Student Papers

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BASI Pilates® is proud to give the entire Pilates community access to these invaluable papers on a variety of Pilates-centric issues written by BASI Pilates students.

These are student papers, which are submitted to BASI Pilates by the writers as a requirement for completion of the BASI Pilates Comprehensive Program. The contents are not endorsed by BASI Pilates. The papers are being provided by the writers and BASI Pilates as a service to the Pilates community.

Copyright © 2014 BASI Pilates. All rights reserved. These papers or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of BASI Pilates, except for the use of brief quotations with the appropriate attribution.

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Pilates for Improving Shoulder Stability and Mobility

Before the advent of the MRI and arthroscope, orthopedic doctors relied on x-rays that gave little information about function and mechanics of the shoulder. With this new technology, doctors could see soft tissue, the rotator cuff, the labrum and other stabilizing structures and began to understand how these structures change and how these changes are related to injuries (4). Age-related changes happen to everyone. The gradual loss of muscle tissue and collagen leads to age-related changes that result in less pliability and more vulnerability in connective tissues. The rotator cuff is especially affected by these changes. Aging brings wear and tear so that most adults over age 40 have rotator cuffs that have started fraying (4). A balanced exercise routine can help to diminish the effects of this aging process. My case study will look at using pilates to strengthen and improve shoulder mobility and stability.

February 8, 2017

Judith Lee-Squire view file

Pilates: Rehabilitation for Senior Female Tennis Player with Knee Osteoarthritis

This case study is focused on an elderly female who is an avid tennis player recently diagnosed with bilateral knee osteoarthritis. A large population of the elderly deals with some type of osteoarthritis as they age and exercise such as pilates rehabilitation can help with strengthening, flexibility, mechanics, posture and overall body awareness. This paper will reveal how exercise and strengthening is important to people dealing with arthritis, specifically pilates rehabilitation due to its low impact on joints. Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates. Over his livelihood he created over 600 exercises for several pieces he invented which was arranged to shape the entire body using distinct positions and flow to restore body alignment and balance. Exercise is vital in managing arthritis and getting one back to their everyday activities and exercise without pain. 

February 8, 2017

Priyanka Kumar view file

Pilates-Based Therapeutic Exercise for Patients with Chronic Non-Specific Low Back Pain

Pilates-based and modified Pilates-based exercise programs have made a strong hold in the current rehabilitation protocols for patients presenting with chronic, non-speciAic low back pain in recent years. This paper aims to show the efAicacy of such protocols; speciAically their utilization in the treatment and long-term outcomes for education of the patient as well as resolution of symptoms over a 6-month period. This paper will evaluate the current literature to help draw a conclusion and recommendations for the use of BASI-speciAic Pilates-based exercises in the rehabilitation setting. The author will look at a case study for patient treatment with outcome measures to assess the effectiveness of the program designed. 

February 8, 2017

Erin Downey view file

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Due to the nature of sacroiliac joint dysfunction, this syndrome is relatable to the common client and the Pilates individual due to the fact that 15-30% of the population experiences some type of chronic injury, due to the sacroiliac joint, at some point in their lifetime. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction involves the structure of two different bones that are joined together by ligaments, the sacrum and the iliac make up part of the pelvis and the sacrum connects to the spine at the lumber vertebrae. Due to the nature of these two bones there is little movement that occurs, but in special occasions the body can move in a certain way that may cause irritation to this joint. The body releases hormones that can cause the ligaments that hold these two bones together to become lax and therefore cause separation. With the help of Pilates and stretching the muscles that surround this joint can support these bones and eliminate pain. 

