Episode 53: Pilates for Strong Bones with Gemma Pearson

Stronger Bones Lifestyle Podcast: Take Control of Your Bone Health

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[3:27] Her story
[9:47] Words are very powerful
[12:08] Why you should work with a bone health instructor
[12:51] Dos and don’ts in a Pilates class if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia
[15:33] Spine fractures
[17:47] The 80/20 rule
[19:37] Statistics
[20:53] Not everyone’s the same
[22:20] Making exercise meaningful
[22:58] Posture
[25:51] Balance
[26:33] Strengthening your back
[28:47] Working on the core in Pilates
[31:26] Breathing
[37:23] Pilates rules
[38:36] The reason
[39:15] The basics
[39:53] Standing Pilates
[43:15] Three centers involved in balance
[44:15] Fall prevention and the fear of falling
[48:35] Don’t forget to dance

Gemma Pearson on the Do's and Don'ts in Pilatest for Osteoporosis and Osteopenia

Welcome back to the Stronger Bones Lifestyle Podcast.  In Episode 53, host Debi Robinson welcomes Pilates instructor Gemma Pearson to discuss basics in Pilates, posture and making exercise meaningful.

Gemma is a former professional dancer who trained in Pilates for rehabilitation and works with a range of clients, including pre- and post-hip replacement, lower back, knee conditions, and chronic pain. Gemma chats with Debi about fall prevention and the fear of falling and breathing and why instead of “don’t do this,” it should be “do this safely.”

Join Debi and Gemma as they share movements and workout positions that will help you strengthen safely, the do’s and don’ts in Pilates if you have Osteoporosis or Osteopenia and the importance of working on your balance.

Here are some of the topics discussed:

  • Is it safe to forward bend when your hips are weak?
  • What rolling down really does to your spine
  • How finding your “why” is critical to seeing the results you want
  • How Pilates builds awareness of your body
  • Why lengthening your front is crucial to your posture (and how to do it correctly)
  • What “core strengthening” really means when you have fragile bones

"We look after our bones so we can do the things that we love.” [22:51]

"Yes core and posture is good, yes we’ve got to strengthen the lower body but balance, balance, balance." [42:17]

"If you're afraid it affects your posture, it sends your center of gravity down, it puts you more at risk." [45:23]

"The goal is to do Pilates and/or yoga for bone health and to do it safely.” [51:21]

Listen to more episodes on Bone Health and Osteoporosis

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes, Pilates can be safe for women with osteoporosis if practiced under the guidance of a knowledgeable instructor who specializes in bone health. Certain movements, like forward flexion and deep twisting, should be avoided, while others, such as extension exercises, hip hinging, and balance work, can be beneficial for strengthening bones and improving overall posture and stability. It’s essential to customize the Pilates routine to the woman’s needs and abilities, emphasizing proper alignment and controlled movements to minimize the risk of injury.

Pilates is excellent for improving posture. By focusing on strengthening core muscles, elongating the spine, and promoting proper alignment, Pilates helps correct imbalances and encourages a more upright and balanced posture. Through controlled movements and targeted exercises, Pilates can enhance body awareness and promote healthy postural habits both during sessions and in daily life.

Pilates helps build awareness in the body by emphasizing mindful movement, precise alignment, and focused breathing techniques. Through regular practice, individuals learn to tune into their body’s sensations, improve self-awareness, and become more conscious of movement patterns and muscular engagement. This heightened awareness allows for better control, coordination, and efficiency of movement.

Pilates and yoga both offer benefits for individuals with osteoporosis, but they differ in their approaches. While yoga focuses on flexibility, balance, and relaxation through various poses and breathing techniques, Pilates emphasizes core strength, postural alignment, and controlled movements. Pilates often incorporates resistance equipment like reformers and focuses on strengthening muscles around joints. Both can be beneficial for osteoporosis, but the key is to discover which one suits a woman’s lifestyle better.

Podcast Subscribe Links - Reversing Osteoporosis