Tips For Trainers, By Trainers: GYROTONIC® Modifications For Someone With Osteoporosis
By Dr. Justine Bernard – Physical Therapist and GYROTONIC® Master Trainer
There is a lot of fear surrounding the diagnosis of osteoporosis: porous bones, and, yes, the very real risk of fracturing a bone (which doubles with an osteoporosis diagnosis).
This is why the exercise modification for someone diagnosed with osteoporosis is generally to avoid flexion or curling of the spine.
However, it is not that simple.
The more informed you are as a teacher, the more confidence you can instill into your clients to get moving, breathing, and returning strength and pliability to their bones. Additional benefits include improving balance and a prolonged life!
One of the easiest, and one of my favorite, modifications is to do hamstrings on the floor. We work on the floor because getting on and off the Gyrotonic benches can cause excessive flexion with compression of the spine for someone with osteoporosis.
Here are some simple steps I use:
- Get on and off the floor with an elongated spine.
- Go from standing to kneeling, with use of hands if needed.
This position allows a client to get up from hamstring series without curling and compressing the spine.
- Side-lying, roll with long spine onto back.
- Reverse to get up.
This position gives feedback from the floor assist, with re-education of posture using the principle of the fifth line.
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