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Ask the Expert: Balance and Fall Prevention

Ask the Expert Balance and Fall Prevention

Q: I am a physical therapist and have been studying STOTT PILATES® to learn therapeutic Pilates. What Mat and Reformer exercises (therapeutic or beginner level) would you recommend to work into a balance and fall prevention program?

A: When considering programs for balance and fall prevention, it is important to have goals, such as improving lower extremity strength, incorporating functional movement patterns and planes and providing proprioceptive input.

Regarding proprioceptive input, consider the following parameters to modify the existing STOTT PILATES® repertoire:

  • Base of Support (large or small)
  • Support Surface (stable or unstable)
  • Tactile Input (hands on or hands off)
  • Visual Input (demonstration with eyes open or no demonstration with eyes closed)
  • Pertubations (none or lots)

You can grade the proprioceptive input of an exercise by using different grades of each parameter.

Keeping the above in mind, try some of the following exercises for a balance and fall prevention program:

Lower Extremity Strength and Proprioception Matwork progression:

Lower Extremity Strength and Proprioception Reformer Progression:

  • Second Position with Extension Straps Behind knees
  • Sleeper Position with Weight Transfer
  • Knee Stretches Prep Standing
  • Knees Stretches Straight Back
  • Side Splits on Knees
  • Side Splits Standing
  • Front Splits with Platform Extender and Jumpboard
  • Back Splits with Platform Extender and Jumpboard

*BOSU is a registered trademark of BOSU Fitness LLC, used with permission.

**Note: All exercise choices must be appropriate to the functional capacity of the participant. When working with any participant, any co-mobidities and associated movement precautions and contraindications must be adhered to.

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