Pilates Exercises for a Disabled Person

Updated July 20, 2017

Pilates originally created by Joseph Pilates toward the end of WWI is a method of mind and body cooperation to promote overall well being. Pilates developed his method by attaching a series of springs and straps to the hospital beds to increase movement and strengthen the core muscle groups. His methods incorporate Yoga and ancient Greek and Roman exercises he learnt through years of study. Since Pilates was originally developed to help people recuperate each of the exercises that have been created today has an alternate version to accommodate people of any fitness level or disability.

First Visit

After speaking with your doctor and beginning a physiotherapy regiment you should meet with the instructor for the first time before class. Your instructor will work with you on your posture and movement and focus on the areas needing the most work. Together you'll create a program that will incorporate breathing, exercise and routines that you will follow taking into consideration your individual difficulties. Once you learn the basics from your instructor and learn your limitations you may be able to consider doing Pilates at home as long as you don't cause yourself pain.


There is specialised equipment used for some disabilities. One of the machines looks like a simple bed frame and comes with a small area that slides back that slides back and forth with adjustable straps and slings to aid with the exercises. This machine appears similar to the original tools used by Joseph Pilates when he began developing his exercise method. You may also use treadmills, balls and weights of varying intensity.

Although not a replacement for traditional physiotherapy the incorporation of Pilates with physiotherapy, under the supervision of a doctor, does great things for people who have various disabilities. If you're confined to a wheel chair you can maintain your upper body core strength by performing the exercises for the upper body and with trained physical therapists there are several machines that can be used to further your training.

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About the Author

Alanna Davis has been working in the freelance writing business for more than eight years. She has been published in local newspapers, as well as most recently, eHow, GolfLink and Trails Travel. Davis is also active in the fitness community, working under personal trainers and recently achieving her IFA Certification in aerobics and personal training.