Can Pilates Exercises Help Early Postmenopausal Women To Gain Strength And Flexibility?

Can Pilates Exercises Help Early Postmenopausal Women To Gain Strength And Flexibility?

Can Pilates Exercises Help Early Postmenopausal Women To Gain Strength And Flexibility? Menopause is a time of great, yet confusing change. There is a loss of bone density, hormonal fluctuations and everyone’s favorite— weight gain. These are just a few of the outcomes that you might expect.

In order for you to get through this transitory time of your life, a healthy lifestyle is needed. Strength training can support bone health and may as well prevent osteoporosis— a huge benefit for menopausal women.

In specific, Pilates exercise is said to be the perfect workout routine for premenopausal and menopausal women. It is low-impact, however, it helps boost the balance and flexibility as well as improving muscle tone and strength. It even includes some endurance movements.

But does it, really?

A study investigates the effects of an eight-week Pilates exercise program in lumbar flexibility and strength as well as menopausal symptoms in menopausal women. A total of 74 post-menopausal women were taken and randomly allocated to a control group (29) and Pilates exercise group (45).

The result showed a significant decrease in menopausal symptoms as well as a significant increase in lumbar flexibility and strength by breath control that causes the muscle to relax. It is therefore concluded that Pilates exercise is a good intervention for menopausal women and helps in improving not only physical fitness but also mental fitness. And a continuous participation in Pilates exercise programs for menopausal women can enhance their health as well as ability to live independently after menopause.

3 Fundamental Pilates Moves for Menopause

  1. The Hundred

Pilates - The Hundred
Pilates – The Hundred. Photo Credit:flickr.com/photos/35973233@N03/3326140626

This is a fundamental Pilates move and is among the best core exercise. It helps the strengthening of your core and improves the stability of your pelvis and lumbar spine. The main muscles worked in the hundred are respiration muscles and abdominals.

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Exhaling, flatten the lower back, curl your shoulders and head up off the mat and float your arms so they are still on your sides just a few inches off the mat.
  • Inhaling, draw your abs into your spine and pump your arms up and down while keeping your shoulder steady to 5 counts.
  • Continue to engage your abs and pump your arms as you exhale to 5 counts.
  • Do 100 counts, switching your breathing in and out at 5 count intervals.
  1. Side Kick

Pilates - Side Kick
Pilates – Side Kick. Photo credit:silhouettedonna.it

This Pilates move is a stability exercise. It is great for strengthening the muscles of the hip joint and building core strength. The muscles worked with this exercise are the hips, abdominals, glutes and spine extensors.

  • Lie on your left side. Support your head on your left arm and press your right palm onto the floor in order to have a steady position.
  • Inhaling, lift your right leg to hip level and pulse it twice forward while flexing your foot. Pulse it at 75-degree angle or more. Maintain a straight spine throughout the movement.
  • With leg lifted, exhale as you point your toes gently and sweep your leg backward. Stop the backward motion until it compromises the neutral spine stability. This is to maintain the same spinal position with your core as you strengthen your hip.
  • Repeat this for at least 8 times on your right leg then switch to the left.
  1. Saw

Pilates - Saw
Pilates – Saw

This Pilates move increases spinal rotation and helps in strengthening your back extensors that give the upper body flexibility and range of motion. It also strengthens your obliques and abdominals. The muscles worked in this exercise are oblique, abdominals and spinal extensors.

  • Sit up with your legs extended out in front of you and slightly wider than the hip distance. Keep your feet flexed.
  • Inhaling, stretch your arms out to each side and creating a “T” at shoulder height.
  • Exhale and root into your sit bones.
  • Inhaling again, rotate the upper body to the right and lean the torso to your right leg.
  • Exhaling, reach your left hand outside of our right foot. Reach for the pink toe as if you are “sawing” it off with your left pinky finger. Your spine should round forward with control while keeping the abdominals pulled in toward the spine and stretching the lower back.
  • On inhale, straighten the spine, but you need to stay rotated until exhale when you unwind gently.
  • Repeat on opposite side and complete 5 times each side.

This exercises can be done on a mat, however, you can also try them on a Pilates chair for better results. If you want to buy one for home using, jump over Gym Gear Info to check out the pilates PRO chair with 4 DVDs by life’s a beach reviews for more info.

 

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Can Pilates Exercises Help Early Postmenopausal Women To Gain Strength And Flexibility?

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