Why Pilates exercises for Active Ageing

Pilates for active ageing can help you achieve mobility tasks you may have lost or that are becoming more difficult to execute. Ageing can be a positive experience and living a longer life accompanied by continuing opportunities for health, participation and security should be our goal.  As one grows older, maintaining autonomy and independence should be a key goal for quality of life enjoinment. 

pilates exercise for older adults

What is Active Ageing

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), active ageing is “the process of optimising opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age. The concept of active “refers to continuing participation in social, economic, cultural, spiritual and civic affairs, not just the ability to be physically active or to participate in the labour force”. Active also refers to retired individuals, those who are ill or with disabilities, who actively contribute to their communities, families, peers and their nations.

It’s never too late to start moving

Regardless of age, physical activity has various health benefits. Maintaining of joint mobility and preserving muscle mass can help people remain independent and active as they age and greatly improve the individual’s physical health status. Physical activity also enhances mental well-being. 

The aim of moving and engaging in physical activity is to extend healthy life expectancy and quality of life for all people as they age, including those who are frail, disabled and in need of care. 

What is Pilates for active ageing

Pilates is a form of exercise pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates that aims to strengthen your entire body evenly and mobilising the joints of the spine and periphery while paying particular emphasis on core strength. Also, Pilates exercise is low impact and therefore easy on joints and appropriate for all levels, ages and abilities, particularly for older adults. 

Contemporary Pilates based on modern principles of exercise science and rehabilitation

Contemporary Pilates exercises, like STOTT PILATES® exercises incorporate modern exercise principles, proven and accepted practices in biomechanics, rehabilitation and athletic performance enhancement. Moreover, contemporary Pilates exercises are designed to restore the natural curves of the spine and re balance the muscles around the joints. 
Therefore, the gains in mobility and strength from STOTT PILATES® can help older adults improve their autonomy. This means, improvements in their ability to perform functions related to daily living. For example, gardening, playing golf, or simple tasks such as being able to put shoes on, getting in and out of a car, turning around better, reaching overhead, etc. In other words, “the capacity of living independently in the community with no and/or little help from others”

contemporary pilates

At home exercises

Disclaimer: Do not perform any of the following exercises if pain is present or suffer from any conditions that contraindicate these movements. Seek medical advice before starting any exercise modality. 

Spine Twist

Can be done seated on a chair or standing.

How: Seated, open arms as wide as possible. Rotate as far as possible maintaining torso upright and pulse three times. Repeat on second side.

Why: Spine twist is a great spinal mobiliser, especially for the upper and middle back (thoracic), improving posture and mobility in the active ageing population. Moreover, this exercise strengthens the small postural muscles of the spine and abdominals (erector spinae, rotators, and abdominal obliques) improving posture and helping with back pain.

One Leg Circle

Can be done with both legs bent, bottom leg straight, or top leg straight, depending on person’s ability

How: Lying down, knees together one leg in the air with thigh perpendicular to ground. Lumbar spine and pelvis neutral. Circle the top leg as wide as the hips and spine do not move at all. 

Why: Improves hip mobility, pelvic and spinal stability by recruiting abdominal muscles (obliques, multifidus)

Side Kick

How: Side Lying, pillow under head. Head, shoulders, ribs, hips stacked up in a long line. Spine and pelvis neutral. Legs bent 90 degrees like sitting on a chair tipped onto the side.

Lift top in line with hip and reach it back in line with pelvis maintaining height of leg. Bring it back to starting position. 
Maintain leg height and stabilise pelvis and spine, avoiding rolling back and forwards. Imagine torso and hips are inside of two sheets of glass as leg moves back and forth.

Why: Improves balance and gait in the active ageing populations with the aim to prevent falls. A great hip abductor strengthening exercise. This exercise mimics walking and strengthens the muscles of the hips (gluteus) that prevent lateral collapse during gait ( as in Trendelenburg gait).

