MS Active Together | Seated Pilates Workout for MS

Hello My name is Ruth Reid and I teach Pilates to people with MS

I'm your Pilates instructor for this seated exercise program for today Be mindful that you're going to do these exercises at your own ability So just take your time and pace yourself with the exercises Okay so we're going to just check our positioning So Simon, if you can push your feet into the floor and squeeze the pillow or ball whichever you have between your knees and then you're going to think about your positioning on your chair, so make sure your weight is level through left to right, right to left

Okay and then think about being nice and tall Sitting nice and tall, shoulders nice and wide and drawing down away from those ears and think about that lovely string lengthening up through the crown of your head Okay so the first exercise we're going to do is just bring your arms in to your side, Simon Trying to squeeze that pillow *she laughs* Good! Bring your arms into your side

Okay, the first movement Let me demonstrate the movement It's just reaching forward with your strongest side Arm first So strongest side or strongest arm

We're starting with That's it So we're going to do about eight to ten on this side That's it So reaching through those fingertips forward and using the muscles around the shoulder to draw the arm back towards you

Okay, so a breath pattern for this might be; breathe in to reach forward, breathe out to reach back Breathe out Breathing in and breathing out Be mindful of putting those tummy muscles in as well Squeezing that ball, still thinking about the length

So let's do two more here, Simon And back and last one Okay, right now relax that arm that side and let's go to the other side So just check your chin, tuck your chin in and lengthen through the neck Reach through the left arm forward

Breathing in, breathe out to move forward Breathe in to come back Good And back Keep those shoulders nice and wide

Good Breathe in and out So one breath for each movement Don't get too worried about the breathing So as long as you're breathing in and out doesn't matter which way round for the movement that's fine

I'm giving you a guide on breathing in to come forward and out to come back Make that your last one So just check your posture there Palms up to the ceiling So we're going to do what we call a dumb waiter

So we're gonna start again with our strongest side That's your right side working from the elbow and the lower arm just to open out to the side So again breathing in if you like breath pattern and then out to move out In and out Try and keep that wrist nice and long

Don't move from your hand or your wrist You're trying to move from the lower arm at the elbow lovely Okay good you've got a couple more this side And make that your last one Okay and then make sure that arm is fixed at your side Sit nice and tall

Then take a breath in to prepare Breathe out, open out to the other side Breathe in to the centre Breathe out to open We always do about eight to ten repetitions

Work at your own pace and as you get stronger you can build this up to do two or maybe three sets as you get stronger Perfect Good So breathing in to the centre, breathe out Make this your last one

Out and back So one more exercise and then we're gonna have a little break So you're going to be in this position so just check your positioning again Pressing your feet into the floor, squeeze the pillow between your knees Think about that lovely length up through the spine

Just check that chin Try and get that nice length Don't worry if you can't get your chin too far back, that's okay but as near to is fine This movement, we're gonna open out the same as we did before So open out from the lower arms

Get those shoulders nice and wide and down Then you're going to extend the arms out to the side And draw them back in to your sides and then close So open both arms Extend

Keep those shoulders down sitting nice and tall Coming in and back So breathe in if you like here Breathe out, breathe in Good

Breathe out, breathe in Extend through those fingertips Good Keep squeezing that pillow Pull those tummy muscles in and up

Lovely, back in And close Let's just do one more here Simon So open out, hold it there Breathe in, breathe out and close

Lovely okay so obviously we need to take a break So just relax your arms for a minute and just roll your shoulders And if you want to have a sip of water; have a sip of water It's important to rehydrate when you're doing exercise so have some water So we've got two more exercises to do We're going to do arm openings and our reaching exercise

So again after you've had a little bit of a break just check your position Sitting nice and tall Right so this one we're going to open the arms out to the side Just check that your shoulders are drawing down away from those ears and lengthening up through the crown of the head We're starting with your stronger side again, so this is your right side Simon