February 8, 2017

Emily Hoff view file

Pilates for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rehabilitation

There are approximately 200,000 ACL injuries per year in the United States (Gammons). The ACL is one of four ligaments that attach the femur to the tibia, and keeps the tibia from sliding in front of the femur (see page 3). Girls have a higher incidence of ACL injury at a rate of four to six times that of boys. A primary cause of the higher rate in girls is neuromuscular differences. Girls tend to use more quadricep which causes more instability in the knee, as opposed to the hamstring which absorbs more of the impact of movement (Osbourne). In rehabilitating an ACL injury, a strong focus is placed on strengthening the muscles around the knee joint, the core, and the technique of movement. Pilates is perfect for this, because it provides balance in the entire body (including the quadriceps and hamstrings), stability, and requires tremendous thought about muscle recruitment and technique through the BASI method. 

February 8, 2017

Vaughn Ballew view file

A Soccer Player’s Journey to Reducing Ankle Injuries Through Pilates

With a pitch even larger than a regulation NFL field and few substitutions allowed, it is no wonder that soccer players are well known for their athleticism. The average midfielder will run 9.5 miles in one 90-minute game with only a 15-minute break at half time (Fox). During a game, it is common for players to run a continuous moderate pace with bursts of sprints and dead stops. This constant pressure combined with sudden movements creates a ripe environment for ankle injuries to occur. Strengthening the ankle and lower limbs and increasing balance and body awareness through Pilates training can help players reduce their chances of injuries.  

January 13, 2017

Roshan F. Rodriguez view file

Addressing Plantar Fasciitis with Pilates

This paper is about the use of Pilates to address plantar fasciitis. Statistics show that between 4% and 7% of people in the world have heel pain at any given time and about 80% of these cases are due to plantar fasciitis1. Inflammation and pain from this condition can be so severe.  It inhibits day-to-day activity due to the inability to walk normally.  This case study looks at a 50 year-old, active and fit woman who has recently started suffering with plantar fasciitis in her left heel. As a result, her body has a severe left/right imbalance and has started to compensate for the pain with new muscle patterns.  She is 12 sessions into a 20 session Pilates plan, advised by her doctor. With the correct focus, Pilates can help her significantly.

January 13, 2017

Jenna Lamorna McCabe view file

Pilates for the treatment of Postural HyperKyphosis

It’s widely agreed that most of us could benefit from moving more and sitting less. In modern life as growing hours of our daily tasks and work life are performed whilst seated, it is no surprise, that without close attention, our muscles and subsequently posture suffer from these unnatural levels of inactivity. According to the British Heart Foundation, adults of working age in England average about 9.5 hours per day of sedentary time. Between the ages of 65 and 74, sedentary time in both men and women increases to 10 hours per day or more. By age 75+, people are sedentary for 11 hours per day. 1 Kyphosis; a postural disorder characterised by an increased curvature and flexion of the thoracic spine (hunch back) and often accompanied by hyperextension of the cervical spine (forward head) and lumbar hyperlordosis. In this paper, I will illustrate how I prescribed a BASI pilates program to a 72 year old female client, suffering from postural Kyphosis, a result from a career at a desk. 

January 13, 2017

Aisha Tannahill view file

Pilates in the Second Trimester of Pregnancy

A primary goal of a Pilates exercise regime during the second trimester of pregnancy is to prepare the woman’s body for the additional weight of her rapidly growing uterus and fetus. Research shows that strengthening a pregnant woman’s abdominal and pelvic floor muscles will help her maintain a healthy lumbar spine to avoid developing hyperlordosis, promotes proper alignment and posture as her center of gravity shifts forward, reduces her risk of developing diastasis recti, will aid her in safely performing all of her daily movements and activities, and will prepare her for a successful childbirth. Due to their crucial role in preventing hyperlordosis and diastasis recti, and in aiding functional daily movement and successful childbirth, the primary anatomical focus of this research is the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, with special mention of the role of the gluteals in total pelvic floor health. 

