Improve posture and mobility with this joint-friendly standing Pilates workout

Want to exercise without causing pain in your joints? Pilates is low-impact—especially this 20-minute standing workout

Woman practices Pilates standing on a mat in her home
(Image credit: Getty)

The ability to lengthen and stretch your major muscle groups is key for carrying out daily life tasks easily, and will benefit your body as you get older. One of the best ways to achieve this without causing strain or aches to your joints is through Pilates exercise. This twenty-minute low-impact session is designed to work out your full body without getting on the floor.

Similar to yoga, the only equipment required for Pilates is having access to one of the best yoga mats. And for this routine, it will help to have a chair to lean on. This minimal equipment activity is ideal if you prefer exercising at home. 

Standing beside the chair, you will complete the whole Pilates session on your feet. Not having to get down on the floor reduces the impact on your joints, avoiding unwanted pains or injuries. Standing tall and using the exercises to elongate your bones and muscles will also help promote better posture, too.

Moreover, Pilates movements involve a range of motion that helps your joints to function normally, and preserves mobility and flexibility in your joints. Some of the best supplements for joints can also help relieve pains or discomfort in places like the knees or hips.

This twenty minute session was shared on the SeniorShape fitness channel, they are a platform that specializes in making exercise accessible to beginners to fitness and active older adults. Leading you through this short Pilates session is Lauren who is a certified fitness instructor from ACE (American Council on Exercise).

Arm yourself in some comfortable activewear and give this all standing Pilates workout a go. 


Some fitness enthusiasts who only take part in high-impact activities such as cross-training or long distance running might not initially be interested in slower physical activities that are paced at a more moderate intensity. 

However, low-impact movement should not be overlooked. Stretching your body and increasing your flexibility will improve your range of motion and build strength and endurance in all major muscle groups (such as the core and legs), which inevitably will enhance your performance in other forms of exercise.

In a study conducted by the Hospital for Special Surgery researchers found that a low-impact exercise program helped improve mobility, decrease pain, and improve quality of life among a group of older Chinese adults. The exercise program incorporated stretch bands (this is just another word for some of the best resistance bands) into gentle chair and floor mat based exercises.

You can add a resistance band to the Pilates workout shared above. This will apply an additional force to the exercises and help to promote control in the joints as you move position.

If you're looking for more joint-friendly ways to stay fit and mobile there are plenty of modifications to popular exercises out there. For example, wall sits are a safe and effective alternative to squats and kind to the joints. 

Or you might enjoy walking as it's an excuse to get outside and in nature. Always wear protective footwear for this, something like the best shoes for walking will increase comfort as you move around various terrains.

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 

When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.