Pilates is a great way to build strength in your core, but be careful.
Why this matters:
I love pilates as an exercise modality because it’s low impact and is a great way to build core strength. You can also increase or decrease the challenge based on how you’re feeling. However, just like any other exercise routine, there is a risk of causing a flare up of your sciatica. The key is to minimize the opportunities for a flare by preventing excessive use of your hip flexors.
The hip flexor muscle group (iliopsoas and iliacus) are responsible for bringing your knee to your chest (hip flexion) but also for arching of your low back (lumbar extension). Without proper core control, you’ll often have forced lumbar extension which can be irritating to some people.
If you’re considering pilates, the key is to ensure that you’re training your abdominals correctly.
Action steps:This video helps explain how you can focus on your core to ensure that the hip flexors don’t do all the work. As a result, you’ll have a great workout with significantly less pain.