Pilates exercises for neck, back and knee pain

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Joe Dispenza


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Il pain in the neck, back or knees it can be quite disabling but to alleviate it, in addition to specific medical therapies, a valid option is to resort to Pilates, which due to its characteristics is able to act on the smallest muscles and joints.

Particularly indicated also according to many physiotherapists, here are what they are the best exercises to soothe these ailments.

Lower lift

This exercise is for strengthen hips, pelvis and lumbar spine, which in turn can help relieve pain in this area. If the core is strong, in fact, the pelvis remains more stable and the discs of the lumbar spine lift and align in a more natural way.

  • Lie on your back, with your knees bent across your chest.
  • Push your head and chest up and stack your hands palm to palm behind your head.
  • Extend your legs towards the ceiling.
  • Lower your legs to a 45 degree angle, then lift them up.
  • Perform 10 repetitions.

Back stretch

This exercise strengthens the back muscles while allowing the body to remain in a fairly balanced and safe position. It also trains the lower abdominals, which are useful for supporting the upper and lower back and strengthening the muscles.

  • Lie on your back, with your legs together and your arms outstretched in the T-position.
  • Slowly bring your arms towards your hips as you lift your head and chest off the floor.
  • Hold the position, then spread your back as you lower your chest again.
  • As you stretch and move away from the core, keep your abs in traction.
  • Just lift a few inches off the mat and do 8 repetitions.

Front bends

This exercise strengthens the gluteus medius, which helps support the hips, pelvis and lower back and plays a crucial role in keeping the hips strong and pain-free. Targeting this area also helps the hip flexor in the front to not strain excessively when moving and thus avoid causing pain in the knee and back.

  • Lie on your side, bend your knees and lean on your elbow.
  • Extend the upper leg straight in front of the hip and keep it parallel to the floor.
  • Move it up and down about 3-5 inches 30 times, then repeat the same movements with the opposite leg.
  • Imagine having a wall against your back that does not allow your hips to move.


This exercise may be good for warm knees after training. 

Knee stretch

This simple exercise stretches and makes the movements of the outer hip more fluid, decreasing the likelihood of pain in an area that can build up tension while sitting in a car, at a desk, or walking.

  • Lie on your side, with your head resting on your hand and your legs stretched straight.
  • Bend the upper leg inward and upward, and pull the toes towards the lower leg.
  • Extend the leg up towards the ceiling.
  • Reverse the movement until the leg returns to the starting position.
  • Repeat 30 times on each side.

Chest extension

This exercise it not only serves to lengthen the neck but also to strengthen the muscles and remove them from tensioni.

  • Stand upright with feet hip-width apart and hold a resistance band shoulder-distance in front of your chest.
  • Bend your knees and bring the band towards the ceiling, gently pulling it outwards.
  • Open your chest while looking up at the ceiling, then bring the headband over your head.
  • While looking up, keep your shoulders away from your ears and don't let your neck and head hang too far back.
  • Lift the band towards the ceiling, keeping the knees bent.
  • Straighten your legs and bring the band back in front of your chest.
  • Do 6 repetitions.


Chin bending exercises for neck pain are also helpful. 

Flexion of the wrists

This stretch exercise securely strengthens every part of the wrist without exerting excessive pressure or tension.

  • Stand upright and with your feet apart, holding a band between your thumb and forefinger in front of your chest.
  • Wrap the band around your hands.
  • Gently press the band and turn your hands with the palms facing the floor.
  • Still pressing gently, flip your palms towards the ceiling.
  • Keep the shoulders in traction to facilitate the work of the lats and trapezius.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Raises on all fours

While this movement may seem a little elementary, it is the best way to stretch the calves, ankles, Achilles tendons and arch of the feet. Practicing it every day can help prevent and treat plantar fasciitis, a painful narrowing of this area that affects the arches and soles of the feet.

  • Stand on all fours upside down, with hands and feet on the floor and hips raised to the ceiling.
  • Press your heels towards the mat, stretching the back of your legs.
  • Lift one heel at a time as high as possible, alternating sides.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds.


Muscle tension could be caused by anxiety. 

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