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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?

Stefania Della PiaA: 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.

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Return to the October 2011 Newsletter