What all seniors should know about Pilates
By Rachel Algra, Polestar© Certified Pilates Practitioner
There are many benefits for seniors when it comes to Pilates, but often their image of what they think Pilates is going to be, intimidates them enough that they don’t ever try it. Firehaus Pilates strives to create a sense of security, and offers positive reinforcement so the client feels completely confident in their ability to challenge themselves. This ends in a positive experience for the client, helping them regain their sense of control and independence. Our top three goals for seniors Pilates classes are improving balance, improving posture, and increasing joint stability!
Most of our senior programs keep clients in a “neutral position” which is a safe position for those with Osteoporosis and is the least stressful position for the spine. Neutral position simply means the spine remains straight (ex. lying on your back, lying on your side or standing). The best way to increase or decrease the intensity of a neutral-spine exercise is with the use of small props. Small therapy balls, foam wedges and arcs add that extra challenge to a basic exercise, whether you’re on the reformer or on the mat. With props, you can make the exercise new and different each time. We also use small props to offer assistance or guidance to make an exercise successful for a client who has injuries or restrictions.
When working on balance, we often have clients hold onto a wooden dowel or a foam roller. Many of our seniors have a great fear of falling or have actually fallen and injured themselves. This fear is also common in those with hip or knee replacements and can be disabling for some. Having a small prop is often a simple way to teach the body the movement in a “safe” environment until the client is ready for the next challenge!
So don’t hesitate! Pilates is a low impact, fun way to get your body back in shape, and a great way to return to the activities you love after an injury or surgery. Learn more about our Seniors Pilates Classes at www.FirehausPilates.com