Side bend on floor

This exercise may not be appropriate for people with limited mobility and can be done simply seated on a chair. Also, it can be done with forearm on top of a box when wrists cannot tolerate load. 

How: Side seated, legs in a diamond shape, feet in line with hips, hand on floor. Lift pelvis forward onto shin and knee and side bend. Return to floor.

Why: Great to load side of body, and mobilise spine into lateral flexion. Lateral flexion is the first movement to decrease with ageing, so active ageing adults should include this plane of movement non their training.

Pilates Press up/Plank

Can omit bending elbows and simply holding a plank to prepare for full press up.

How: Kneeling hands on floor, hips extended or flexed, depending on strength (easier with hips flexed). Bend elbows, extend elbows, 10 repetitions.

Why: A fantastic way to load the torso and abdominal musculature and  build up upper body strength with own body weight in the active ageing populations.

On the Reformer

Back Rowing Preps – Plow

Seated on a box is easier for people with restricted hip mobility. Using the Merrithew® V2Max reformer allows you to move the pulleys to a higher position which makes it easier to recruit lower midback musculature (thoracic spine) and makes it easier on shoulders. 

Why: Improves posture by working the muscles of the back (erector spinae), strengthens abdominals that stabilise torso, strengthens back of arms and shoulders (triceps, posterior deltoids). 

Front Rowing – Offering
Seated on a box is easier for people with restricted hip mobility. Using the Merrithew® V2Max allows you to move the pulleys to a higher position which can assist those with rotator cuff issues.  

Why: Improves posture and stretches the front of the chest, (pectoralis and anterior shoulders). A great shoulder mobiliser and strengthener for active ageing adults.

On the Cadillac

Pull up

At home it could be done holding onto a door frame or gate standing with feet against gate. 

How: Hands on rails as wide as shoulders. Pull up and bring shoulders back (scapular retraction) and extend upper back. Return

Why? Strengthens back musculature, hip extensors (gluteus, hamstrings) and improves upper back movement when adding extension. 

Research: World Health Organisation ACTIVE AGEING: A POLICY FRAMEWORK

Why Back Pain Exercises

Change happens through movement and movement heals” Joseph Pilates. Back pain exercises are commonly used in rehabilitation. Movement is important because if you are stiff in one area, movement shifts to another area, which will then break down faster. For instance, if your lower upper back and hips are overly tight, the movement will shift to the more mobile lower back. Consequently, the lower back will break down from the incorrect excessive pressure placed upon it.

According to research, among adults, 60%-80% experience back pain that interferes with daily activities during their lifetime, while 20%-70% will experience neck pain.

What are the Best Exercises for Back Pain

Back pain is often caused from poor posture to significant underlying conditions. Therefore, the treatment and exercises for back and neck pain depends on the cause of the pain.

Mechanical low back pain can result from an acute traumatic event, but it may also be caused by cumulative trauma.

Pilates personal training

Pilates based exercises are particularly beneficial in rehabilitation settings. What’s more, in the UK, the NICE guidelines recommend Pilates exercise as a first line non-invasive treatment for low back pain and sciatica.

However, it is chiefly important to prescribe the correct Back Pain Exercises for back pain sufferers.  Also, it’s crucial to perform all exercises correctly. The most widely accepted exercises aim to improve posture, increase core strength and enhance spinal mobility.

How do Back Pain Exercises Work?


Pilates instructors are sought after in fitness, rehab, wellness, hospitality and more

  • Enhance your knowledge and expertise
  • Learn new skills that will improve your health, wellness and client base
  • Benefit from mindful movement and teach others
  • Pilates training is suited for fitness enthusiasts and professionals of all levels and backgrounds
  • STOTT PILATES® – Scientifically based Pilates curriculum

The choice is clear: Driven by the latest research, STOTT PILATES® education is unparalleled in the industry for its thoroughness and quality

Carlo Yanez – STOTT PILATES® instructor & Osteopath

Do you dream of changing careers and teaching Pilates? If you are you a fitness instructor or an avid Pilates aficionado the growth opportunities are endless by becoming a Pilates instructor. Pilates instructors are well sought after in the fitness industry. Moreover, Pilates instructors are able to teach remotely quite easily, without the need of any gym equipment; a very desirable tool nowadays.

