Pilates Exercises to Relieve Lower Back Pain

By Kate Evelyn

golfer with a tap in putt
Hoisting your golf bag on your shoulder and swinging your driver can both cause a lot of strain on your lower back. It's not uncommon to feel some pain in this region after a long day on the course. If you have been diagnosed with back problems, you should consult your doctor before performing Pilates. If not, you can try to relieve some of your lower back pain by doing a few Pilates exercises.

Roll-Up Exercise

This exercise stretches the muscles in your lower back. Lie down on top of a Pilates mat with your back flat against the mat, your arms straight at your sides and your legs straight, ankles soft. Exhale deeply and raise your arms so they are parallel to the wall behind you. Lift your head off your mat, followed by your neck, followed by your torso, using one fluid movement. Stop rolling when you reach a seated position or the exercise becomes uncomfortable. Roll back down to the mat by reversing the exercise. Keep breathing steadily the entire time. Do one set of six.

Twist Exercise

This exercise helps to make your back more limber. Sit up with your legs out in front of you. Slowly separate them until your legs form a 90-degree angle where they meet your body. Lift your arms so they are parallel to the floor and reach them out to your sides. Sit tall, with your spine straight. Flex your feet. Exhale and turn your entire torso to the right, twisting with your core. Stop twisting when the exercise is no longer comfortable and return to your starting position. Do one set of eight for each side. Inhale at center and exhale as you twist.

Saw Exercise

This exercise helps with strength and balance. Sit up just like you did for the twist, with your legs apart, arms raised and feet flexed. This time, as you twist to the right, bend forward at your waist until your left arm touches your left foot in a kind of chopping motion. Return to center. Do one set of eight for each side. Inhale at center and exhale as you twist.

Pelvic Tilt

This is a simple stretch that involves laying on your back. with your knees bent and your feet on the floor, keep your relaxed and at your side. First gently lift your pelvic bone up, imagining that your are trying to pull your navel towards your spine. Hold for a few seconds, then exhale and relax your muscles. Do a set of eight. Inhale during the tilt and exhale as you relax your muscles.


If you want to turn these Pilates exercises into a complete workout, rotate through them in order for a period of at least 20 minutes. Stop exercising immediately if you feel the pain in your back increase or if you experience any other discomfort.


It's good to practice Pilates even if you don't have back pain. It can help increase your strength and flexibility and lead to improved posture. If you take care to keep good posture throughout your daily life, this can help improve the effects, and lead to a better golf game.

About the Author

Based in Washington, D.C., Kate Evelyn has been writing professionally since 2000. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications, including "Elle" magazine, "Brass|CU" magazine and the "Credit Union Times." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Western Maryland College.