For older adults those with physical limitations and others who struggle with mat routines
For older adults those with physical limitations and others who struggle with mat routines

For older adults those with physical limitations and others who struggle with mat routines - PDF document

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For older adults those with physical limitations and others who struggle with mat routines - PPT Presentation

Armchair pilates Pilates is a mindbody system that emphasizes controlled movements and conscious breathing patterns This gentle activity provides many benefits that not only attend to some physical concerns of aging but also help clients achieve gre ID: 36411

Armchair pilates Pilates




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For older adults,those with physicallimitations and others who strugglewith mat routines,armchair pilates offers a welcome optionby Moira MerrithewThe Five BasicPrinciples of in this arwere developed bySTOTT PILATES. Armchair pilates Pilates is a mind-body system thatemphasizescontrolled movements andconscious breathing patterns. Thisgentle activity provides many benefitsachieve greater well-being and self-esteem through their golden years.Aging adults may experience numerousconcerns with their bodies. Pilates can helpaddress these issues. For instance, this typeof exercise can combat loss of muscularstrength and endurance without puttingundo stress on the joints. Touted for theircore benefits, most pilates movements focuson strengthening the deep stabilizing muscleshelping to prevent back straingood posture. In addition, thejoints often become less stable with age. Pilateshelps maintain stability by strengthening thedeep support muscles of the joints, allowingpeople to do more dynamic activities such This approach to exercise is based on the Five Basic Principles listed below: •breathing•pelvic placement•rib cage placement•scapular movement and stabilization •head and cervical placement These techniques are essential for helpingparticipants realize their goals. Theyencourage greater body awareness and worktogether to create a safe, effective foundationfor pilates exercise. As a result, clients perform individual movements moreefficiently and achieve the maximum from each exercise. Finally, the principlesprovide the backbone for functionality in everyday life.Practicing the principlesThe pilates exercises described in this sectionwill increase understanding of the Five BasicPrinciples. To start, participants shouldtheir knees should be slightly lower thanThe Journal on Active Aging • July August 2005 Principle 1: breathingMany people are unaware of their breathingpatterns and tend to breathe in a shallowmanner. Breathing more deeply, particularlyduring pilates, fully oxygenates the blood,helps prevent unnecessary tension, activatesthe deep torso stabilizer muscles, and helpsBreathing into the lower lobes of the lungsincreases power, as the exercise below shows.Sample exercise:Sit as tall as you can near the front of your chair, keeping your feet flat on the floor.1.Breathe in through your nose andout through a slightly pursed lip. As you do this, keep your shouldersrelaxed—don’t let them rise. Breathe in and out 5 times.2.Continue to breathe as you try tocontract your pelvic floor. This helpsyou reach the deepest layer of yourstomach muscles, which help supportyour lower back. Repeat 5 times.3.Place your hands at your waist like a girdle. Breathe in. As you breatheout, draw up the pelvic floor and tryto tighten your stomach withoutallowing the spine to move. Repeat 5 times. (Fengagement. This is the position youshould be in to begin each exercise.)4.Still with your hands at your waist,breathe in. As you breathe out, draw up the pelvic floor and try to squeeze your legs together, as if you had a tennis ball betweenyour thighs. Repeat 5 times.For the rest of these exercises, clients shouldbreathe in through the nose and out throughthe mouth, as well as tighten the stomachmuscles before starting each movement.Principle 2: pelvic placementBack pain and strain and postural problemsbecome more common with age. Pilates can help minimize back pain and achieveoptimal posture, while maintaining thenatural curves of the spine. position of the lower back. Being able tosupport the pelvis in sitionkeeps strain off the lower back. Furthermore,it takes abdominal strength to move awayfrom neutral as the spine bends, and toreturn to this position. The following exercise promotes awareness of the spine and how the abdominal muscles, in tandemspine healthy.Sample exercise:Sit against the back of your chair,keeping your feet flat on the floor.Place a solid pillow behind