IQGA – International Qi Gong Association

Move it for MS: Pilates with Jo Pritchard

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This page is part of a series about staying active with MS, where you can find out more about exercise and how it might benefit you. Here we present a Pilates circuit, adapted for people with MS from APPI principles by specialist Neurophysiotherapist Joanne Pritchard.

Jo presents and explains the Pilates circuit in her clinic, and the moves are demonstrated by members of the Retford Neuro-pilates class, for you to join in with at home. Watch the introduction for tips on how to prepare for the class and perform the moves safely, and then you can select individual movements, or the whole class, from warm-up right through to cool-down. 

Check with your GP before starting any new form of exercise.

Some movements in this circuit use special equipment that you are likely to be able to find for sale at sports shops, leisure centres or therapy centres. Here are some ideas for free or cheap alternatives. 

Stretchy bands – You could use an old pair of tights, a scarf, or belt instead. 

Flexible hoop – You could make a loop out of stretchy fabric, a scarf or old pair of tights.

Small ball – Any soft, partially inflated ball can be used, or you might use a small cushion instead.

Large ball – Also known as birth balls, these are widely available.

Prepare before you start the class

Joanne Pritchard talks you through what you need to think about before beginning the Pilates circuits,

Warm up

This seated warm up routine will ensure you are ready to go through the circuits, or you could use it daily on its own.

Sit to stand

Jo demonstrates the sit to stand exercise, then gives you one minute to try it yourself!

Watch how the wall press is performed, and then try to hold it for one minute.

Jo demonstrates the spinal twist. Once you’ve got the hang of it, try it for a whole minute!

Watch how the hip twist is done, then try it in a seated position for one minute.

Mermaid stretch

The mermaid stretch is shown here. Can you manage a minute?

Dumb waiter into Cleopatra

This movement involves the arms and shoulders. Try it for a full minute.

Upper back release

Hold a ruler, rolling pin or roller in both hands and try this movement for one minute.

Seated one leg stretch

Jo demonstrates the one leg stretch in sitting. Once you have got the hang of it, practice for one minute.

Standing one leg stretch

Using support if you need it, follow the instructions for the one leg stretch while standing.

Simple squat with ball

Learn how to do the simple squat with ball, and then practice for one minute.

Cool down

Well done! Now it’s time for a well-earned cool down.

This content was originally published here.