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Shoulder Safety and Awareness
A Client Handout

By Pilates Instructors of ‘Circuit Pilates Silverlake’

Symptoms of shoulder injuries
· Weakness of the shoulder muscles with decreased shoulder joint stability
· Shoulder or upper arm pain, worsening with normal shoulder movements
· Mobility restrictions when reaching or lifting overhead

Please follow these guidelines for your Pilates exercise session
· DO NOT begin a Pilates class until approved by your physician
· Review this handout with your Physician or PT for corrections or additions
· Your doctor or Physical Therapist may determine the frequency, intensity, and duration of exercising based on the condition of your injury
· Maintain your present level of fitness until approved by your physician
· Be consistent with your Pilates sessions; sporadic attendance slows your progress
· Use heat to warm up the injured area prior to your Pilates session
· Use ice to reduce inflammation after a Pilates class
· Exercise within your COMFORT ZONE; Don’t work beyond your range of motion or intensity limits
· BE AWARE of increased soreness; stop and rest as your body requires
· TRUST YOUR INSTINCT; your emotional state is a valid concern
· Maintain control and coordination at all times; QUALITY OF MOVEMENTS
· Focus on strength and endurance of the shoulder’s muscles, NOT FLEXIBILITY
· DO NOT use unnecessary excess muscle tension
· FOCUS on the muscles controlling the action
· Keep movements close to the body when using the arms, to help stabilize the shoulder and avoid joint traction
· CONTROL the arms from your torso; initiate actions from your back or chest
· Safely increase shoulder muscle strength with isometrics; holding the weight/resistance without movement
· Maintain proper alignment of your body and in relation to the equipment
· CONCENTRATE on flexing the muscle instead of adding more resistance; to avoid straining the joint or tendons
· Keep a slow pace
· Communicate with your Pilates instructor when your have pain or a question
· Use exercises that require pulling down motions rather than pushing movements
· AVOID Exercises that may open the joint or stretch the injured shoulder; overhead, behind the head, across the body (past the medial line) or behind your torso
· DO NOT use a light spring resistance during exercises such as the ‘Full Body Stretch’, ‘Swan’, ‘Elephant’, ‘Standing Mermaid’ or ‘Twisted Snake’ which places pressure on the shoulder joint, fatigue shoulder muscles which may lead to chronic inflammation and can cause muscle strain or tendon sprain.

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