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Osteopenia & Osteoporosis

Posted Jul 28 2008 8:14pm


by Lesley Powell

“I need advice once again! I teach Mat Pilates in a “gym” setting. I had a new student enter my Pilates class, I know her from other classes and have seen her lifting weights, running, boxing, etc.. When she entered, I asked her about any conditions I may need to know about, knees, back, etc. She told me she has been diagnosed with Osteopenia of the spine and hip. So, here I am searching for advice on Osteopenia and Mat Pilates. I know that Flexion exercises are contraindicated and extension & isometric abdominal exercises (seated/supine) are beneficial but I would love you to blog on this topic. As always, many thanks!!Pilates Teacher

Osteopenia is the beginning development of bone density problems.  I have had many clients with osteopenia and osteoporsis with improved bone density with pilates.

I am going to give an example how to build an exercise for a multi-level class.  Your goal is to have the class do roll down for the majority, but you have to adapt for clients with osteopenia/osteoporosis.

  1. Start entire class sitting and practice engaging the abdominals with a neutral spine. Use props if the clients are unable to sit well.
  2. Sit the legs forward, bent & in parallel.  Arms are reaching forward. Lean backwards with a neutral spine.
  3. PILATES ROLLUP

  4. To up the ante, hold the lean and add arms to challenge the core deeper.
  5. For all those with spinal issues, have them repeat this.  For the rest, have them roll down.

Quadriped exercises are great.  (This exercise can be done without form rolls)

balance5.3

Challenging balance is great for issues of bone density of the spine and hips.  Standing exercises are wonderful as well.PILATESUPRIGHT 2

More Info: Physical Therapist Sherri Betz has great info about Pilates and Osteoporsis

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