What Pilates Mat Exercises Are Safe With Osteoporosis? Osteoporosis Contraindications

Hey, guys. What’s up? It’s Stephen Dunn from CORE Therapy & Pilates. I’m a physical therapist, and today I want to come and tell you a message for someone who would have osteoporosis.

I recently had a client that came in and she says, “Hey, Stephen, I recently found out that I have osteoporosis.” As soon as she told me that, it led me to a whole series of things that we need to address with her. Now, she’s been taking some Pilates classes, and so I wanted to go over the things that are contraindicated in a Pilates mat class if you have osteoporosis.

Now, what is osteoporosis? It’s a demineralization of the bones and the vertebrae between the spine. What happens if you do exercises that brings you into a forward flexed position, it’s contraindicated. So basically all forms of crunches are contraindicated. Things that are going to require you to bend your spine is contraindicated.

One of the main things you want to learn to do is do what we call a hip hinge. We’ll get into that in a different video. The exercises that are contraindicated are the hundred, the roll-up, the roll over, rolling like a ball, single leg stretch. This is a bunch of them, so bear with me. Spine stretch, corkscrew, open-leg rocker, saw, swan, neck pull, scissors, bicycle, spine twist, jackknife, teaser, seal, and boomerang.

Those are the list of exercises in a Pilates mat class that are contraindicated if you have osteoporosis because what it’s going to do is put your spine into too much of a forward flexed position or too much of a rotated position. Basically, it’s too much forward flexion.

Now, let’s talk about the exercises that are safe to do in a Pilates class, in a Pilates mat class: the double leg click, the shoulder bridge … But the shoulder bridge you want to stay mid-height. You don’t want to go all the way up. If you start going all the way up, it can be too much pressure on the upper thoracic spine. Excuse me. Side kicks, hip circles … which you want to maintain neutral spine during your hip circle. Swimming, leg pulls to the front, leg pulls, side kicks kneeling … Again, keep a neutral spine. Side support and pushups, but you want to avoid the down-dog part of the pushup.

So all of the sudden, the safe exercises in a Pilates mat class, it’s a small list. The exercises that are contraindicated is a pretty long list. So I just want to share that with you, and I want to go over one more. The general contraindications would be all roll-ups, all forms of crunches, obliques … That’s what I forgot to say earlier. I knew there was one I missed at the very beginning. Obliques, and you also want to avoid putting pressure on the ribcage here on your stomach.

There’s an exercise in Pilates where it’s the swan. The first part of the swan is very good if you have osteoporosis, but as you’re rocking back and forth on those ribs, that’s not so good. Also, the pigeon pose in yoga, a very, very common pose taught to folks of all ages, that’s something that can be very … Again, it’s contraindicated for the hip.

With that said, I’ll be finishing up with another set of exercises on what to do other than Pilates exercises, but I wanted to start here because I have a client that needs to hear this. So that’s what I got for you today, guys. If this message resonates, like, comment below, and subscribe to our YouTube page. We’ll see you soon. Take care. Peace.

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