Pilates as Rehab

Get to the Core of the Pain Prevention and Rehabilitation with Functional Pilates 

pilates as rehab

Many people suffer from muscular imbalances, whether they know it or not. Muscular imbalance occurs when the way we move is altered, causing pressure to form on certain muscles and weakening others. This could happen due to bad posture, injury or simply the way a person’s body and spine is shaped. If muscular imbalances are ignored, this could lead to increasingly worsening pain and heightened chances of further injury.

Pilates exercise as a form of rehab can assist with imbalances by evening out the body and strengthening the core. Pilates also works to realign the spinal cord and pelvic muscles. Physical therapists and chiropractors all around the world are using pilates as a method of treatment with patients due to its effectiveness in treating pain and injury. Pilates exercises can be modified differently according to each person and the pain being treated, whereas conventional physical therapy involves a routine of exercises that could be too difficult for someone to do.

Using pilates as a form of rehab can also be beneficial because it improves the body’s overall movement, alignment and function. When muscle imbalances aren’t acknowledged it can lead to pulls, tears and strains. Check out more below for three easy moves you can begin to practice at home.

Note: Consult your healthcare practitioner or contact us for more information or to find out if pilates is right for you. 

Basic Pilates Exercises You Can Try Now: 

1. Breaststroke Exercise

The breaststroke exercise works on promoting stability of the thoracic spine and shoulders.

  •  Lying on the front, place a rolled-up towel between the forehead and floor to maintain the natural curvature of the spine.
  • Contract the pelvic floor and aim to pull the belly button up off the floor.
  • Start with the arms by the sides and the legs straight.
  • Breathe in and as you then exhale, pull the shoulders back and arms up off the floor.
  • Hold this position before returning to the starting position and repeating.
  • Aim to perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.

2. Arm Stretch Exercise

The arm stretch exercise is a beginner’s level exercise which challenges the core muscles by moving both arms.

  • Start by lying on your back with the feet flat on the floor and the knees bent.
  • Find your neutral lumbar spine position and contract your core muscles.
  • Raise the arms so that they are pointing up to the ceiling.
  • Take a deep breath in and as you exhale slowly take the arms over your head towards the floor.
  • Stop just above the floor, pause and then return to the starting position.
  • Aim to perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.

3. Knee Drop Exercise

The knee drop is an exercise which promotes pelvic stability and hip joint range of motion.

  • Lay on your back, maintaining the natural curvature of the spine.
  • Gently pull the belly button in towards the floor to activate the core.
  • Breath in and as you breathe out, slowly open one leg out to the side by lowering the knee, maintaining control throughout.
  • Maintain a stable, neutral pelvic position.
  • Slowly return the leg back to the starting position.
  • Aim to perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.




Pauline Haugen