Pilates training with older people

The normal aging process cannot be stopped. However, exercise and training can positively influence some of the factors.

Functional (balance, strength), neuronal (impaired sensory and motor functions), muscular (muscle atrophy) and bony (e.g. osteoporosis) limitations increase the uncertainties in everyday life.  This leads to an increased risk of falling and a restriction of the personal range of motion. There is also a correlation between the frequency of falls and kyphotic changes, particularly in the thoracic spine (1). 

Compared to conventional strength training, the progress achieved in Pilates training can be better transferred to everyday life, as trunk strength is of great importance in terms of improving dynamic stability. (2). Also, the compliance with these offers seems to be very high (3).

The use of Pilates equipment can counteract the above-mentioned age-related limitations: Dead Bug on the foam roller to activate the trunk muscles and improve balance. Leg Spring Series on the trapeze table to improve coordination of the lower extremities while maintaining a stable trunk. Prone Spine Extension on the chair allows a supported extension of the spine. Standing hip stretch on a reformer improves strength and balance when standing.

Michael Brunner, sport teacher, educator Polestar Pilates


1: Granacher, Urs, et al. "The importance of trunk muscle strength for balance, functional performance, and fall prevention in seniors: a systematic review."Sports medicine 43.7 (2013): 627-641.

2: Pata, Rachel W., Katrina Lord, and Jamie Lamb. "The effect of Pilates based exercise on mobility, postural stability, and balance in order to decrease fall risk in older adults." Journal of bodywork and movement therapies 18.(2014): 361-367.

3: Bird, M. L., and J. Fell. "Pilates exercise has positive long term effects on the aged-related decline in balance and strength in older, community dwelling men and women." J Aging Phys Act 6 (2013).