Can Reformer Pilates Help People with Osteoporosis?

Oct 12, 2019

It’s always important to keep your bones as strong as possible. Not only do strong bones provide strength, balance and support to your body, they also help you keep a good posture to improve your appearance and make you feel more youthful.

The Importance of Strong Bones

Your bones support your muscles and protect your internal organs. And because of them, you’re able to perform various activities such as in the household, social and sports.

Your bones always undergo changes. New bone is formed and old bone deteriorates. When you’re young, new bones form faster than it deteriorates, and your bone mass increases. At the age of 30, most of us reach our peak bone mass. Bone remodelling still continues after, but your body loses bone mass more than it gains.

Strong bones protect against osteoporosis. Both males and females over 35 experience bone loss every year. However, females experience greater bone loss as compared to males.

What is Osteoporosis?

As your bone mass decreases, your risk of developing osteoporosis increases. Osteoporosis weakens your bones, then you become more susceptible to fractures.

Osteoporosis is a type of skeletal disease in which bones become more fragile. It is where the bone density decreases and the microarchitectural structures of the bone tissues deform. This can be life-threatening with the fractures it causes.

How to Protect Against Osteoporosis

If you exercise regularly before bone loss begins, say about age 25-30, you’re helping your body build bone mass. But at any age, you can still exercise on a regular basis as you can still increase your bone density and strength.

Yet, it’s best to ask your physiotherapist or exercise physiologist to recommend exercises appropriate for your condition, especially if you have osteoporosis or any health problems that may pose as a risk factor for some types of exercise.

Can Reformer Pilates Keep Your Bones Healthy?

Future-proofing your bones helps ensure you keep your bones healthy as you age.

Reformer Pilates can be a great exercise that can help protect against bone loss as it can be tailored according to your needs while focusing on strengthening your bones.

It is also a form of strength training, which also has bone-building benefits. Like muscles, bones also respond to resistance and weight-bearing workouts. The mechanical force applied to the bone improves osteoblastic activity. Osteoblasts are cells that develop bone.

Exercise to Manage Osteoporosis

In rehabilitating osteoporosis, studies have been emphasising the importance of physical activity and exercise.

In a particular study conducted by Ender Angin and colleagues, 41 postmenopausal women were divided into 2 groups: the Pilates group and the control group. The purpose of the study is to determine the effects of Clinical Pilates on bone mineral density, physical performance and quality of life of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis and to compare the results with the control group.

The participants were evaluated for bone mineral density in the lumbar area. Their physical performance, pain intensity and quality of life were assessed.

Physical performance test results showed improvement in the Pilates group while there were no changes in the control group.

The bone mineral density and physical performance of the women under the Pilates group increased while their pain intensity decreased. On the other hand, the bone mineral density of the control group decreased and there were no changes in their physical performance and pain intensity.

The participants under the Pilates group achieved postural improvement, a decrease in muscle shortenings, and an increase in muscle strength and flexibility.

The researchers concluded that Pilates is effective in increasing bone mineral density and quality of life and physiotherapists can use Pilates for clients with osteoporosis.

Performing Reformer Pilates Safely

Reformer Pilates strengthens your body muscles like a muscular corset and enables flexibility and relaxation. It harmonises your mind and body as it reduces pain.

It is an effective tool in improving control of your movement in the upper body and pelvic area, therefore preventing musculoskeletal injuries.

If you have osteoporosis, the exercise program can be modified accordingly. To have a safe Reformer Pilates workout, some movements will be eliminated. The focus will be on strengthening the muscles. Reformer Pilates will help improve your balance to reduce the risk of falls and fractures.

Exercise is important at every phase of osteoporosis, most especially at an early phase. This also means starting Reformer Pilates early will spare you from the difficulties of having osteoporosis much later in your life.

Contact Us Today

Don’t wait for osteoporosis or any bone problems to downgrade your quality of life. Book a Free Pilates Body Assessment (valued at $80) with us. You’ll thank yourself you did!



Angın E, Erden Z, Can F. The effects of clinical pilates exercises on bone mineral density, physical performance and quality of life of women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2015;28(4):849-58. DOI: 10.3233/BMR-150604.