January 13, 2017

Alice B. Roby view file


Diastasis recti ( also known as abdominal separation) is commonly defined as a gap of roughly 2,7cm or greater between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle. Diastasis of this muscle occurs principally in two populations: newborns and pregnant woman. It is also known to occur in men. In my Student Paper, prepared for Comprehensive Course, I presented a pilates program on the machines for the abdominal recovery of a woman which is experiencing the Diastasis Recti problem after pregnancy. In my opinion, pilates is the most appropriate exercise program as it is also the most complete program including all the necessary steps for the well being of each person, starting from the awareness of the body, to achieve harmony. As in my client’s case, women with DR are ideal candidates for a Pilates program, yet it requires a very focused conditioning program and a very cautious progression due to the precise focus on Core stability especially on pelvic floor and transversus abdominis strength, to correct the existing problem.

January 13, 2017

Alexandra Lorena Mindrut view file


L’articulation de la hanche est une articulation importante du corps humain et une fracture peut entraîner de lourdes conséquences au niveau de la mobilité et de l’autonomie de la personne concernée mais également sur le plan psychologique. Une personne ayant subi ce type d’accident peut développer une crainte face à sa mobilité et à sa capacité d’exécuter des mouvements de base. Suite à ce type de traumatisme, le Pilates peut certes aider la personne à rebâtir sa structure musculaire, sa force et son amplitude de mouvements mais elle peut aussi aider à rebâtir la confiance en ses capacités physiques. En tant que professeur en Pilates, il est de notre devoir d’aider nos clients à découvrir leur plein potentiel physique et mental. Ce travail consiste à vous présenter Louise âgée de 68 ans qui malheureusement s’est fracturé la hanche suite à une chute sur la glace. Elle a dû entreprendre un long cheminement afin de rebâtir sa force musculaire mais également sa confiance en ses capacités physiques. C’est grâce au Basi block system et à sa persévérance que nous avons réussi à lui redonner sa confiance, sa force et sa mobilité.

January 13, 2017


Pilates for Increasing Thoracic Spinal Mobility for the Athletic Client

Thoracic spinal mobility is one of the most crucial aspects of mobility of the human body and yet a lack of mobility of the thoracic spine is extremely common. Both inactivity and incorrect muscle recruitment during activity can lead to immobility. Immobility can lead to pathology. The thoracic spine is designed to be mobile, yet it must be used and moved correctly to become and remain mobile. Pilates provides the means gain appropriate mobility of the spine. Pilates exercises provide full range of motion of the spine and a controlled and safe setting. This paper looks specifically at a physically active sample client with reduced range of motion in the thoracic spine. Her lack of mobility is causing low back pain and tightness in her shoulders. 30 one hour Pilates sessions will be outlined using the BASI block system including both mat and apparatus work.

December 27, 2016

Holly Erickson view file

Pilates and Scoliosis: My Personal Journey

This paper will outline a personal journey through the causes, symptoms, and effects of scoliosis on the body, and how Pilates counteracts the misalignment, muscular imbalance, and residual pain caused by a curvature of the spine. Scoliosis can cause a moderate to severe curve of the spine effecting the way an individual stands, walks, and uses their muscles. Movement and exercise through Pilates can alleviate the negative effects that scoliosis has on the body. This paper will present a comprehensive training program that can counteract any compensation or negative movement patterns caused by a spinal curve. It will conclude with a personal reflection of the benefits and positive effects Pilates has on an individual with scoliosis.

December 27, 2016

Kathrine Muska view file

Post-Polio Syndrome And Pilates

Post poliomyelitis syndrome (PPS) comes about after up to 40 years of contracting the poliovirus. PPS is considered a chronic syndrome associated with progressive muscle weakness and fatigue. The BASI Block System works the body as a whole and can be beneficial for those with Post poliomyelitis syndrome. Pilates can be a good way to strengthen muscles affected by PPS without making the muscles any weaker or without causing fatigue. 

