What difference is there between clinical pilates and pilates?

What is Clinical Pilates?

It is based on the original Pilates method which was developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. It is a form of exercise that focuses on correct posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility, and breathing. The advantage  is that you work on muscle control rather than strength, with the exercises working muscle groups in patterns that are functional. There is strong evidence in the literature to support the use of therapeutic exercises, including pilates for many different conditions, particularly in low back pain.

Difference between normal and Clinical Pilates:

As Physiotherapists we often get asked “What is the difference between Clinical and regular Pilates?”. While both types may use either equipment or mat work, there are several importance differences between the styles.

  • Pilates

Gym instructors run the the classes as fitness classes. The exercises are not tailored to meet the specific needs of the client and there are often many people in a class. This means that it is difficult for the instructor to ensure proper technique or to give options for specific conditions, making it inappropriate for people with injuries or special requirements. Doing the wrong exercise can be detrimental and could make your low back condition worse.

  • Clinical Pilates

Clinical Pilates on the other hand, is run by qualified physiotherapists or exercise physiologists who have underwent training of the human body and who specialise in injury management and prevention. Prior to participating in a class you will be thoroughly assessed by an experienced trained physiotherapist. This will ensure that all your exercises are tailored to your specific needs. This is particularly important for anyone with a history of injuries, as certain exercises may aggravate particular conditions if not completed correctly. During a clinical pilates class your Physiotherapist will constantly monitor your technique and, where necessary, progress your exercises.

Who can do clinical Pilates?

It is appropriate for all age groups, from kids, to pregnant women and the elderly.

As the exercises are tailored to the individual your physiotherapist can make your program as challenging or gentle as it needs to be to achieve the best outcomes for you.

You don’t need to have an injury to attend, many clients come to keep fit and healthy, enjoying the personalized attention that a small class size allows. It gives them the peace of mind to know that they are performing the exercises correctly under supervision.

People who would benefit from clinical Pilates:

  • Back, neck or shoulder pain
  • Pelvic or hip pain
  • Athletes looking to improve their technique e.g. golfers, gymnasts, dancers, runners
  • Post orthopaedic surgery
  • Pre and post-natal
  • Pelvic floor retraining
  • Postural and flexibility issues
  • General conditioning, toning and fitness

Total Physiocare offers both individual and small group classes. All classes run by qualified trained Physiotherapists. Enquire today about getting started!

Total Physiocare also has a 6 week better back program which is designed to individually personalise your program. Find out more about this program here.

Blog post by Claire De Vos


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