtle yet very effective.

The workout below was filmed specifically for people who have experienced recurrent bouts of low back pain or are currently looking for lower back exercises to help decrease lower back pain or increase lower back strength. These exercises are not meant to make you feel worse! If you have any pain while doing the workout, please stop. As always, consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.

You may also like our Scoliosis Exercises Workout to improve scoliosis and our Pilates for Beginners Workout.

Remember to listen to your body and comment below with any questions!


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5 thoughts on “Pilates Exercises to Improve Lower Back Pain”

  1. Hi Jessica, I have to thank you so much for this workout! My PT gave me some stretches which were helpful, but I I’ve been doing this routine every morning for some time now and it (together with your post ‘ PT exercises for lower back pain’) has made a HUGE difference. My lower back pain has now 99 % gone and only twinges when I’ve been sitting too long. I also do your Pilates for beginners almost daily and can now do a pull-up by myself 🙂 Thank you so much!

  2. Hi Jessica,
    Just wanted to say thanks. I have mild scoliosis and sciatica. I really focused on the sciatica for awhile and found nothing that gave any lasting relief. Once I started looking for solutions for scoliosis and came across your videos, I have experienced a big difference. Lower back pain is almost gone, but I still have nerve pain in my legs from sciatica. I cannot sleep on either side, have to lie flat on my back b/c otherwise pain shoots down my legs. I love your scoliosis videos and would love to see you address sciatica.
    Many Thanks!

    • Laura,
      Thank you so much for reaching out and I’m glad you are feeling better! That sciatica can be tricky I know. That’s a great idea for a video and I will film one soon for you! In the meantime, try our low back pain and/or morning routine videos. They include some of the same exercises I would recommend for sciatica. Just make sure nothing you do irritates the sciatic symptoms. Take care!


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