Back pain. It’s a common struggle that can put a damper on daily activities. The good news is, there are ways to manage and even prevent it. Enter Pilates! This low-impact exercise method focuses on strengthening core muscles, improving flexibility, and promoting proper posture – all key factors in keeping your back healthy.

Whether you’re experiencing chronic back pain or occasional aches, incorporating these seven Pilates exercises into your routine can bring relief and long-term benefits.

  1. Pelvic Tilt (Imprinting)

This gentle exercise is a great starting point, promoting spinal mobility and core engagement.

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Gently press your lower back into the mat, engaging your abdominal muscles.
  • Hold for a few seconds, then slowly release.
  • Repeat 10-15 times.
  1. Dead Bug

The “Dead Bug” targets your deep core muscles, improving stability and reducing back strain.

  • Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and arms reaching straight up towards the ceiling.
  • Slowly extend one leg down towards the floor, keeping your lower back pressed into the mat.
  • Simultaneously reach the opposite arm behind your head, maintaining a flat back.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat with the other side.
  • Perform 10 repetitions per side.
  1. Bridge (Hip Hinge)

Weak glutes and hamstrings can contribute to back pain. This exercise strengthens them while engaging your core.

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Lift your hips off the mat until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees.
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top and hold for a few seconds.
  • Slowly lower back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10-15 times.
  1. Toe Taps (Table Top)

This exercise improves core control and coordination while adding a touch of flexibility for your hamstrings.

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Arms rest comfortably by your sides.
  • Maintain a neutral spine and slowly tap one heel down towards the mat, keeping the other leg bent.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
  • Continue alternating for 10-15 repetitions per side.
The 7 Best Pilates Exercises for Back Pain
  1. Modified Swan

This gentle exercise opens up your chest and strengthens your back muscles, improving posture.

  • Lie on your stomach with your forehead resting on the mat, arms bent at your sides.
  • Engage your core and slowly lift your upper chest and head off the mat, keeping your neck long.
  • Hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower back down.
  • Repeat 10-15 times.
  1. Bird Dog

This exercise challenges your core stability and strengthens your back and glutes.

  • Start on all fours with hands shoulder-width apart and knees hip-width apart.
  • Keep your back flat and core engaged.
  • Extend one arm straight out in front of you and the opposite leg straight out behind you, maintaining a neutral spine.
  • Hold for a few seconds, then slowly return to starting position.
  • Repeat 8-10 times per side.
  1. Side Lying Hip Work (Clam)

This exercise targets your outer hip muscles, which can contribute to lower back pain when weak.

  • Lie on your side with knees bent and stacked on top of each other.
  • Engage your core and lift your top knee slightly off the bottom knee, keeping your hips stacked.
  • Lower back down slowly and repeat 10-15 times.
  • Switch sides and repeat.


  • Listen to your body. If you experience any pain, stop the exercise and consult a healthcare professional.
  • Breathe deeply and maintain proper form throughout each exercise.
  • Focus on quality over quantity, especially when starting.
  • As you gain strength and flexibility, you can gradually increase repetitions or hold times.

Pilates for Long-Term Back Health

These seven exercises are a great starting point for incorporating Pilates into your back pain management routine. Pilates offers a wide variety of exercises that can be tailored to your specific needs and fitness level.

Finding a Qualified Pilates Instructor

Consulting a certified Pilates instructor can help you create a safe and effective personalized program that addresses your back pain and overall well-being.  An instructor can provide proper form guidance and modifications as needed.


At EVERGREEN REHAB & WELLNESS CENTER, we offer a team of experienced and certified Pilates instructors who are passionate about helping you achieve optimal back health. We’

Read more: 10 Essential Pilates Reformer Exercises for Beginners

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