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Pilates is a low-impact physical fitness system developed as “the art of controlled movements.” It is a method of exercise and movement designed to stretch, strengthen and balance the body. If practiced consistently, Pilates will help you improve your flexibility, strength, body control and endurance. Classes are led by a professional instructor either on a mat (with or without fitness equipment) or on larger pieces of Pilates equipment. Some equipment used includes resistive bands, fitness balls, foam rollers, a reformer, trapeze table and barrel. The different exercises and forms can be modified for beginners or those with limitations.


Specific modifications will depend on your joints affected, but you may consider the following.

  • Pilates uses different exercises and positions with many variations. Your instructor will be able to show you modifications for all the positions with or without equipment.
  • Exercises can be modified by using a smaller range of motion, and not going as “deep” into the position.


  • It is better to do only a few exercises using control and correct form than many exercises using incorrect form or poor control.
  • Pilates emphasizes strengthening and lengthening while building core or “powerhouse” strength. Concentrate and breathe according to instructions throughout the workout.


  • Go at your own pace. Try to maintain the proper form throughout the exercise. When you feel like you can no longer do so with the correct form, take a break then slowly build up your endurance for the exercise.
  • Add more repetitions and different exercises as your strength improves.

This is general pilates information. Get personalized results, with specific modifications and tips customized to your problem joints and level of fitness.