“I would like to know how to handle a Mat Pilates participant with mild scoliosis in a group class setting. I have a teenager who has asked to take my Mat Pilates class. I asked her to be patient with me while I researched what I can do to assist her. Should I not have her do certain exercises? I am nervous. I can’t find any information on Mat Pilates and Scoliosis.” Thanks! Cheri
There are wonderful ways to bring better balance to all your clients as well as the clients with scoliosis. Since we all have preferences of left and right, body habits and imbalances, getting better balance of mobility and strength will take the Pilates workout to a different level.
A wonderful example is my experience with Diane Woodruff at a Laban Conference in Brazil. She had all of us perform a crunch and observe the range of motion. Then she took through a simple mobility of the spine in sitting. It is very much like Mermaid in the Pilates repertory.
Lift the right arm up.
Laterally flex the spine to the left.
Rotate the spine to the left & bow to the knee with the hands on each side of the knee.
Roll your spine center flexed.
Roll back up to neutral spine
Repeat to the other side.
With that warm-up, she had us perform the crunch again. We all were able to flex our spines more. When teaching mobility, have the clients become aware of which side was tighter. Have them perform more on the tight side.
Awareness is key in making change.
When the class does pelvic rocks (clocks), which side of the pelvis is touching the floor.
Leg circles- Does one side have more trouble stabilizing?
Bridging- Does one hip go higher/rotate?
Roll down- Is the spine evenly rolling down on the floor?
Quadriped with opposite arm and leg lifted- Is one side harder to find balance?
Sitting- Where are the ribs in relationship to the pelvis?
Standing- Are the hips level?
With scoliosis, you want to open the tight muscles and strengthen the weaker ones. With all clients, tight muscles can prevent them from connecting to the deep core muscles. Mobilizing the spine, stretching the ITB’s & the psoas are essential for everyone’s wellness.