Pilates does not cure scoliosis but can improve your posture, strengthen muscles, and enhance balance. Plus, it’s a satisfying workout that promotes mind-body awareness. Explore three Pilates exercises that can help with scoliosis and consult your health-care provider to determine if Pilates is right for you.
1. Mat Pilates: Bridge
The Pilates bridge works out the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and core and can relieve strain in the lower back. The most common way to do this exercise is on the mat, but you can also do it using blocks or stall bars.
Lie face up on the mat, with your arms on either side of you, palms down. Bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor.
Raise your hips off the mat when exhaling and lower your hips when inhaling. Once comfortable using the correct form, you can articulate the spine by lifting your back in sequence, starting from the tailbone.
2. Push-Through Bar: Shoulder Stretch
Another Pilates exercise that can help with scoliosis is the shoulder stretch using the push-through bar. This Pilates movement is one of many that can help improve rounded shoulders.
Lie on your stomach with your body in a long line and the soles of your feet facing upward. Throughout the exercise, keep your head and neck aligned with the spine. Your hips and pelvis will stay in a neutral position.
Stretch one arm upwards to hold the bar slightly behind your shoulders. Flex your other arm to use the hand to support your forehead on the ground.
Inhale and let the bar lift slightly, then exhale and pull the bar slightly back down and towards you. After doing this movement a few times with one arm, switch positions to stretch the other shoulder.
3. Stall Bars: Pelvic Tilts
The pelvic tilt is a low-impact exercise that you can do on a mat or with stall bars. Pelvic tilts reduce lower back stiffness and can strengthen abdominal and gluteal muscles.
Get into the semi-hang hold position by facing the stall bars and standing either on the lowest rung or the floor. Hold onto a stall bar rung at about forehead height with both hands.
Next, sit low until you feel your back stretching: at this point, you are in the semi-hang hold position. The semi-hang hold is an effective scoliosis elongation maneuver used in the Schroth Method.
Stay in the semi-hang position. Then, gently tilt your pelvis backward and forward. Do this slowly for thirty seconds.
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