Clinical Pilates: The Essentials

The form of physical exercise that focuses mainly on rehabilitation and injury prevention is called clinical Pilates.

Used often in conjunction with physiotherapy, clinical Pilates is designed to help treat a variety of injuries, especially those of the back and neck.

The History of Pilates

Pilates was originally developed by Joseph Humbertus Pilates. He was once a sickly child but he worked extra hard to overcome his afflictions by studying different exercise disciplines including yoga. When World War I began, he worked as a hospital orderly in England and helped bedridden patients rehabilitate and recover using the exercise regimen he has created. When the war ended, he returned to Germany and continued to develop the exercise routines he has created. When he moved to America, he opened his first Pilates studio in New York.

Clinical Pilates

Clinical Pilates in a nutshell

The traditional Pilates routine was initially developed for dancers. That means majority of the exercises demand a high level of strength, body awareness, and flexibility.

Unfortunately, some practitioners do not possess the abovementioned qualities, especially those who have had injuries, have undergone surgeries, or those suffering from medical problems like lower back pain.

Fortunately, in 1999, the physiotherapists founders of the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute (APPI) developed what is now known as clinical Pilates. Unlike traditional Pilates, clinical Pilates has been designed to work and better suit those practitioners with specific clinical issues.

Is clinical Pilates right for you?

Understandably, people have different health states as well as fitness levels. Taking those two factors into account, physiotherapists will have to assess each client before allowed to join a clinical Pilates class, regardless if they have done Pilates before.

While clinical Pilates is extremely beneficial for those with certain injuries, it is more effective when tailored to the individual’s needs rather than used as a generic tool.

To ensure maximum benefit and minimal injury aggravation, key issues are determined so carefully selected exercises are given to patients depending on their injuries.

What are some of the many benefits clinical Pilates has to offer?

  • Increased muscular flexibility and strength
  • Better breathing control
  • Enhanced muscle control and coordination
  • Flatter, leaner, and firmer stomach muscles
  • Improved balance
  • Easy and fast restoration of movement patterns
  • Effective injury prevention
  • Improved breathing control
  • Better body fitness and tone
  • Effective rehabilitation aid

To help ensure you get the maximum benefit Pilates has to offer, keep in mind the following six key principles:

  1. Breathing

Ensure you do not hold your breath when executing the movements. Always keep a normal and relaxed breathing throughout your session.

  1. Control

Make it a point to maintain control and optimum posture at all times.

  1. Concentration

Focus on the specific muscles involved as well as the correct execution during your session.

  1. Precision

Ensure correct technique is applied by performing each routine with attention to detail in mind.

  1. Centering

Focus on activating your core stabilizing muscles (transverses abdominus and pelvic floor) and achieving neutral spine to effectively support both your pelvis and lower back.

  1. Flowing movement

To help warrant the results you want, ensure you carry out the movements efficiently and smoothly.

Now that you’ve covered all the basics of clinical Pilates, it will be a lot easier for you to gauge if it is right for you. Check with a competent physiotherapist or visit a trusted Pilates studio near you so you can start stabilizing your core, improving your posture, enhancing your flexibility and strength, and performing exercises targeted to rehabilitate whatever specific injuries you may have.