Pilates Exercises for Osteoporosis

by Dee
(Kentucky, USA)

I am age 75 and have osteoporosis in my right hip and spine. I am in good health otherwise and in good physical condition.

I have been exercising on my own to incease bone density.

I also would like to lose some weight, become stronger and lose some abdominal fat.

I have been hearing about Pilates and am very interested in knowing which exercises would be safe for someone with osteoporosis to accomplish my goals.

Thank you,


Hello Dee and thank you for your question/comments.

Working in a retirement community, more than 85% of my clients have either osteopenia or osteoporosis.

You are very right in that there are definite precautions to consider when exercising with Osteoporosis.

Some people feel that Pilates is not a good exercise for Osteoporosis as it is not weight bearing, but through my own research and results from clients I have found it to be very beneficial.

Pilates not only improves posture and balance, decreasing falls, but also reduces pain and grinding in the joints by using non- weight bearing spring tension.

Any exercise form that pushes or pulls on the muscle, in turn, results in an increase of bone density. Pilates does this very well with the stretching and pulling of muscles utilizing the spring tension and body weight type exercises.

The contraindications are important for you to consider as well. Any exercise that flexes or bends the spine forward is not advised for Osteoporosis. So, in Pilates that would be spine stretch forward, rolling like a ball, or any other forward bending motion.

Some great Pilates exercises to consider for Osteoporosis are: Any prone or lying face down, extension type exercises where the spine is straight and beyond.

Good examples of extension exercises are: prone single leg extension, swimming, and the modified swan.

Kneeling exercises with opposite arm and leg extension, and side kicks with front and back extensions are great core strength exercises that will also help with your balance.

Get more information about specific exercises that you should and shouldn't do from the links to articles below.

Balance Exercises are an important part of an osteoporosis exercise routine.

Best Exercises for Osteoporosis using Pilates Principles can be found here.

Pilates for Healthy Back and Joints DVD.

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