8 Pilates-Based Exercises for Lower Back Pain from Sitting

Whether you’re working from home or just hanging out at home, you may be sitting more than usual. Today we’re sharing a list of 8 Pilates-based stretches plus an easy to follow video you can add to your daily routine. We hope that this serves as another tool to keep you moving and staying healthy even while working out at home . For example, if  after reading this post you’re ready for guided stretching and strengthening, you can visit our YouTube Channel for a variety of options or register for one weekly livestream classes. Keeping our community strong and healthy is a top priority and we continue to look for ways we can help you be well.

Alleviate the Adverse Effects of Sitting

Firstly, do you spend the better part of the day sitting at a desk, in a car, or on the couch? Research shows that sitting, and a sedentary lifestyle in general, poses a host of health risks. Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative has studied the effects of sitting and made headlines back in 2015 for his warning that “sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”  

Not to worry, we’ve put together a list of exercises for back pain from sitting that we recommend for daily practice. These stretches will help you become more mobile and flexible, counteracting the stiffness of sitting at a desk. Also, remember it’s important to get up at least once an hour and walk around for ten minutes to alleviate back pain.

Our Top Exercises for Lower Back Pain from Sitting

CHEST OPENER – Clasp your hands behind your head.  Then, release shoulders away from ears and lift sternum and widen elbows feeling the chest stretch open.  Release forward to upright and repeat several times.  Pull abs in and focus on lifting to avoid compressing your lower back.

FORWARD FOLD – Keep a soft bend in the knees and slowly roll your spine forward towards your toes. Next, release neck, shoulders, and back, and let gravity take over. Roll back up, one vertebrae at a time.

TRUNK ROTATION – Plant feet on ground shoulder-width apart, and rotate your trunk from side to side. Now, relax the neck, upper body, and knees. Keep toes pointing forward and abs engaged. Rotate for 10-15 seconds.

CAT/COW – Start on all fours or leaning over a chair or desk. On an exhale round your back into “angry cat” position. Articulate spine back to neutral imagining each vertebrae moving one at a time.  On the next inhale, drop the belly and lift the chest up into “cow”. Repeat 5 times.

HIP OPENER – Stand with one foot two feet or more in front of the other and lunge forward bending the front knee.  Forward foot stays flat on the floor and the back foot shifts to ball of the foot.  Bring hips forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your hips. Finally, engage your abs and slightly tuck your tail to engage glutes and deepen stretch.  Hold for three long breaths.  Repeat on the opposite side.

TRUNK ROTATION – Lie on your back and bring your knees into your chest. Gently let them fall to one side, keeping your back neutral and contacting the ground. Turn your head to the opposite direction from your knees. Hold for 10-15 seconds.

SHELL STRETCH – Kneel and rest back onto your sits bones. Draw your abs in and actively tuck your tail in order to lengthen and stretch the low back. Then, gently relax into the stretch and focus on breathing and releasing tension.

Back Pain from Sitting Exercises – Learn More

To sum up, if your body is suffering the effects of too much sitting, we can help you. Here are the options we recommend:

  1. Book an Introductory Private Session – you’ll work one-on-one with a trainer to assess your unique body and goals.
  2. Try out our online classes. We have a FREE 14 day trial for our livestream classes plus a huge library of pre-recorded classes on our Youtube Channel.
  3. Have questions about where to start? Contact us today to learn how Pilates, GYROTONIC and other MOVE classes can help you improve mobility, flexibility and strength.

We’ve picked out the perfect video to get you started!