Have you ever experienced back tightness or stiffness?

I often tighten up in the lower back if I sit for long periods, or if I’ve been travelling and crammed in small seat for too long.

It’s also normal to wake up feeling stiff and tight in the back or body.

This happens to me if haven’t been doing enough Pilates, Yoga or stretching, or if I’ve had a big workout. 

Our sleeping position also effects how our body feels when we wake up.

Morning stiffness and tightness is normal and has not only to do with the muscles as well as bone alignment but also the fascia, (the connective tissue that runs throughout our body).

Over use and or weakness in the back can also create tightness, especially if you are using one part of your spine more than another. This can happen if the spine is not as mobile in one area, which causes another area of the spine take more of the movement. 

If our spine is flexible and strong it will help prevent the stiffness and tightness. So keeping our spine mobile is so important. 

Here are 3 great exercises you can do to help relieve back tightness. 

You can watch the video and the exercises are listed below as well.

3 Exercises to reduce back tightness

Pilates – Cat Stretch
– Kneel on all fours (hands under shoulders, knees under hips)
– Start with a neutral spine position
– Inhale to open the chest and arch the back
– Exhale to round the spine, pressing the back to the ceiling and scoping the abdominals
– Repeat 8 times

Tips
– If you feel tension in the wrists put more weight in the outside edges of your hands
– Keep your shoulders away from your ears on both movements arching and rounding of the spine.

Pilates – Thread the Needle
– Kneel on all founds (hands under shoulders, knees under hips)
– Inhale to reach the right arm to the ceiling, palm facing away from the body
– Exhale dive the right arm under the body, in between the left hand and knees.
– Repeat 5 times each side.

Tips 
– As you reach the arm to ceiling avoid shifting your body weight backwards towards heels.
– Bend the supporting arm as you sweep hand under body to allow you to go further down so your shoulder touches the floor.

Pilates – Hip Rolls
– Start lying on your back in your neutral spine position.
– Feet flat on the floor and in line with your hip bones.
– Arms straight by your side
– Inhale to prepare
– Exhale to flatten your back into the mat and start to roll your hips towards the ceiling one bone at a time
– Inhale at the top in a bridge position
– Exhale as your articulate your spine all the way down to the floor into your start position again.

Tips 
– Imagine your spine is like a chain and your vertebrae are the links of the chain. Be sure to lift one vertebrae at time off and place back on the mat.
–  To Initiate the movement of flattening the back into the mat, use your abdominals instead of your glutes. 

Let me know if this was helpful reduce your back tightness & stiffness in the comments below.

I’d love to hear from you! 

Be sure to share with anyone you know who can benefit from these Pilates back care tips. 

Lots of Love and see you soon on the Mat! 

Em xo

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