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Q: I am a Physical Therapist and have been studying with STOTT PILATES® to learn therapeutic Pilates. What Mawork and Reformer exercises (therapeutic or beginner level) would you recommend to work into a balance and fall prevention program?
A: Wayne Seeto, BOccThy, MSc(PT), STOTT PILATES Lead Instructor Trainer & Rehab Specialist responds:
There are a few goals to keep in mind when designing a balance and fall prevention program: improving lower extremity strength, incorporating functional movement patterns and planes, and providing proprioceptive input.
With regard to proprioceptive input, consider the following parameters when modifying our exercise repertoire:
- Base of support: large – small
- Support surface: stable – unstable
- Tactile input: hands on – hands off
- Visual input: demonstration, eyes open – no demonstration, eyes closed
- Pertubations: none – lots
You can grade the proprioceptive input of an exercise by using different grades of each parameter. To get you started here are some suggested exercises:
Lower-extremity strength and proprioception Matwork progression:
- Legs Slides with foot on Mini Stability Ball™
- Shoulder Bridge Prep on BOSU®*, dome down
- Shoulder Bridge Prep on Stability Ball™
- Wall Squats
- Squats +/- standing on Rotational Disks
- Standing Roll Down +/- standing on Rotational Disks
Lower-extremity strength and proprioception Reformer progression:
- Second position with Extension Straps behind knees
- Sleeper position with weight transfer
- Knee Stretches prep standing
- Knee Stretches straight back
- Side Splits on knees
- Side Splits standing
- Front Splits with Padded Platform Extender and Jumpboard
- Back Splits with Padded Platform Extender and Jumpboard
Note: all exercise choices must be appropriate to the functional capacity of the participant. When working with any participant any co-morbidities and associated movement precautions/contraindications must be taken into consideration.