Slow & Gentle Mat for Back Pain

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There are times in life when our back hurts and we don’t know how to care for it. Whether you’re recovering from an injury, experiencing painful sciatica, or generalized low back pain, Pilates can help. Alisa leads a slow, gentle mat workout focused on creating length and support for the spine, and balanced easy movement in the hips. She doesn't go into detailed explanation for the reasons behind pain here, she simply leaves out movements that are best avoided for back pain such as twisting, rolling or forward bending. Alisa finishes with some simple stretches for opening up key areas that can often bring instant relief as well as an exercise leaning against a wall for a quick reminder that you can do during your day to keep your back happy.

What Others Are Saying


  1. dragonfly 1 year ago

    Hi Alisa, I used to take your classes live in Greenwich Village at Equinox, and I am so happy to find Pilatesology. Recently, I learned I have lower back damage (bulged discs), so this work out really helps. I would love to see another workout similar to this one, if you ever have time!

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Hi dragonfly! So great to hear from you, especially while I’m in NYC for a couple of weeks of shooting and walked by the Greenwich Equinox this morning :). Here’s a list of classes we currently have that are good for your back, we are shooting a bunch more on this trip so I should have more for you soon. (you can find these again by clicking Spine Safe Workouts on the ‘Focus’ dropdown in our filters).
      You probably already know this from your doctor but to keep your back happy you want to avoid forward bending in that area (especially picking things up!) and twisting. Your new goal in life is to bend your knees and keep your spine long and straight–the good news is it’ll keep your legs and bottom in great shape. xx

  2. ryale 2 years ago

    this my to class after too much bending, it helps relieve any stiffness/discomfort i have every time. thank you

  3. Francisco Martinez 7 years ago

    I loved this. I don’t have that bad of a back, but it does end up from being sore from a bad bed, waiting tables, and working at a desk. It’s good to know fundamentals like this. Kudos Alisa.

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Thanks! Are you the same Francisco that I know from my Equinox class and Julliard dance class in NYC?

  4. nbbnixon 7 years ago

    Mmm, just what my sore back needed…the pinch and pull down I woke up with is gone!
    Big thanks, Alisa.

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Yay! Thanks Nick, I couldn’t be happier to hear it. Pilates is great for keeping you in shape but it’s just the best when it makes your pain go away.

  5. lghammerle

    Hi Alisa! I like your cue on the Wall with reaching through your feet and hands; that gives good energy for length 🙂
    And I appreciate your knowledge your shared regarding bad backs. It’s always good to learn and remember!

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Thanks Lauren, I learned a lot about how to fix back pain by overdoing it and straining my own back years ago–our own injuries are our best teachers.

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