yourback, if necessary. Sit up on your sitbones, so that your lower back has a natural curve (neutral) and pressed into the chair or pillowyou. Think of lengthening your earsaway from your shoulders.Keep yourshoulders relaxed.1.Keep your spine neutral as your breathe in.2.Breathe out as you contract yourabdominal muscles and press yourlower back into the pillow. Try toallow the movement to originatefrom your abdominals. Breathe in and return to neutral. Repeat 5 times.Principle 3: head and cervical placementIdeally, the neck (cervical spine) should holdits natural curve, with the head balanceddirectly above the shoulders when sitting in a neutral position. Excessive bending androtation of the neck in any direction can put stress on the joints and lead to neckproblems. One way to ensure participantsstay within safe limits during exercise is to notice the focus of their eyes, as described below.Sample exercise:Sit near the front of your chair, yourspine and pelvis as neutral as you can,feet flat on the floor.1.Sit tall, abdominal musclestightened. Breathe in. As youbreathe out, allow your eye level to drop to your knees as you loweryour head. Avoid looking directly tothe floor, as you will then be bendingyour neck too much. Breathe in andlift your head and eyes back to neutralRepeat 5 times.Sit tall, abdominal muscles tightened.Breathe in. As you breathe out, turnto look toward the right shoulder.Breathe in and return to startingposition. Repeat on other side. Repeatentire sequence 3 times each side.Principle 4: scapular movement As the shoulder blades move with the arms,stability is important. Weakened muscles in the shoulder blade area can easily lead mobility, pressure can build up into theinflammation. The following exercise helps participants attain optimal shoulderposition to minimize this possibility.Sample exercise:Sit near the front of your chair, spineand pelvis as neutral as you can, feetflat on the floor.To find a good position for yourshoulders, place your hands on top ofyour head (so your fingers touch inthe middle), lift your shoulders andopen your elbows as wide as you canwithout changing your neck position.Slide your shoulders down and loweryour arms. You should feel openthrough the front of your shoulders.This is your neutral shoulder position.1.Reach your arms out in front of youat shoulder height. Breathe in. Asyou breathe out, slide your shoulderRepeat 5 times.2.Reach your arms out in front of youat shoulder height. Breathe in. Asyour breathe out, slide your shoulderblades away from each other.Breathe in and return to neutral.Repeat 5 times.3.Reach your arms out in front of youat shoulder height. Repeat throughthe full range of movement you’vejust completed in the previous 2exercises: Breathe in and slide theshoulder blades together; breatheout and slide them away from eachother. Repeat 5 times.4.Leave your arms by your sides.Breathe in and raise your shoulderblades, being careful not to tensethem too much. Breathe out andlower your shoulder blades toneutral. Repeat 5 times.Leave your arms by your sides. Breathein and slide your shoulder bladesdown, being careful not to tensethem too much. Breathe out andraise them to neutral. Repeat 5 times.The Journal on Active Aging • July August 2005 B. MermaidSit near the front of your chair, spine and pelvis as neutral as you can, feet flat on the floor.Breathe in as you reach your right arm to the ceiling. Breathe out as you lean to the left. Breathe in to return; breathe out to lower arm. Repeat on the other side.Repeat sequence 3 times.C. Breast Stroke PrepSit near the front of your chair, spine and pelvis as neutral as you can, feet flat on the floor. Rest your hands against the front of the chair.Breathe in, sitting up tall. Breathe out as you press your hands against the chair and raise your chest towards the ceiling.Make sure to keep your abdominal muscles working. Breathe in to stay; breathe out to return. Repeat 3 times.D. Spine Stretch ForwardSit near the front of your chair, spine and pelvis as neutral as you can, feet flaton the floor, hands on your knees.Breathe in to sit up tall. Breathe out asyou flex forward, leading from the top of your head and still working yourabdominal muscles. Breathe in to stay;breathe out to roll up through your spine, leaving your head until last. Repeat 3 times. More armchair pilatesAdditional chair pilates exercises and routines are available in the STOTT PILATES Armchair Pilates STo learn more, visit the Videos section at www.stottpilates and navigate to the At Home series webpage.The Journal on Active Aging • July August 2005 Copyright 2005 Merrithew Corporation, all rights reserved. TM Trademark of Merrithew Corporation, used under license.