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In Pilates, Can We Roll Down with Osteoporosis?

Ageless Fitness: Finding Strength and Balance on the Mat
Embracing Pilates at Any Age

A question recently posed to me at an event was, "In Pilates, can we roll down with osteoporosis?" This teacher had been told never to roll down and the question is a gateway to exploring the intersection of exercise and bone health. Osteoporosis, characterised by weakened bones prone to fractures, requires nuanced management, especially concerning activities like Pilates.

Understanding Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become fragile due to decreased bone density. It commonly affects the spine, pelvis, and hips, though other areas like wrists and ribs can also be involved. This fragility increases the risk of fractures, making informed and careful physical activity essential.

Embracing Controlled Movement

  1. Safe Flexion: Controlled forward bending can be safely incorporated into exercise routines for those with osteoporosis, avoiding excessive or uncontrolled movements​​.

  2. Customised Exercise Routines: Finding a balance that suits each individual, particularly those over 50 or with increased fracture risk, is crucial​​.

The Benefits of Pilates

With modifications, Pilates can be a beneficial and safe practice for individuals with osteoporosis, contributing significantly to flexibility and core strength. However, the effectiveness and safety of these exercises hinge on the expertise of the teacher. It's essential that Pilates teachers are not only well-trained in general Pilates methodology but also possess a deep understanding of osteoporosis and its implications on exercise.

Qualified instructors can adeptly modify exercises to accommodate the reduced bone density and increased fragility associated with osteoporosis. This includes adapting poses to reduce spinal stress, avoiding high-risk movements, and emphasizing stability and balance. By doing so, they ensure that each exercise promotes bone health and overall well-being without adding undue risk.

This tailored approach allows those with osteoporosis to engage in Pilates safely, leveraging its benefits while minimising potential harm. Therefore, for anyone with osteoporosis looking to practice Pilates, seeking out a qualified and knowledgeable instructor is a crucial step in maintaining both safety and effectiveness in their exercise routine.

Daily Life Adaptations

  1. Ergonomic Living: Adjusting daily tasks to reduce spinal stress is crucial.

  2. Mindful Movements: Incorporating mindful practices into daily life can empower individuals in managing osteoporosis.

Valuing Diversity of Opinion and Personalised Care

The range of opinions in osteoporosis management highlights the importance of personalised care. Consulting healthcare professionals and experienced Pilates teachers ensures a safe, enriching regimen tailored to individual needs.


Osteoporosis doesn't have to limit engagement in activities like Pilates. With thoughtful adaptations, expert guidance, and a positive approach, activities can be enjoyed safely, enhancing physical health and overall well-being.


  1. The Royal Osteoporosis Society

  2. Mayo Clinic

  3. Cleveland Clinic

1 Kommentar

Sarah Pritchard
Sarah Pritchard
29. Nov. 2023

One of my favourite populations to work with and such a rewarding population that needs to be empowered. For all Pilates teachers working with this population it is so important to have a detailed understanding of this condition to ensure that the programming for the individual is effective. Additionally, there are so many variables to consider when a client presents with osteoporosis that understanding not just the anatomy, but the physiology of the condition and the impact of different life stages, age, current level of conditioning, hormones, different medical conditions that have impact, the treatment received and the nature of the scan all helps a teacher determine which exercises to select. As well as the clients own history within movem…

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