When under the guidance of a trained professional who is aware of what to avoid and what to strengthen, Pilates is safe and a wonderful way to work on strength, flexibility and balance, all elements that contribute to avoiding fracture. Please keep in mind though, that the typical mat Pilates class you’ll find in a “Y” or Fitness Club includes many forward bending exercises. Forward bending – called flexion – is a movement that you need to avoid when you have osteoporosis or osteopenia. I can guide you through a safe, motivating and fun workout to strengthen your bones, and improve your flexibility and balance. I will share with you what to avoid, and how to move your body as you’re doing your daily activities in a way that will decrease your risk of fracture.
BoneSmart Pilates® is the foundation for a safe, motivating, fun workout to strengthen your bones, and improve your overall strength, flexibility and balance.
Classes at Stanford
For more information see Stanford’s Health Improvement Program. Choose Group Fitness Classes link for Pilates for Bone Building classes. Choose Healthy Living Classes link for Lecture/Lab offerings.
by Mersheed Sinaki, et. al.
89% of the participants in this study suffered an additional compression fracture after participating in flexion (crunch-like) exercises. This research provides the scientific support and rationale for avoiding all spinal flexion exercises in those with low bone density. It also supports the rationale for promoting extension exercises in this population.
Pilates for Back and Neck Pain
Pilates is renowned for its contributions to spine health and the reduction of back pain. Many people, when exercising, tend to over utilize rectus abdominus, the most superficial abdominal muscle. Due to the nature of its origins and insertions, it has no major role in back stabilization. With Pilates, the focus is on correctly accessing our core muscles. Exercises are also given to stretch out tight back muscles and strengthen the extensor muscles of the spine to counteract the forces of gravity which pull us into a hunched over position. (I refer to this position as the “Silicon Valley Slump” from too much computer time, driving etc.) Your posture and general carriage will improve with a resultant decrease in pain.
In my practice I see over-utilization of the upper trapezius and levator scapulae which can result in tight, sore neck muscles. I focus on strengthening the scapular and rotator cuff muscles to retrain the body to move efficiently without neck or upper back strain. Stretches for the back and neck are given in all sessions and proper alignment of the neck is monitored stringently.
Pilates for Foot Pain
Dr. Sanjay Gupta did a study with elderly people asking what they most regretted not paying attention to in their younger years.
The answer was teeth and FEET. In your sessions here, we always begin with deep tissue mobilization for the feet using various modalities. Your feet are encased in shoes for the majority of the day limiting natural range of motion and flexibility. Included in every session, are exercises to strengthen the intrinsic muscles in the feet with a careful eye to alignment. If your are suffering from foot pain, you might stand in such a way as to avoid putting stress on a particular area of the foot. This will have repercussions on the alignment of the knee, hip, back, etc. We will establish a proper weightbearing stance and give your feet the stretching and strengthening necessary to keep them mobile and painfree.
Pilates for Shoulder and Knee Pain
When you are suffering from shoulder or knee pain, often strengthening and stretching the muscles that cross those joints helps to alleviate your symptoms. With Pilates, focus is not on strengthening muscles in isolation but on strengthening those muscles as we stabilize our body. We work the whole body as a functional unit, just like you use your body in real life!
I assess for muscle weakness, tightness, neural pathology and muscle imbalance and through a thorough program designed for your needs, we get you back on track.
Pilates was discovered early on by dancers for its benefits in building long lean muscles while addressing flexibility, core strength, alignment and breath control.
As a former professional dancer, Teresa has a visceral understanding of dance and a special place in her heart for working with dancers. Adept at harnessing the power of Pilates to prevent injury and rehabilitate dancers’ bodies, she will help you hone your technique to withstand the demands of rehearsals and performances.
Pilates is also an excellent method for non-dancers who admire and would like to attain the posture and physique of a dancer’s body.
Celebrate the changes that you’ll undergo during this special time and learn ways to help your body support your growing baby.
I’ve completed specialty training for physical therapists targeting safe exercise for prenatal/postnatal women. Pilates exercise is safe to perform during pregnancy and is excellent for keeping the body strong and the back supple as the baby grows. Modifications are made to accommodate safe exercise such as restricting the supine position (lying on your back) as your pregnancy progresses, to avoid blood flow restriction to your baby. Stretches are performed gently to avoid tearing ligaments already lax from increased pregnancy hormone secretion. You’ll learn how to activate your pelvic floor and safely stretch and strengthen your body to reduce back pain, improve posture, facilitate an easier delivery, and decrease your recovery time after giving birth. Having had both a C-Section and a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesearean), I understand firsthand the demands the body is put under with childbirth. I’ve also experienced and want to share the power of Pilates to get you back in shape and feeling great. If pregnant, Pilates with Teresa requires a doctor’s note clearing you for Pilates exercise.
TRX is a recent addition to the varied equipment offered within your Pilates session.
Capitalizing on the principle of instability, the TRX forces you to engage your core and stabilizer muscles. A simple push-up becomes a full body exercise when suspended in the TRX. Since you are pulling your own body weight, you can change the workload with a simple adjustment, making the TRX a tool that will continue to challenge you as you progress in strength and skill. Applying the principles of Pilates to the TRX system provides an added dimension of challenge, concentration and control.