Arthro-Pilates and Lupus



Article from "In The Loop" newsletter, courtesy of Lupus Canada


Arthro-Pilates offers modified exercise to arthritis patients
By Charlene Johnson


Arthro-Pilates™ Modified Shoulder Bridge with Single Leg Lift on Ball
Please click image to enlarge

Photography and permission to publish:
Nicolett Jakab

Since my last flare, I’ve been looking for ways to continue regular fitness without posing a threat to my condition.  I’ve practiced Pilates off and on for the past five years, but have often struggled with movements that don’t recognize my limitations.  So of course, when I saw a poster at the lupus clinic for Arthro-Pilates™, it certainly caught my eye.

Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates about 80 years ago, based on the principles of mind over matter, breathing, control, and other elements.  It emphasizes using the core muscles to help control the entire body.  Like yoga, Pilates exercises are often performed on a mat.


Lori Weisbrod was diagnosed at age 18 with psoriatic arthritis.  A certified Pilates instructor, she developed the Arthro-Pilates™ program after realizing that the standard program presents problems for arthritis patients and doesn’t recognize their limitations.  Although similar, Arthro-Pilates differs from standard Pilates by eliminating movements that apply stress to joints.  Assistive devices are also used to help ensure a modified program that recognizes the participant’s limitations while providing meaningful exercise.

The program is often modified to specific needs and doctors’ permission is required before starting the program.

Although I have never tried the program, I must admit that it is one that interests me a lot, for the reality is that most exercise programs are so challenging for lupus patients that they may cause more harm than good.  Going to the gym can often be an intimidating experience, but even more so for the person with a disability that has trouble doing particular movements that seem to be effortless for the other participants.  Lori offers a solution to this dilemma, by offering private sessions to her clients.  Instead of having her class at the gym, she offers one-on-one or group sessions to her clients in the location of their choice. This makes for a more comfortable environment where the participant is more likely to be fully involved in the program.

Weisbrod offers sessions in the Greater Toronto Area.  For more information, consult her website at

Permission to reproduce original article given by Lupus Canada

arthro-pilates: pilates for every body

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