Pilates for Bone Health

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition which affects more then 3 million people in the UK. The condition occurs when the bones lose their density and become weak, often resulting in fractures, particularly in the bones affecting the wrists, spine and hips.

Normal bone resembles a ‘honeycomb’ shape under a microscope, however in Osteoporosis the spaces within the bone are enlarged. This means that the bone is less dense and less able to withstand pressure. Over 500,000 fractures occur every year in the UK due to Osteoporosis and this costs the NHS millions.

Osteoporosis may affect men, women and children, however it is more prevalent in post- menopausal women. This is because oestrogen is bone protective and lower levels of this hormone in this population mean the production of new bone is affected and bones are not as strong. Women who are undergoing treatment for Breast Cancer may also be at risk for developing Osteoporosis as certain drugs and treatments significantly affect oestrogen levels. The first thing we need to is establish if Clinical Pilates is suitable for you. Everyone is different and we all have different fitness levels and states of health. Therefore, it is important that every client is assessed by a Physiotherapist before undertaking a course of Clinical Pilates, even if you have done Pilates before. This will determine your level of physical health, identify if you have any specific clinical problems that we must be aware of and will ensure that you know what is required of you before you begin your Clinical Pilates journey.

Enliven Health

How Exercise can help

Exercise is very important in the management of Osteoporosis and bone-related conditions.

  • Bone strengthening – Bones respond to weight-bearing and loading exercise and there is much research to support the effects of exercise in improving and preventing loss of bone density
  • Muscle strengthening – This is important for falls prevention but there is also evidence to show that muscle strengthening exercise exerts a pull and force through bone which helps to improve strength and prevents loss of bone density
  • Balance – Falls prevention in people with or at risk of developing Osteoporosis is important in order to reduce fracture risk
  • Flexibility – Stiff joints affect movement and function and so it is important to maintain a level of flexibility and prevent stiffness
  • Although exercise is very beneficial in the management of this condition, it is important to note that some kinds of exercise may not be appropriate. Some studies have indicated that lots of flexion and rotational movements [eg sit ups] may not be suitable for those with Osteoporosis. Exercise which may increase the risk of impact or falling may also not be suitable.

Pilates for Bone Health at Enliven Health

This class has been specifically designed for clients with bone health issues, including Osteoporosis, Osteopenia and Osteoarthritis. Alexandra Chapman has undergone specialist further training in Exercise for the Menopause and Midlife, and in Pilates for Osteoporosis.

The class is particularly useful for post-menopausal women who are deficient in oestrogen, and those with balance issues. The class is Pilates-based exercise and focuses on the key elements necessary for enhancing bone health, including weight-bearing, low impact exercises, muscle strengthening work, spinal extension work, balance re-education and core strengthening.


A Pre-assessment will be required before you attend the class, to determine your specific needs and suitability.