December 27, 2016

Lillian Tison view file

Pilates After the Baby Arrives

Pilates After the Baby Arrives is a case study on how the postpartum body can be strengthened and improved by Pilates. This paper will look at how pregnancy and the immediate demands of motherhood change posture of the spine, may cause diastasis recti, and temporary shift the internal anatomy of a woman’s body. It will also cover how various Pilates exercises, a complete Pilates training regimen, and daily corrective habits can be employed to aid in the recovery of carrying and delivering an infant. The conclusion of this paper will review the method used for correcting the postpartum imbalances and cover the benefits gained through a Pilates workout program. 

December 27, 2016

Nicole Sanstad view file


Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a disease that has physical, emotional, and social components. While medication and psychological counseling remain mainstay ways of treatment, recent studies are looking into supplemental therapies. Physical activity has long been considered a key to mental health as exercise increases the brain synaptic transmissions. (Nikoloff, Schwenk) Joseph Pilates designed his method to create harmony between body and mind by combining aspects of mental focus, breath, and body awareness with the physical aspects of Eastern and Western fitness regimens. As such, the Pilates Method is not only an exercise program, but also a somatic education with the potential to cultivate mindfulness – a mental quality associated with overall wellbeing. Increased mindfulness is linked to improved self-efficacy, lower perceived stress, and improved mood. (Caldwell) With its mind-body approach to restoring equilibrium, Pilates is uniquely posited to be an effective form of rehabilitation for people suffering from MDD.

December 27, 2016

Adriana Bore view file

Pilates for Kyphoscoliosis and Costochondritis

The combination of kyphosis and scoliosis is by definition, “abnormal curvature of the spine on the coronal and sagittal plane”. Kyphoscoliosis can be the origin of other musculoskeletal complications. In this study one of the many issues will be reviewed. Costochondritis, is the inflammation of the costal cartilage. The costal cartilage, is the osseous matter that connects the ribs to the sternum. Different determinations will usually cause acute inflammation in the costal cartilage. In these cases, injections and pain medicines are administered and sometimes in more severe cases surgery is suggested. The BASI Pilates method allows the option for a personalized program to be created to eliminate the necessity for such invasive treatments. This program, and conclusion in our case study will examined be in this paper.

December 27, 2016

Robin Houde view file

Pilates and Weightlifting: My Journey

The journey goes through various phases of my fitness career which included cycling and weightlifting and of course, Pilates. But as with most forms of exercise, some muscle groups receive more focus than others. This paper will explore the various pitfalls of my journey, and how Pilates has always come through to correct my muscle balance and alignment, enabling me to enjoy all forms of exercise, pain and stress free. I will detail which muscle groups needed to be addressed and which exercises and stretches I chose to correct these imbalances.

December 27, 2016

Brett Starkowitz view file

Pilates for Improving Posture in the Golf Swing

Great posture is the key to a great shot. The problem is, in today’s world, the average person’s posture is not great. Most people sit at desks for hours often causing a rounded back, rounded shoulders, tight hip flexors and many other issues. These imbalances cause the body to function at a subpar level and the golf swing to be hindered. By focusing on posture alone, a golfer can improve their swing. A well rounded Pilates conditioning program can retrain the back extensors and core muscles, stretch and open the hip flexors and chest, provide pelvic stability and get the body back to functioning in a proper postural position and achieving optimum performance.

December 27, 2016

Heather Melcer view file


Some of us know all too well the signs of aging. We are either experiencing them ourselves or seeing them in others. A decrease in height, an increase in weight, rounded shoulders and upper back, reduced bone density, a loss of balance, and a general decrease in strength and flexibility to name a few. The good news is there is a lot you can do to counteract this aging process. Joseph Pilates set out to develop a superb exercise method for the over 40’s, and that’s exactly what Pilates turned out to be. When it comes to safe exercise Pilates tops the list. Physical Therapists and Doctors regularly recommend Pilates as one of the best exercise routines for overall general fitness and body awareness. Strength training on the Pilates apparatus, following the BASI block system can increase lean muscle mass, reduce bone density loss, greatly improve posture, balance and flexibility, providing the aging client a full body work out.

December 27, 2016

Dawn Melcer view file