This BLOG is for Pilates Instructors working in a group setting with Older Adults in a Group Pilates Setting (10-12 students)
Pilates is Advanced, it has many motions spacial planes and movement of the spine.
Due to medical conditions ranging from diseases to injuries, not all movements are appropriate for the older adult.
After working with this population, I came
up with 8 Pilates Concepts that can be progressed into the full exercise if appropriate. Also these concepts are great for the new or beginning client.
1. Breathe: Use Breathe to calm the nervous system and get the client to understand where they are breathing. Introduce both types of breathing – nose only, and inhale through nose and exhale through the mouth.
2. Proprioception: This is a great way to teach FORM. For example in Footwork – Heels On (Feet Sits Bone Distance Apart) Are the knees tracking over the toes? Can they feel the balance of the inner and out leg working together and the intrinsic muscles of the feet. As a teacher this is where corrective cues need to happen to help them gain mind & body connection. (I wrote an entire blog about teaching beginning clients about proprioception)
4. Weight Transference & Balance: all directions front side and back; using the wall or a ballet barre for support.
5. Mini- Dynamic Stretch Breaks: This population – has varying degrees of fatigue. I keep reps low and watch for poor form. I give small short 1 minute breaks with directed dynamic stretching.
6. Functional Movement – Movement that you would use in everyday living: Squats, bend and flexing joints, pushes and pulls.
7. Coordination: Giving patterns where the arms and legs have different movement patterns – opposition then changing to same, single leg to both leg back to single leg. Rhythmic & organized.
8. Flexibility / Dynamic Stretching: (Cool Down) -Small ranges of controlled movement using the exhale on the stretch. Coming back to the focus on breathe at this point in the session.
I had been teaching for over 15 years prior to working with this population. When I moved to Scottsdale, AZ – the MAJORITY of my clientele were 60s to early 70s. I found that using these concepts gave my clients confidence, substantial gains of strength, endurance, awareness, and improved proprioception.
Older Adults are fun to work with. Many are retired and they have the time and focus to commit to a Pilates- based practice.
Do you teach Older Adults? What are your successful moments?
I will be blogging more on the Power of the Pilates Concepts and how to help Older Adults with Pilates-based Functional Fitness.
Leave a comment if you would like to be added to my mailing list. Workshops with Jess from Pilates Row – Spring 2020. Online coaching and online private sessions available.
Check out my YouTube TV channel Carrie Miller Pilates with a Standing Hundred Video with tips in comments.