People with low-back pain who practiced Pilates mat exercises for only 1 hour twice per week experienced improvement in their condition, according to a small study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2005; 37 [5], S27).

For 12 weeks, researchers studied 22 subjects with a history of low-back pain. Fifteen participated in the Pilates mat program, while seven served as the control group. By the end of the study, all participants had experienced an improvement in their condition. Those in the Pilates classes, however, had a significant decrease in low-back pain, particularly among specific areas of the lower spine.