By Alicia Doyle

The Writer
Specializing in Good News
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For Buff Bones

When diagnosed with osteoporosis at the age of 28, Rebekah Rotstein was teaching coursework to Pilates instructors-in-training on matters of injuries and special conditions—including osteoporosis.

“So I was familiar with the dangers of certain movements for those with low bone density and excessive bone loss,” recalled Rotstein, 37, of New York City.

The more she researched, studied and learned, the more she realized that others with osteoporosis and bone issues were in need of a workout that was inclusive to them, rather than having to remove all the exercises that could potentially harm them and which often led them to feel inadequate.

“So I created the Pilates for Buff Bones workout,” Rotstein said. “And if I was going to do it, it also had to be fun and enjoyable.”

The encouraging program not only felt good on her own body—but was also safe and strengthening. It is based on scientific literature and addresses the various concerns for those with bone health issues.

Medically-Endorsed Workout

Pilates for Buff Bones is a medically-endorsed workout that combines Pilates with bone-strengthening and balance techniques to optimize the health and safety of your bones.

The workout follows a research-supported design of specifically sequenced exercises, making it an entire system of bone and joint health, rather than just a set of exercises.

“Toning your arms, hips, back and abs, it also improves posture, is adaptable to varying levels and is even safe for those with osteoporosis,” Rotstein said.

Seventy-five percent of traditional Pilates mat exercises include motions like forward-bending of the spine which are known to be potentially dangerous for those with osteoporosis and often for its precursor, osteopenia.

“Pilates for Buff Bones avoids these motions while integrating other creative movements and still leveraging the many benefits of Pilates, including enhanced breathing, core control, coordination, flexibility and promotion of whole body health,” Rotstein said.

The traditional mat work is performed primarily lying on the mat, whereas Pilates for Buff Bones includes an entire upright standing portion for weight-bearing, balance and bone-stimulating movements, in addition to functional movement patterns that assist in daily life.

“The workout also emphasizes the feet—our primary contact point with the ground that supports us and affects our entire body positioning and posture,” Rotstein said.

Licensed instructors of the workout have attended a thorough training course involving lessons in anatomy and biomechanics, detailing how the subtle nuances of joint positioning can make all the difference in the benefits to bones and alleviation of common aches and pains.

Mat-based Exercise Program

Pilates for Buff Bones is a Pilates mat-based exercise program partly performed in different positions on a mat, building up to the eventual standing portion of the workout for weight-bearing and balance training. Small weights are used in the standing component for additional bone-loading.

“The workout targets the sites of the body most susceptible to bone loss, so it aims to prevent the natural loss of bone mass that actually begins in our 30s—far earlier than most people realize,”

Rotstein said. “The specificity of the exercises improves posture along with strength and mobility of the hips, so many people with back and neck ailments feel better after just one class.” 

Stronger and More Capable

For Rotstein, Pilates for Buff Bones has helped her feel stronger and more capable. “And the feedback I get from people everywhere is the same, expressing enthusiasm and appreciation.”

“Many with osteoporosis feel overwhelmed with what to do to safeguard and strengthen their bones and they’re often fearful they are fragile,” Rotstein said.

“This workout gives people the opportunity to feel empowered again and recognize they can in fact move and use their bodies—and that they are not weak physically or emotionally. After just a few classes they see and feel the results of improved strength and balance which encourages them to continue.”

Safe for Bones and Bodies

Rotstein’s ultimate goal with Pilates for Buff Bones has already been set in action.

“Through the DVD and live classes, people everywhere have access to this workout that they can confidently perform knowing it’s safe and helpful for their bones and bodies, with backing from various medical leaders,” said Rotstein, adding that there are licensed instructors throughout the United States and in 15 other countries.

Those who have endorsed Pilates for Buff Bones include former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, MD and women’s health expert Christiane Northrup, MD.

  “Meanwhile, I’m continuing to grow our community of licensed instructors with ongoing courses and building out the next levels of programming and workouts,” Rotstein said.

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