Q. I have Scoliosis and am looking to add weight training and Pilates to my workouts…are there any exercises that will benefit me?
A. I have worked with several clients with Scoliosis both past and present in personal training and Pilates, and there are numerous benefits from both disciplines, as well as numerous exercises that will strengthen and help straighten scoliosis. Weight training will help build muscle in your biceps, triceps, back, legs, and core-pretty much anywhere you can train a muscle! You will become fitter, leaner, have more energy, and be able to perform physical tasks with ease, in addition to sculpting lean muscle. You can benefit from most weight training exercises, such as: bicep curls, triceps kickback, seated rows, chest presses and lunges (although balance may be difficult). These are just a few exercises that will benefit you; a trained eye will notice any compensation or muscle weakness and be able to tailor the program specifically for your condition, without disrupting the flow of the workout. Pilates, on the other hand, will strengthen your core, “lengthen” the spine, and help correct imbalances in the body. If there is a weaker area (and we all have them), do fifty percent more repetitions to that particular site. If there is a stiffer side of the body (especially common in Scoliosis), stretch that side also fifty percent more to encourage suppleness. A couple of areas to focus on should be learning to engage from the “powerhouse”, AKA your core muscles, as well as lateral breathing. There are many beneficial Pilates exercises that are excellent for Scoliosis as well, such as swimming, mermaid, and side kicks. Either way you go, you will benefit from both disciplines as long as you know what workouts are best for Scoliosis and which ones to avoid. Seek out an experienced instructor who has knowledge and experience in scoliosis, if you are uncertain. As always, I am here to help! You can email me at Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com for any questions you may have.