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Ask the Expert: A Heavy Load

Core exercise on a Pilates Stability Barrel

Q: What are the benefits of weight-bearing and load-bearing exercise, and how can I incorporate this into my classes?

A: More muscles are used in weight- bearing and load-bearing exercises, and the muscles used are more functional through the joints. The local and global stabilizers work better, as muscles have to function isometrically or eccentrically to manage gravity and ground reaction forces.

Regardless of the equipment you are using, choose closed kinetic chain-based exercises for weight-bearing of joints and muscles. The Cadillac, Stability Chair and Ladder Barrel have a broader repertoire in closed-kinetic chain and upright positions which can easily be integrated into any workout. For clients who can’t tolerate load in gravity, the Reformer offers simulated weight bearing load exercise options.

Consider adding some of these exercises into your workout to gain the benefits of weight-bearing and load-bearing exercises.


  • Footwork
  • Second position
  • Single leg
  • Use Jumpboard for above
  • Elephant
  • Long stretch
  • Up stretch
  • Down stretch


  • Any standing arm work
  • Any push thru bar

Stability Chair

  • Step up
  • Step down
  • Foot press on long box
  • Spread eagle


  • Hip rolls
  • Leg pull front
  • Push up
  • Ballet stretches

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