So you're going to breathe in to prepare, exhale Bring the right arm across your body to touch a point on your left arm and then open out Breathing in again Stay on the same side, reaching across and back Don't push the stretch across too much just gently and as you turn to loosen up a little bit you can reach a little bit further if you can but without leaning

I want to try and keep that nice tall posture Keep squeezing that pillow Pull those tummy muscles in Good, you got two more Exhale, inhale to open

Last one Reach and open Then just check your position Tall posture shoulders down Left arm and open

Keep those shoulders down and that chin tucked A couple more And open Lovely Make this your last one, keep those shoulders, drawing down away from those ears

Right, just bring the arms down Have a little roll out of those shoulders Okay then we've got one more exercise which is the reaching exercise This is a really good functional exercise for reaching across, if you're reaching for something out of a cupboard or trying to place something on a shelf And then a low reach exercise if you're trying to pick something up off the floor is really helpful

Again, start with your elbows bent into your sides Hold the ends of the band Check your positioning Press the feet in the floor Squeeze the pillow

Pull those tummy muscles up Shoulders down Right take a breath in and as you breathe out, strongest arm first reach up and across on a diagonal and then breathe in to bring your arm back to centre Keep going on the stronger side Reach

And right back so to start to really feel those tummy muscles helping to pull you back into position Reach Feel your sides and those low tummy muscles working together, pulling in Breathe in here Breathe out, breathe in

Last one Breathe out Very good Simon, excellent! Right ready to do the other side? Shoulders down Check that position before we do Take a breath in here, breathe out, reach up and across the other side

And pull back Reach and pull back Another thing to be aware of; make sure your bottom is a level through the chair It will come away a little bit lighter on the side you're reaching to but use your tummy muscles to pull you back to position where you're stable and secure on that chair when you come back Reach and back

Reach and back Two more Reach and back Good Keep those tummy muscle in

Last one We're gonna do the lower reach exercises now They're obviously a good functional exercise for reaching something and picking something off the floor So if you sit nice and tall again Simon Check your posture

Feet pressing into the floor, squeeze in the cushion Pull those tummy muscles in Sit nice and tall Shoulders down and back So take a breath in here and then reach down the left side and then breathe in to come back

Stay on that same side again It's your stronger side first Breathe in then breathe out Good, keep going It's important to keep good form and technique

It's best to do less repetitions rather than to do too many and not keep that good form Pull those tummy muscles in to get you back We do one more that side and pull back So come to the centre Sit nice and tall Breathe into the centre, breathe out, Reach to your right side And then reach and back

And then reach So again if you can only reach just to the side of your knee that's no problem If you stretch a little bit further, that's great Or when you loosen up a little bit even further towards that ankle Brilliant

Let's just do a couple more here Simon Reach over and across Use those tummy muscles, nice and strong, to pull you back And make this your last one on that side And pull back

This is the lower body exercises for MS Pilates You're going to check your position on the chair Make sure the weight is even through your bottom and press your feet into the floor and still keep the pillow, cushion or whatever you can between your knees just to keep that whole connection going and we're just going to start doing some basic foot and ankle mobility work Sit nice and tall That's it

Chin is going to be tucked so you can copy me here Simon and we're just going to start with our ankles and using our heels so we're gonna do eight to ten heel lifts So lift the heel, pressing into the toes and down So about eight to ten of these So keep going We're really pressing into the balls of the feet if you can to lift the heels up and also just keep those tummy muscles in and up and that good form if you can

All these exercises for feet and ankles are obviously really good to strengthen around the ankle and the lower legs to help with foot drop So very important for strengthening Okay, make this your last one Now we're just going to do the toe lift So lift those toes up

Push into the heels That's it, good Bring those legs forward If you've taken your feet back make sure they're slightly forward so you can lift the toes up That's it and down

Pressing into those heels And down So just hold and squeeze and then lower Keep going Great so let's just do a couple more here

