Osteoporosis facts

  • In those aged 50 years and over, 66% have osteoporosis or osteopenia.
  • There are over 173,000 broken bones each year due to poor bone health
  • This figure is projected to increase dramatically in the next decade


This is a huge market for Pilates instructors to tap into, ideally preventing low bone density and the development of fractures, through maximising our role in the Pilates studio and having an impact on bone strength.

Pilates is not generally classified as ‘osteogenic’, but with a little extra knowledge and strategic programming we can easily create a Pilates workout to focus on bone strengthening, specific to individual’s needs.

This is what the research has to say

  • 10 maximal jumps per day, 3 days per week, over 6mths increased hip and lower back bone mass in young women who had nearly reached their peak bone mass (early 20’s) – (Kato et al. 2006)


  • 50 vertical jumps, 6 days per week over 5mths increased hip bone density for pre-menopausal women – (Bassey et al. 1998)
  • 50 multidirectional hops every day for 6mths improved the bone properties of (healthy) post-menopausal women with reduced hip fractures and improved hip bone density – (Hartley et al 2019)
  • Exercising your upper back during your middle ages can help increase bone strength and prevent vertebral (spinal) fractures post-menopause – (Sinaki M et al. 1989)


As mentioned previously, unfortunately Pilates is not generally considered an osteogenic activity due to its low impact nature. With a deeper understanding of osteogenic loading, bone metabolism and musculoskeletal injuries and conditions, there is however no reason why impact loading cannot be implemented, where appropriate.

The Pilates studio is the ideal environment to create progressions and modifications for those needing to build up to impact loading or for those with musculoskeletal injuries that render impact lodding inappropriate.

Although a Pilates workout doesn’t traditionally have you lifting heavy weights, much of the repertoire does require you to lift your own body weight. This targets both your upper and lower limbs, which more than satisfies the requirement of weight bearing exercise.

The progressive nature of the Pilates method and variability of the apparatus and repertoire also make it an ideal platform to specifically target the 3 common fracture sites of the wrist, hip and thoracic spine. Continued challenge and stress to the musculoskeletal system over time leading to fracture prevention through maximising bone strength and minimising falls risk.

If you are an instructor who would like to assist your clients maximise their bone health join Kath Banks for her workshop – Having an impact on bone health for life on Friday Nov 18th, 1-5pm, National Pilates Training, 4/370 Little Bourke St, Melbourne.