Many schools teach Pilates, but not all education curriculums are created equal. There are quickie Pilates certification programmes that are taught over a weekend, but leave students unable to compete with better educated instructors.

Look for comprehensive teacher training programmes

Search for the best programme to fit your needs. But if you ever thought of becoming a Pilates instructor comprehensive programmes, like the STOTT PILATES® courses, are based in scientific evidence and in line with the highest fitness standards. Such programmes will set you up for years to come with the best knowledge required to teach people of all ages, abilities and even difficult rehab clients. In fact, comprehensive programmes update you every year with new knowledge in order to continue your education and stay abreast of the new scientific developments. 

My Journey

When I was looking to become a Pilates instructor I looked at various schools and certification programmes. At the time, STOTT PILATES® seemed expensive, but I soon realised why it was worth every penny spent. No other programme seemed to have the quality of information that STOTT PILATES® was offering. Moreover, its anatomically based method was in line with any sports specialist, physiotherapist approaches to exercise rehabilitation. That meant that I was not only learning choreography, but rather a wealth of scientific knowledge. Scientific knowledge is definitely required to work alongside any fitness professional facility or alongside any licensed health care professional. As a result, I worked at a physio clinic soon after my certification and I was able to deliver results.

Where to train

Core Windsor is a licensed Merrithew Host Centre for education and offers STOTT PILATES® courses year-round. The studio boasts brand new reformers and equipment and is conveniently located an easy 5 minute walk from Windsor Central train station. There are a variety of shops and restaurants in the area available for lunchtime during course training. Also, the studio is always free for students during courses to use free of charge for self-practice. We offer pre and post course support and mentoring for all students and substantial discounts on group classes and personal training sessions for students in preparation for their course exams.

Book your Pilates course now, and become the best Pilates teacher in your area.

New Intensive Reformer Course starts 30 September, 2022
Book now

Saulo Overnay during Core Windsor workshops

Five tips to avoid back pain during COVID lockdown:

For most of us lockdown has taken a toll on our normal activity levels. If you are working from home your daily commute is gone and so is the activity associated with it. You are likely noticing new aches and pains that you did not have pre-lockdown. Sitting for hours and hours hunched over your kitchen countertop, dinning room or sofa staring at your laptop motionless is not great for your joints. Avoiding back pain during COVID lockdown is easy with these five simple rules  (more…)

Shoulder rehabilitation exercises are quite commonly prescribed for rotator cuff injuries that result from shoulder impingement. Unless you are an overhead throwing athlete or have sustained a traumatic injury, the rotator cuff is commonplace in rehabilitation settings. In fact 70% of rotator cuff tears occur in sedentary individuals, according to data… (more…)

Many people don’t know how to workout from home, especially during times like this. Woking out from home requires motivation and in order to motivate your self, you should make some changes.

Working from home sitting in front of a tv or computer can be detrimental on your posture and your health. Also, your make-shift home office may not be as ergonomically suited for a good posture. Therefore, if you are working from home in your living room, sitting for long periods of time can put unnecessary pressure on your spine. This is why creating a strategy on how to work from home is crucial for your sanity of mind and body.

The WHO recommends exercising from home at least 30 minutes every day

Want to get in shape or maintain it without leaving your home? It’s not as hard as you think.  You don’t even need a gym or any equipment to get in serious shape. Home workouts can be fun. We recommend online sessions, and many studios livestream workouts straight into your living room.
So, simply follow these simple steps.

Your “How to Workout From” Home Plan

#1 Designate a Space to Workout

You don’t need to have loads of space for this. Especially if you live in a flat or a studio flat. I would say that it’s crucial that the space you designate is clutter free at the time you need it to be. Otherwise, you will be spending time cleaning around during your allocated workout session, and it’s not very motivating.
Whereas, if your space is ready to go, clean and inviting, chances are you will want to get started.