One and then another one Just up and hold and down Then you're gonna take your right leg forward so just take your right leg forward slightly and just lift it, hovering it off the floor and then start to really get into that ankle to circle that ankle again Then the other direction, just a few in the other direction Okay then hold it and then you're going to point forward so point through the foot and then bring the toes towards you

And then again, point away and bring the toes toward you Okay one more And bring them toward you Lower the leg and then bring it back in Okay then the other leg so the left leg

Take the left leg forward, bring it up That's it keep that weight even through your bottom And then start to circle into the ankle, circling around You can hold on to the chair if you feel that you're not very stable here Okay and then the other direction

Really trying to get into that ankle Lovely Very good Hold it there Point forward

Good and then flex towards you and a couple more Point and flex And one more Point and flex Lower that leg down and bring it in

Alright so we're gonna use the band, Simon Use the band And this band is a heavier band for our lower legs that we need to use For our upper body we're using a lighter band Obviously legs need a bit more strength and a heavier band

So I'm going to demonstrate the movement again and Simon is gonna use the band Starting again on your stronger side, if you place the band – – we can take this away now Take the pillow away Place it around your stronger side on your foot When you're doing this make sure that the band securely comes around through the balls of the feet and is nice and open

So slide that foot back beside you so your feet are hip distance apart Again you're sitting nice and tall Right I'm going to do something different This can be a pillow a cushion or a ball if you have one So sitting nice and tall there Simon Just take one end of the band in each hand

So one on your left hip, and one on your right So breathe in to prepare Breathe out You're just going to slide the leg forward and then bring it back again Breathing in okay

Breathe in and then breathe out, come back That's it So breathe in and breathe out Good

Keep going on that right side So watch that you're not sliding the leg out too far and you're rotating a little bit so just open the leg as far as you can Use the back of those hamstrings, the back of the thighs to draw that leg back and of course those tummy muscles Lovely work Simon, brilliant Okay let's just do a couple more there, on that side

Last one Simon there Really good Lengthen and draw the leg back Excellent Okay so staying on this side while you've got the band around this foot, let's do some slides to the sides

So thinking about those tummy muscles pulling in So we're gonna slide the leg out to the side It helps have a slippy floor If that's something you struggle with, a slide, you can do a little step So I'll continue the slides

Simon, you demonstrate a little step Imagine you've got something by your foot Just step over it And lift up and come back Here you're gonna have to pull those tummy muscles in a little bit more to step over and then step back again

Use the bands to keep those shoulders down And then back Okay one more and then back Right let's go back to that movement forward Slide the leg forward and this is going to work our legs and our core a little bit harder

So slide the leg forward, take a pause there Breathe in Deepen that tummy muscle connection and then lift to hover the leg and the foot off the floor Then lower it down and then draw it back in, bending it Okay, so breathe in here

Breathe out Hold it there, take a breath in Deepen that connection Lift that leg up Yeah good

Leg down and draw the leg back again Okay let's just do another couple if you can Hold it there Use those tummy muscles Lift up, draw the shoulders

Nice posture there Simon Excellent! Important to keep that good form Last one Hold it there Take a breath

pull those tummy muscles in and lift and lower back down and come in Excellent Good So we need to change feet now So just place your left foot in beside your right foot or swap feet That's fine

So you're gonna take a breath in to prepare Breathe out Slide the leg forward Breathe in to bring the leg back Breathe out to slide the leg forward

Breathe in to bring it back Use those tummy muscles to keep that stability through your trunk Lovely Make sure the chest is drawing down a little bit Ribcage over your pelvis

Draw the shoulders down Make this your last one And we're gonna do the side slides so if you can slide to the side that's great If you've got a slippy floor that helps If not you can do a step

So a little step Imagine you've just got something by the side of your foot and you're stepping over it As we're lifting that leg now we need to pull those tummy muscles in just a little bit more because you're loading that leg Very good Simon For the slides you might want to take the ball or the cushion out

A couple more, stepping over and back again And step over and back One more Step and come back Brilliant, okay

