Updated: Aug 4
With oestrogen levels dropping and hormonal changes, your body can actually get stiffer and you can start to lose your mobility during menopause.
These hormonal changes are also weakening some muscles and tightening others. This can lead to muscle imbalances and postural issues.
You are also losing bone density and the risk of fractures increases.
That's why it's so important to work on your mobility during menopause and to do exercises that support your mobility.
Can Pilates support mobility during menopause?
A study conducted in 2016 showed that an 8-week Pilates exercise programme helped to reduce menopausal symptoms.
"Pilates is a good intervention for menopausal women because it helps improve not only physical fitness like balance and flexibility but also mental fitness. In this study, a Pilates exercise program increased the subjects’ flexibility and strength by breath control, which causes the muscles to relax."
Starting Pilates and doing mobility exercises can help manage menopause symptoms.
Below are a list of exercises you can do to support your mobility during menopause.
There's also a video to explain how to do each exercise safely in the comfort of your own home.
All you need is a mat!
Arm opening exercises in Pilates are designed to improve upper body strength, mobility, and posture. By engaging core muscles as well as muscles of the back, shoulders, and chest, these exercises help open the chest, lengthen the spine, and promote a balanced and aligned upper body.
Hip flexor stretch
This is a great exercise for targeting the front of the hips and helping improve hip flexibility and mobility. By gently stretching the hip flexor muscles, this exercise can alleviate tightness, enhance posture, and support proper alignment during Pilates movements.
As you hold the stretch, consciously relax the muscles being targeted. Let go of any tension or resistance and allow the stretch to work its magic.
The glute bridge in Pilates is a powerful exercise that targets the gluteal muscles, hamstrings, and core. By coming up bone by bone in the bridge the movement helps to mobilise the spine and reduce lower back stiffness. By lifting the hips off the mat while maintaining a neutral spine, the glute bridge strengthens the posterior chain, improves hip stability, and enhances overall lower body strength and control.
The cobra pose is great for targeting your back muscles and can help promote spinal mobility and flexibility. By gently arching the spine and lifting the chest off the ground, the cobra stretch helps improve posture, relieve lower back tension, and strengthens the core muscles.
Cat stretch to donkey kick
The cat stretch to donkey stretch is a flowing movement in Pilates that engages the entire spine, from the neck to the tailbone, while promoting flexibility and spinal articulation. This exercise involves rounding and arching the back sequentially, helping to release tension in the spine, improve posture, and enhance overall body awareness. The donkey kick helps correct muscle imbalances at the hips by strengthening the glutes and stretching out the front of the hips.
Double Leg Stretch
The double leg stretch in Pilates is a dynamic exercise that targets the abdominal muscles, particularly the rectus abdominis and the deep stabilising muscles. By simultaneously extending the arms and legs away from the body while maintaining a stable core, this exercise enhances core strength and improves coordination.
Want to improve your strength, support bone health and reduce your risk of osteoporosis in menopause, then read our next blog post about Pilates strength exercises.
With all these exercises make sure you remember to breathe. As you do each exercise try to think about your core muscles and keep them tight as you do each move.
For more help and advice with managing your menopause symptoms with Pilates, check out the following blog posts.