#2 Your Workout Space Must be Distraction-FREE

There are a million things to do while at home, like loading up the dishwasher, cleaning or folding clothes. But it is paramount to cut as many distractions as possible! While it’s so easy to feel that there are other things to do at home, you must ignore them.

Exercise away from any distractions if you can. This includes, the kitchen, your desk and your to-do lists. The bottom line is, distractions will allow you to procrastinate, and focus on the task in hand. In contrast, by staying focused without distractions will help you succeed on completing your workout and feeling fantastic afterwards.

#3 Make it a Routine

When you must rely on self-motivation, a routine is everything! For example, brushing your teeth before bed, or showering before you leave your house creates a habit and a discipline. Fitness success relies on fitness habits. Therefore, when planning on how to workout from home, creating a routine is crucial.

A routine may start with small tasks. For instance, doing 5 push ups before taking a shower every morning.  Next week increase it to 10. When it comes to exercises at home, small habit steps can make a massive difference. First, start exercising for 20 minutes 3 times per week. Then, add 10 more minutes, and then add another day. Gradually increasing the duration and frequency until you reach your goals is far-reaching than all at once.

#4 Purchase only the Basics

You don’t need to break the bank on buying fitness equipment. All you need is to invest in the basics to get your sweaty sessions a big kick.
Get yourself a good mat, some resistance bands and some small weights. You’ll be surprised how these simple items can take your workouts to the next level!

BARRE classes, body weight classes, Pilates flow with bands and small weights can challenge eve the most advanced participant. Furthermore, most good functional body weight training and HIIT home classes don’t require any equipment.

#5 Online Motivation Goes a Long Way

Working out from home alone can get really boring, really soon. Sign up for virtual, live or on-demand classes and you will stay motivated and stick to your workouts. Besides, your virtual instructor will push you harder that you would and motivate you to succeed.

Its normal to feel scared, confused during a crisis like the one we are living, but exercise can be a medicine for your body and soul. And staying motivated by watching exercise videos can help you keep your motivation.

Keep on reading.

Click on the following links for ideas on how to workout from home



How Injury Rehabilitation with Pilates Exercise can help

Read this incredible story of a double amputee who finds the power of STOTT PILATES® exercise for his rehabilitation. His dedication and commitment in practising Pilates 3 times/week is positively helping him overcome his physical limitations.

Furthermore, having found injury rehabilitation with STOTT PILATES® exercises has helped him take his first step on his long prosthetic legs. Watch how he takes many more steps along the way in this exciting blog (more…)

Never underestimate the power of Pilates

The power of Pilates is recognised worldwide regardless of your age, gender or level of activity. Pilates exercises work your entire body and focus on your core muscles. The benefits of Pilates exercise are widely accepted, especially among medical professionals. Moreover, Plates exercise compliments any other sports activity and/or gym training you do. This is how. (more…)

What are the best exercises for back pain?

The best exercises for back pain are the ones you can easily commit to doing every day. Evidence suggests that exercising regularly is beneficial for people with low back pain. Moreover, research shows that becoming sedentary is proven to worsen things!
As a result, staying active and carrying on with day-to-day activities tends to improve pain outcomes. Even during times where you must stay at home, you can still exercise by watching online videos.
Therefore, we recommend that you start with only 5 simple exercises that you can commit to.  Just get moving.

Here are 5 easy Pilates exercises for back pain that will help you mobilise and strengthen your spine. Do them every day for 2 weeks before progressing to more advanced exercises (more…)

Get in shape with Pilates classes Online

Transform your body –

“We must be the change we wish to see” M. Gandhi.
There is no better time to start Pilates classes online than today. Without a doubt, if you are interested in change, adding Pilates exercise to your routine can make a massive difference. Especially in the way you look and feel in your own body.

What can you expect from regularly doing Pilates online classes?