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Pilates has your back!

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Do you find yourself spending long hours in the office, only to end up with a sore back? We've all been there - whether it's a looming deadline, a meeting to prepare for, or a workshop that just won't organise itself. Unfortunately, prolonged sitting, incorrect workstation ergonomics, lack of movement, and stress can all contribute to muscle tension and back pain.

To reduce the risk of back pain, office workers should take regular breaks to stretch and move, practice stress management techniques, and engage in exercises that strengthen their back and core muscles. One effective way to use Pilates to relieve a sore back at work is by incorporating specific exercises and mindful movements into your routine. Here's how to do it:

1. Seated Spine Stretch: Sit tall on your chair, feeling your seating bones on the chair and all your vertebrae stacked on top of each other. Inhale and exhale as you slowly roll your spine forward, reaching your hands towards your feet. Feel your shoulder blades widen, then inhale as you sit back up. Repeat this movement a few times to stretch your spine.

2. Pelvic Tilts: Place your hands on each side of your hips while sitting tall. Gently tilt your pelvis forward and backward, which helps engage and strengthen the core muscles that support your back.

3. Cat-Cow Stretch: Sit forward in your chair with your hands on your knees. Arch your back as you inhale (cow pose), opening the front of your body from the pubic bone to the collarbone. Exhale as you round your back (cat pose), sending your back ribs towards the sky. Repeat this flowing movement several times.

4. Seated Twist: Sit sideways in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Hold the backrest with one hand and the armrest with the other. Inhale to lengthen your spine, then exhale as you twist gently towards the backrest, looking over your shoulder. Repeat on the other side.

5. Deep Breathing: Incorporate deep, mindful breathing techniques throughout your workday. Inhale deeply through your nose, expand your ribcage, and exhale fully through your mouth. Deep breathing promotes relaxation and reduces tension in the back.

Remember to listen to your body and avoid movements that cause pain or discomfort. If you're new to Pilates, consider taking a class or a one-to-one session with a Pilates practitioner to ensure you're performing the exercises correctly. At The Exhale Collective, we can arrange dedicated one-to-ones to focus on your movement goals and work together to learn how to prevent future back discomfort.

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