„Stretch your legs fully“

Why do I say this so often in the class?

  • Knee is an extremely important joint in our body and we want to maintain its mobility.
  • When leg muscles such as hamstrings and calfs are tight – because of disuse, sedentary lifestyles or poor posture —you’re not able to fully extend your leg and straighten your knee, and your walking (and running) stride may be shortened and less powerful
  • Further, inflexible hamstrings have been implicated in chronic low back pain, because they change the tilt of the pelvis
  • And for anyone who plays sports or works out, tight muscles may contribute to muscle strains, knee pain, and diminished performance because the muscles aren’t able to fully extend. 

Pilates exercises require you to stretch your knees (“extend your knees fully”). If you cannot do it yet, it does not mean you are not fit to do Pilates – what it means is that you have one extra thing to focus on: that is on elongating your hamstrings to be able to finally STRETCH YOUR KNEES.  

The Reformer can take Pilates training to a whole new level

woman performing Saw exercise on Pilates Reformer
Saw exercise on Pilates Reformer

Pilates Reformer:

  • Makes it easy to execute movements in the precise way, with correct biomechanics and joint positions;
  • Offers a HUGE variety of exercises with maximum number of muscles being trained, and with specific focus on the core and joint stabilisors;
  • Encourages working in the full range of motion to increase flexibility while building strength;
  • The rolling carriage challenges stability and balance and further develop core strength;
  • Use of springs encourages eccentric muscle contractions, when a muscle lengthens as it resists a force. This is one of the keys to achieving the long, strong muscles without bulk;
  • For people with injuries, physical limitations or joint problems the Reformer is an ideal exercise machine, because it makes possible to have a complete control over the range of motion, speed and intensity of exercises.

How Pilates exercises help back pain relief

Most physiotherapists recommend their back pain patients are recommended to try Pilates. After speaking with many clients referred this way, I see that even if they are sent to try Pilates, they are not explained why or how Pilates help their back pain rehab, or how they go about starting a Pilates training programme.

There is tons of resources on the internet these days about Pilates for back pain but only a few of them are trying to inform instead of selling something (or asking for more clicks from you). I have found a few pages that I consider helpful and practical – these are listed below:

a simple explanation about how Pilates help back pain

intro and some good exercises

a Telegraph article by a back pain patient cured by Pilates

Good luck and stay healthy!

Love Pilates Reformer training? Become an instructor

Woman performing Knee Stretches on Pilates Reformer

Reformer Instructor training by STOTT Pilates in Munich

Would you like to become a Pilates instructor? Are you looking to expand your Mat Pilates qualification to include equipment?

Then join the STOTT Pilates Reformer Instructor training course in Munich over 3 weekends April to June at Pilatesbody pilatesbidy.de with experienced and knowledgeable Lead Instructor Trainer Michaela Bimbi-Dresp.

Dates: Apr 6-8, Jun 22-24, Jul 20-23

Location: pilatesbody.de, Munich (Pilatesbody is a STOTT Pilates Licenced Training Centre)

Language: German (educational material in English)

About STOTT Instructor Training

The STOTT PILATES® education method is unparalleled in the industry for its thoroughness and quality. It has often been called the “Ivy League” of Pilates education.

With over 150 workshops and courses to choose from, STOTT Pilates introductory and continuing education cover everything from the Fundamentals, Sport and Athletic Conditioning, to Rehabilitation and special populations.


trainer performing Pilates Reformer Push Up exercise