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What is lower back pain telling you?

Updated: May 25, 2021


I’ve been teaching reformer pilates back in the studio since phase 2 started. As most clients are working from home, the most common pains I am hearing are related to the lower back.

The responses I received with each “How are you? Any injuries?” were usually:

  • “I am feeling achy, the lower back!”

  • “Painful to sit and drive, even harder to get out of the car!”

  • “Look at me, my posture is gone!”

The number one culprit contributing to this widespread phenomenon is what each of us is so guilty of: SITTING.

The largest piece of muscle in our body can be found exactly where we are sitting on: our glutes! By sitting on them, that is doing our glutes a huge disservice!


My physiotherapist would add emphatically, "Sitting is the new smoking!"

Apart from the usual core muscles that we hear so much of in the fitness world, it could come as a surprise to some of you that working on our glutes could potentially help to reduce lower back pain.

A neutral pelvis is the most shock absorbing position and hence the ideal position to overcome lower back issues. Our deep core muscles together with our glutes need to work together to maintain our pelvis in neutral.

Another interesting comment I received was: “Joined the zoom exercise class and sweated it out, but ended up with lower back ache!”

I would imagine this client extending her lower back a lot more and causing an over-compression onto the lumbar spine while she moved her body in various forms.

As much as our body requires the cardio workout, our spine needs the muscles to keep it safe in neutral. Too much over-extension can really stress your lumbar spine, resulting in the achy feeling.

Increasing your body awareness through pelvic tilt and breathing exercises would help you to master a neutral pelvis, keeping your lower back in a safer form while exercising!


As Joseph Pilates, founder of the Pilates movement, said, “You are only as young as your spine is flexible.”

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1 Comment


Miko Yee
Miko Yee
Aug 12, 2020

Truly must aware e body capability b4 sustain more hurt n aches . Tks for e article

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