Inner Strength Pilates: New Exercise to Beat Back Pain

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Anyone struggling with lower back pain due to weak hamstrings and glutes can benefit from the gentle exercise routine demonstrated in her latest video, says Pilates instructor and studio director Tamara Gollan.

Tamara Gollan

Tamara Gollan Inner Strength Pilates and Barre Adelaide

This is a nice gentle exercise but which is strong enough to help strengthen the lower back.

Also available as a transcript and video in the blog article Pelvic Tilts: Exercise Video to Strengthen the Hamstrings and Glutes, the short video shows Gollan demonstrating Coccyx Curls – an exercise which she explains is extremely easy to both learn and practice at home. When practiced on a regular basis the exercise routine should help improve weak hamstrings.

To start the exercise, which involves curling the back then slowly unrolling, Gollan suggests lying on the floor with feet and knees hip width apart. This should ensure that the spine is in ‘a neutral position.’

The best way to achieve this is remain flat on the floor with a tiny space underneath the lower back. This gap should only be wide enough for the fingers to slide under. The position shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve since the spine naturally curves in the lower back area.

The feet should also remain flat in this Pilates exercise routine so that there is an even weight distribution on both the big and little toes. To start the exercise inhale then, on the exhale, engage the stomach. Life the pelvic floor towards the ceiling while, at the same time, tucking the pubic bone as close as possible towards the belly button.

Avoid making the back straight – instead try and keep it tucked. Breath in then on the out breath slowly articulate the vertebrae back down, one at a time.

“Here at Inner Strength Pilates we recommend you do around 15 of these pelvic floor curls at a time,” says Gollan.

“It’s important to regulate your breathing to get the most from the exercise. Make sure too that your arms and hands are nice and relaxed because you certainly don’t want to be directing any weight towards those areas otherwise once again, the point of the exercise will be defeated.”

Gollan points out in the YouTube video entitled How to Reduce Lower Back Pain & Increase Hamstring Strength - Pilates Pelvic Tilts Exercise that the movement of the exercise derives from the core of the body, the back of the legs and, a tightening of the bottom. All of the aforementioned help to tighten the glutes and therefore support the lower back area.

Breathing in, she says, is about holding position while breathing out means moving the spine by unrolling vertebrae from the ribcage all the way back down towards the Coccyx bone.

She adds: “This is a nice gentle exercise but despite that it is certainly strong enough to make a difference to the back of your legs and hamstrings. This is important to someone suffering from lower back pain since the hamstrings, like the glutes, help to support this area of the back. My favourite part of this exercise is the nice lower back stretch that it brings.”

The exercise routine can be made more difficult by activating the core without any movement of the pelvis. One leg should then float upwards into the chair position. This results in the knees on top of the hip and at a right angle. Inhale to hold then exhale to lower back down.

Alternatively, it is also possible to remain in the position and engage the other leg by bringing it up too. Alternative legs then articulate through the spine to roll back down again.

Find out more about exercises like this and others from the Inner Strength Pilates blog. The company website features numerous videos as well as advice, information on Pilates and Barre and allows those interested in attending exercise sessions to book online via a class timetable to secure their place. There is also a FAQ page on the site as well as a live chat feature for those keen on receiving an instant response.

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Tamara Abdilla

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