Pilates For Osteoporosis: How Safe?

Pilates For Osteoporosis: How Safe?

People have been talking about how beneficial Pilates exercises for osteoporosis are.

And one case study showed how Pilates reduced an osteoporotic diagnosis to osteopenia just a year after doing Pilates.

But as optimistic as the results are, you can’t help but wonder… How safe Pilates exercises for osteoporosis is?

Especially since some of the positions in Pilates are a little difficult and out of your comfort zone.

Are there any risks you should know about? Or are you free to just practice any Pilates position you want?

Your concerns are valid… Given that osteoporosis can easily lead to bone fracture.And we at Pilates Reformer Plus hear and understand you, this is why we’ve dedicated this blog to help ease your mind about Pilates and osteoporosis.

So… Is Pilates For Osteoporosis Really Safe?

Pilates is generally safe for osteoporotic clients.

This means you’re welcome to participate in Pilates classes with the following prerequisites (of course!)...

1. Doctors know best!

We can’t emphasize this enough…

That even though Pilates is generally safe, it’s advisable that you first consult your doctor before taking any Pilates class or weight-bearing exercises for that matter.

This can help your doctor monitor your progress or watch out for any signs and symptoms that will help them determine how to proceed with your treatment.

2. Remember: Too much load strain is not good

So to answer your question “Are there any risks?”

Like any other exercise, if done incorrectly, you could injure yourself.

But don’t worry… This is why you’re reading our blog, to know the dos and don’ts of Pilates exercises for osteoporosis and we’ll talk more about this later.

In the meantime, one important thing to remember is to avoid loading too much strain/stress on your spine in a curved position because this can lead to fracture.

3. Pilates principles matter

Knowing and taking to heart the 6 principles of Pilates will help you reduce the risk of injury while performing Pilates on your Merrithew V2 Max Reformer.

With these principles, you will learn how to breathe slowly… to help you relax and savor each inhales and exhales; gracefully control your movement so as to lessen the load on your joints and spine, and activate your center to let your energy flow throughout your body.

Pilates Exercises For Osteoporosis: Here’s Why it’s Good For You!

So now that you know the truth about Pilates and osteoporosis, it’s time to delve into why it’s a miracle worker for your bones.

1. We love thick bones!

Who doesn’t?

Particularly if you’re suffering from osteoporosis, having thick bones is something you’d hope for every day.

And weight-bearing exercise does exactly that!

This is why doing Pilates exercises on your Pilates reformer can effectively stimulate your bones to increase bone density and lower your risk of fracture.

2. Beefy body, strong joints

Just because we’re focused on bones, doesn’t mean we should forget our muscles.

Because without enough muscle strength, how will you be able to perform exercises on your Pilates equipment?

Remember, Pilates exercises for osteoporosis are crucial for increasing your bone density.

So beef up those muscles!

3. No more falling for you…

Okay… Let’s clarify that.

What we meant here is that with Pilates exercises you won’t have to worry about falling and getting fractured ever again!

Because with Peak pilates you can improve your balance and gait, reducing your risk of falling.

4. Your spine is divine

Have you heard the wonders that Pilates can do to your spine?

Pilates posture exercises can help improve your spine alignment… And this is not just for aesthetics.

Because having a bad posture can lead to body pain, headache, and fatigue.

And for someone who’s already suffering from osteoporosis, this can contribute to the compression of your joints which can also lead to muscle imbalance, injury, and deformity.

It’s a ripple effect that can impact the dynamic of your body and aggravate your symptoms.

5. You deserve a better life

With the benefits we’ve mentioned above, imagine all of them simultaneously working in your body.

Your bone density increasing, muscles getting stronger, spine stability is improving, and you can walk, run, and perform Pilates positions without falling - the perfect balance!

Can you picture yourself happily doing the things you love?

That’s what Pilates exercises can do for you: Make your life better!

Simply because you deserve it.

Pilates and Osteoporosis: What to avoid!

As we mentioned earlier, here are some of the types of Pilates exercises you should avoid…

  • Excessive spine flexion, twisting, and lateral flexion
  • Rolling forward in a curved position with weights
  • Avoid exercises such as curl up, rollover, jackknife, hip, roll, spine twist, open leg rocker, saw, rolling like a ball, spine stretch forward, and roll up

3 Pilates Exercises for Osteoporosis

The key to safe Pilates exercise is avoiding excessive loading and flexion in a curved position.

So here are some modifications of Pilates exercises that you can safely perform in the comfort of your home.

1. Spine Stretch Forward With Straight Back

This is a modified version of the saw and spine stretch forward. We need to modify these exercises to avoid excessive flexion of the spine.

Things you need to remember while performing this exercise:

  • Keep your back straight
  • Keep your knees bent
  • Don’t curve your spine
  • Reach only the distance that you’re comfortable and without pain
Steps for a safe Pilates exercise
a. Position yourself in long sitting with your knees bent and your hands extended forward
b. Take a deep breath and when you’re ready, move your body forward by bending on your hips and keeping your spine straight and knee bent, do not curve your spine
c. Repeat 5 - 10 times 

2. Modified Single Leg Stretch

We need to strengthen your core muscles… However, crisscrossing, sit-ups, scissors, and the hundred are not allowed due to their strenuous nature.

For Modified Single Leg Stretch, you need to remember the following:

  • If you’re lying flat on the mat, avoid flexing your head or moving it forward
  • Always remember to exhale while exerting effort
  • Make sure your lower back is always flat on the mat

Steps for a safe Pilates exercise

a. Lie flat on your mat and bring your knees and hips to 90 degrees and place your hands on the side of your knee.
b. Extend your right leg and slowly lower it to a point that you’re comfortable (without touching the ground), make sure your lower back is flat on the mat
c. Simultaneously, slowly flex your left knee and hip. Alternately move your right and left knee.
d. Repeat 5 - 10 times

3. The Cat

One of the safest exercises that will help you move your spine and hips is the cat stretch.

Things to remember when doing this exercise:

  • Stretch your back slowly and carefully
  • Control your movement so you don’t over-flex your back and hurt yourself

Steps for a safe Pilates exercise

a. Start on all fours position. Align your shoulder with your wrist and your hips with your knees; keep your toes pointing backwards and your back in a neutral position parallel to the floor.
b. Inhale while simultaneously dropping your belly towards the floor, rolling your shoulder back, and extending your neck with your eyes towards the ceiling
c. Exhale while simultaneously engaging your core muscles and arching your back. Move your head between your shoulders
d. Do this 5-1- times

Yes! Pilates is safe for you…

Have we put your mind at ease?

Pilates is safe for osteoporosis as long as you avoid…

  • Overflexion
  • Excessive trunk twisting
  • Abrupt and uncontrolled movement
  • Curving of the spine with or without weights

Don’t let osteoporosis dictate how you should live your life, nor should it define who you are!

Ready to move without fear? Check out our Pilates reformer catalogue and live your best life starting today!

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