Pilates is one of those oft-misunderstood exercises in the same vein as yoga. Yet, Pilates is incredibly useful when it comes to two core aspects of movement: balance and mobility. Pilates is incredibly good for improving both and can lead to other forms of exercise that further help you improve your health. For seniors, it can also help relieve arthritis, improve strength, and provide relief from a variety of other conditions like scoliosis or muscle atrophy. The routine has a variety of exercises for you to try, each with their own forms and benefits. Here are just a few to get you started.
This is a basic exercise, designed to work your hips and spine; however, it’s important that you allow the hips to lead your spine, rather than rotating the spine in addition to the hips. It also helps improve your body’s balance from a prone position. To do the corkscrew, you lay down flat on your back with your legs at ninety degrees from the ground, then begin rotating them for three to five repetitions. This isn’t recommended for those with osteoporosis however, so keep that in mind.
This is another basic exercise, perfect for older folks who are looking to improve their mobility and balance while not engaging in anything too strenuous. Side circles help improve hip joint flexibility and improve balance. You lay on your side and extend the leg towards the ceiling then begin moving the leg counterclockwise and clockwise in small circles. Switching sides lets you get the full benefits.
“Swimming” helps mobilize your hip and shoulder joints, alongside promoting upper-lower body coordination on both sides. The exercise is pretty simple to perform; adopt a prone position with your spine straight, raise, and lower each leg without bending the knee while raising the corresponding opposite arm. The ideal repetitions are three to six for each side.
Another great Pilates manoeuvre for seniors, the Mermaid helps lengthen your side and provide better internal blood flow in addition to keeping muscles in check. You start with both legs folded to the left side, then place the right hand on the floor for balance. Then, extend the left arm up and lengthen your spine as your body stretches to the side while the balancing hand moves farther away to increase the stretch.
Based in Milton and serving the Mississauga and Oakville areas, Pilates Difference is your go-to for amazing Pilates exercises. We offer quality Pilates exercises that everyone can partake in regardless of skill or fitness level, alongside online fitness training so you can work out in the comfort of your own home! Zhanna is a Certified Pilates Instructor and has eight years of experience, so you know you’re in the right hands. Come check us out at Pilates Difference or call 1-905-220-9768 to find out more today!