So now we're gonna go to the movement again So sliding the leg forward And bring the leg back Be aware that the band might, if you're using a band, curl up So just take a minute to straighten it and make sure it's in the right position So breathing in to prepare, breathe out to slide it away

Right hold the leg there Pull those tummy muscles in and then lift and hover that leg off the floor And bring it down and bring it back in, breathing in Breathe out, slide it away Breathe in, breathe out

Hold Good Hold it there and lower it down And bring it in Good, keep going Simon

You're doing really well So if you have a cushion between your legs you can squeeze that to help lift with the legs which is going to engage the core too Squeeze, lengthen and lift, deepening that connection through your tummy muscles Make this your last one Up Lower

And draw in Brilliant okay So one more exercise we're going to do is the hip opener So Simon you're going to take your band and you're going to let me just demonstrate You're gonna wrap it underneath your thighs and you're gonna cross it in front on your lap

Bring your feet together So use the ends of the bands to sit tall and bring those shoulders down away from those ears I'm gonna demonstrate without the band We don't need the band So thinking about pulling those tummy muscles in

Pressing the feet into the floor You're going to take a breath in to prepare Breathe out Connect with your core and just slide that knee out Move from your hip to let the lower leg just roll out to the side

Breathe in to come back Breathe out Breathe in to come up Breathe out So the foot on the side you're doing the movement on is gonna roll out to the side as well as the knee rolling out to the side

Again it's not twisting through The pelvis – keep it nice and facing forward through that trunk, keeping nice and upright Brilliant A couple more Simon And then we go to the other side and last one so you're working against the resistance of the band here so we're working the outsides of the legs obviously to keep those strong

Really important to help with your walking and gait Great okay let's do the other side So again just check your posture Take a big breath in Breathe out and make sure you're connecting with your centre

Breathing in to prepare Breathe out to move Lovely some movement from the hip Just be mindful of those sit bones as well in your bottom, anchoring down through the chair as you're working Lovely, great

A couple more Simon Okay let's do one more And that's the end of the lower body exercises for MS Pilates Now we're going to integrate the exercises that we've just done, the upper body and the lower body together So this can be a little bit more challenging

So let's start Simon if you just put your arms down by your side Sitting nice and tall and you're going to start by lifting your heels and floating your arms up Take a breath in and breathe out to bring your arms down Now you're gonna lift the heels and float the arms out to the side

Reach through those fingertips, get those shoulders down And back again Now I'm going to combine those two movements, doing a big circle So breathe in Heels up, arms up

Hold it there Breathe out, circle out and round So now we're going to work with our toes, so this works our shins down the front So same again but lifting the toes I'm gonna lift the toes, float the arms up, breathing in Breathe out

Bring the toes down, float the arms down Lift the toes up, and float the arms out to the side Reach through those fingertips Sit nice and tall Float the arms back down then combine those two movements lifting the toes

So breathe in, float the arms up Circle out and round Lovely Okay so you can do a few repetitions of that if you're feeling okay and up for the challenge or you can just keep the repetitions low So one more exercise, combining the upper body and the lower body is a little bit more challenging

We're gonna start with our arms bent by our sides Now if you don't have the use of the lower limbs you can just follow the upper body exercise part or if you do then we can work the lower body as well Okay so arms are gonna be by your side Now this is the criss cross So let me to show you the movement, Simon

So this is the arms first Opposite elbows coming across your body to the side And then that way So this is just an upper body So the lower body is going to be a heel lift, if you can lift the heel

Or challenging more, you can take the ball away and we're going to do a little leg lift So you stick with what you can do I think Simon you need to keep the cushion there Yep, okay So we start on the stronger side first

You're gonna bring the right arm across to the opposite side and I'm doing a hill left to demonstrate and back Stay on that same side, heel lift if you can Yep keep going that heel lift And again it's working through your centre If you can do a leg float or just hover that foot slightly off the floor

