Does your low back hurt while working out on the microformer? Especially when you’re doing core exercises? We are here to help you fix it! Let’s be real, the cause of low back pain can be complicated AF. From poor alignment TO previous unresolved injuries there can be many reasons why your low back is hurting during your workout on the microformer. Though there can be a million causes, we’ve identified the TOP mistakes that you may be making during your workout that contribute to your back feeling like SH*T.


When do most people experience back pain on the microformer? During core exercises. Why? Because if you aren’t properly engaging your core, your low back will start doing the work instead! Especially if you’ve been using your low back to compensate for your core for awhile…

The first step to fixing your low back pain in core work is learning how to actually engage your core. 

STEP ONE: Wrap your core! Don’t know how? We have a whole blog post about it ‘TO WRAP OR NOT TO WRAP’. You will then take little breaths of air in through your CHEST rather than your BELLY to keep the core wrap. 

STEP TWO: Get rid of that big dip in your low back *WE CALL IT A BANANA BACK*. Instead, think about pulling your low ribs + top of your hip bones together through the front of your body. This will help you better engage your rectus + transverse abdominis muscles AKA your core!

STEP THREE: Pull your shoulder blades down into their pockets instead of shrugging them up to your ears! *WE HAVE A WHOLE BLOG POST COMING ON THIS*  Pulling your shoulders into their pockets will help you better recruit the muscles of your upper back to support you in core work, instead of dumping the tension into your low back.

Okay, now that you know how to actually engage your core, let’s talk about ways to help you get your form ON POINT IN CORE WORK ON THE MICROFORMER.

FIRST HACK: Play around with the springs on your microformer! Each black spring on the microformer weighs approximately 12.5 pounds + can be your best friend OR worst enemy. On the front of your microformer, the more springs you have loaded, the more supported you will feel in the exercise. If you typically do core work on the front of the microformer with one black spring loaded, try it on two black springs instead! The exercises will feel significantly more supportive, which will help you keep your form on point!

Okay okay add extra springs on the front of the microformer BUT WTF DO YOU DO ON THE BACK OF THE MICROFORMER? Take all your springs off! Play around with doing core exercises on no springs. You’ll notice that when you don’t have any springs loaded on the microformer, the carriage hangs out wherever you leave it, instead of returning to its home next to the front platform. So instead of working AGAINST the tension of the spring, the carriage will slide freely. It’s going to feel more challenging than doing the exercise on the front of the microformer with a spring loaded on BUT far less challenging than off the back of the microformer with one black spring. 

SECOND HACK: Make your range of motion in core exercises smaller. LIKE WAY SMALLER. This especially applies to core exercises on the microformer where your arms are moving + extending away from your body! We’re talking wheelbarrow, saw, + cobra. In wheelbarrow for example, instead of trying to touch your carriage to the back platform for your microformer, make your SH*T way smaller. Only extend the carriage as far away from you as you can: 1. Keep your shoulders in their pockets + 2. Keep a full core wrap with your ribs pulled down and forward to your hips. 

Sending your arms (YOUR MAIN SUPPORT SYSTEM) too far away from your body can cause you to dump all of the tension into your low back instead of doing your core. Instead, keep the range of motion small to start. Start by extending your arms 1-2 inches away from you. As you get strong, slowly make your range of motion bigger!

HACK THREE: Use a mirror! Place it horizontally next to your microformer. That way you can checkout your form + recognize when you are dipping into your low back AKA BANANA BACKING. Check yourself out. 

Wanna have fun with us on your own microformer? Use code PILATESCLUB at checkout to save $$$ on yours today! FOLLOW US ON THE GRAM + LET’S DO THIS!

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