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Integrating Pilates-based Core Strengthening Into Older Adult Fitness Programs: Implications for Practice

Smith, Kristin BA; Smith, Elizabeth PT, ATC/R


Age-related changes in the musculoskeletal system are inevitable. Sarcopenia, postural dysfunctions, reduced gait cycle, and loss of balance control and stability are among the many well-documented consequences of musculoskeletal changes that occur over the lifespan. Some of these age-related changes can be counteracted or managed through postural stability or core-strengthening exercise. Pilates-based exercise (Pul-a-tees) is a popular method of improving torso or core strength and offers other benefits including spinal and joint mobility, and proprioception, balance, and coordination training. Older adults may benefit from Pilates-based exercises that are integrated into traditional resistance and balance training programs. A theoretical framework for integrating select Pilates-based core-strengthening exercises and principles into rehabilitation treatment plans and community- and home-based programs for older adults is suggested here.

Minnesota Sports Medicine (Kristin Smith), and the Institute for Athletic Medicine (Elizabeth Smith), Minneapolis, Minn.

Corresponding author: Kristin Smith, BA, Minnesota Sports Medicine, 701, 25th Ave S, 150, Minneapolis, MN 55454 (e-mail:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.