Again make sure you're anchored through your bottom You're pulling those tummy muscles in Excellent, good One more on that side Brilliant Simon

Have a go! Brilliant Let's do the other side Left side, reach across that elbow to the opposite knee and either do a heel lift or if you can you pull those tummy muscles in a little bit more, lift the foot up and off the floor Great and again Lift the foot up, reach across

So you are rotating the upper body Across, reach Good, and reach across Good and then I'm lifting my leg And come back Brilliant and then relax your arms down by your sides

And just roll those shoulders out a little bit, just to relax a little bit Well done everybody for joining in that workout You did really well We're now going to show you some cool down and basic stretches to do through the body So Simon I'm ready for your stretching and your cool down

Again just always check your posture even for stretching And sitting nice and tall We're just going to make sure those shoulders are nice and wide and your chins back in position And then just start on your left hand side and just take your ear, just tilt your head so your left ear is going to your left shoulder Don't lift this opposite shoulder up

It might want to come up, keep it down So gentle stretch and back to the centre Then your right ear to your right shoulder Again watch that other shoulder doesn't creep up Back to the centre

Just do one more each side Trying to keep that head central back to the centre, nose pointing forward when you do this Good Not like this! *she laughs* Back to the centre So have your arms long by your sides

And we're gonna do a little side tilt here now So you're just going to stretch to the side and then use those tummy muscles that we've been working for all the exercise and then reach to the other side and come back up again And to the side Keep pressing those feet into the floor and just be aware of your posture still Pull up

One more each side And back And pull up Then you're gonna take your left hand on the outside of your right knee So sitting nice and tall, keep your bottom anchored, turn and grab the back of your chair and then think about the shoulders drawing down

Look behind you to the right-hand side Keep your feet pressing into the floor Bottom anchored down Lengthen up through the spine to the crown of the head And then take some breaths there

Don't hold your breath when you're stretching Breathe it through Breathe in Through the nose and out through the mouth And again Breathe in and breathe out

One more Breathe in and breathe out And then come back to the centre Now take your right hand – Take your time Take your right hand, place it on the left knee and turn to the other side

Keep the feet pressing into the floor, think about lengthening up Don't tilt sideways And then turn to look behind you to the left Make sure your bottom is anchored down Start your breathing

Breathing in, and breathing out And again breathing in And breathing out And breathing in and breathing out And then come back to the centre, gently

Now bring your arms out to the side Then you're gonna turn the backs of your palms facing forward, thumbs down Still think about that lovely length up through the crown of the head And you're gonna imagine there's a wall behind you, push back against that imaginary wall, lift the chest up just slightly Good Hold it there

And breathe again Brilliant Okay Hold it there And then release

Okay let's do that one more time So push back and lengthen up Lift that chest slightly, bottom anchored into the chair, pressing those feet into the floor, perfect Good and release Now you're gonna bring those arms forward, interlock your hands together

Fingers together That's it keep a soft bend in those elbows Shoulders down Now you're gonna reach forward and just tilt your head slightly forward whilst reaching through those fingertips Arms forward

This is stretching the shoulders here And breathe again, breathe in and breathe out Breathe in and breathe out And again Big breath in and breathe out

Okay then, gently lift the head back up, float your arms down by your side, sitting nice and tall Then just place your hands on the front of your thighs Sit nice and tall We're just gonna focus on our breathing Just for a little bit of a cool-down

So breathe in and shrug those shoulders up to your ears Breathe out Draw them down to your back pocket Good and again breathe in Just check that chin, lengthen up through the crown of the head

Breathe out Good and again Breathe in, and breathe out and grow taller up through the crown of the head Press the bottom into the seat of the chair Breathing in, breathe out

And two more Big breath in Breathe out Anchor your bottom Lengthen up through the crown of the head

Good Last one, Simon Big breath in Breathe out and the lengthen up And keep that lovely adopted tall posture there

Excellent Great, okay and that's the end of our cool down and stretches

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