man and lady

Modified Pilates for Seniors

“Physical fitness can neither be acquired by wishful thinking nor by outright purchase.”

("Return to Life Through Contrology" by Joseph Pilates)


Modified Pilates' exercise is an ideal approach for a more senior client as it addresses the important issues regarding the changes in the body that come with age.   Additional benefits include performing daily tasks with ease to improve quality of life and confidence.

Improved posture, joint stability and mobility

As we grow older our posture changes; we become more rounded and in most extreme cases a person may become stooped.  Rounded posture will change the shape of the spine compressing the joints and may cause impingement at the shoulder joint resulting in problems when lifting the arms.  Reaching up for items in cupboards becomes harder and may lead to falls.  Most falls are as a result of reaching up.  Pilates’ exercises will address these issues by improving posture and shoulder mobility.

Improved breathing and circulation

As we become more rounded with age, breathing will become more laboured.  Muscles responsible for breathing become weak and the ribs become stiff.  The result will be a lack of oxygen in the blood circulating around the body which can contribute to dizziness and even confusion.  The specific Pilates’ breathing technique lengthens the tight ribcage and strengthens the muscles responsible for breathing resulting in a more efficient respiratory system.

Improved balance and body awareness

Falls are common among older adults and often lead to injury.  Walking is a basic requirement for mobility and older people may lose their confidence if they have experienced a fall due to loss of balance or control.  We rely on our senses to stand still and move; these senses deteriorate as we become older affecting our balance and mobility.  Many falls are preventable and Pilates may help to reduce them by improving balance and co-ordination. 

Improved strength and flexibility

With age, muscular strength decreases especially in the lower body and between the ages of 30-50 muscle strength has been shown to reduce as much as 30%.  Physical inactivity will contribute to muscle loss which, in turn, leads to decreased muscular endurance resulting in early fatigue and an increased risk of falling. Loss of muscle power affects the older adult’s ability to walk, climb stairs and lift themselves out of a chair.  Flexibility also deteriorates with age.  Pilates’ exercises will address these issues and improve the body’s muscular balance.

Client Feedback

"I  wish I had known of Pilates 50 years ago.  I now realise what years of bad posture have done to my body and how Pilates’ exercises could have helped to rectify the aches and pains I had put down to old age.  Pilates has helped to improve my posture and this has brought not just physical benefits but mental well-being as well.  Progress has required practice and perseverance but I can vouch that you are never too old to improve." (BW)