We get asked a lot here at Reformotiv Physio + Pilates about Clinical Pilates which is a unique service we offer here in Vancouver, BC.
You’ve probably heard of Pilates but maybe haven’t heard of Clinical Pilates before – it is not as commonly known as Pilates.
To start, let’s give it a definition.
What is Clinical Pilates?
According to PhysioAdvisor, Clinical Pilates is “a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility, and breathing. Clinical Pilates focuses on the retraining and recruitment of stabilizing muscles (core stability) and is used in conjunction with physiotherapy as a means of treating a variety of injuries. The Pilates Method was developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century in Germany.”, PhysioAdvisor.com
Clinical Pilates focuses on retraining movement patterns with improved abdominal control, body awareness, and proper breathing. It is more important to focus on the quality of each posture/movement and the integration of the whole body; this is the focal point of Clinical Pilates.
At our Physiotherapy & Pilates Clinic, Clinical Pilates is done by a trained Physiotherapist in a one-on-one guided session. Clinical Pilates is a great treatment option that helps strengthen core muscles and prevent or rehabilitate from injuries.
Specialized equipment such as reformers and pilates chairs are utilized along with mat exercises.
Clinical Pilates pays particular attention to postural education which enables optimal movement in the body. A Physiotherapist will closely guide your technique to prevent any injury and develop a series of exercises tailored specifically to your movement needs.
Who will benefit from Clinical Pilates?
We recommend Clinical Pilates to individuals who suffer from musculoskeletal pain or injury or those looking to address muscle imbalances unique to their own bodies. Training for your first Fondo or trying to get a PB in your next 10km run? We can help!
Clinical Pilates can help address any strength issues to allow you to reach your activity goals safely and effectively. Many professional athletes rely on this rehabilitation to help stay injury-free during their sport. It is also suitable to strengthen the knee, hip, shoulder, ankle, and lower back post-surgically.
Many expecting and new moms require strengthening to support the many changes their bodies go through in preparation for birth and postpartum; Clinical Pilates is an excellent tool to support and stabilize the lower back and pelvis.
If you have postural problems, then Clinical Pilates is a great option that will help you develop an awareness of your body in addition to increasing your overall strength and flexibility.
The 10 health benefits of Clinical Pilates:
1) Strengthens pelvic floor for pre-natal and post-natal women
Clinical Pilates is great for expecting mothers. Clinical Pilates will increase pelvic floor strength and flexibility for the prevention and relief of lower back and pelvic pain. These exercises will provide a strong foundation which makes giving birth a lit bit easier on both mother and baby.
It is also great for reshaping and toning post-partum as well as recovering from diastasis rectus, tearing, or incontinence issues.
There are specific limitations in particular around physical activity during pre- and post-natal periods. Our Physiotherapists are highly skilled to address any concerns in order to keep you safe and healthy along the way. Clinical Pilates is both safe and extremely gentle for mother and baby. Many pregnant women can do Clinical Pilates right up until their due date!
2) Improves stability
By exercising the primary stabilizers and movers in the hips, shoulders, and ankles, Clinical Pilates can strengthen the muscles around those commonly injured joints and help with overall stability and movement which is essential for keeping the body functioning properly.
3) Strengthens pelvic floor and other core muscles in general for both men and women
This is particularly talked about for women but men have a pelvic floor too! A weak or tight pelvic floor can sometimes lead to incontinence, hernias, hemorrhoids, coccyx pain, difficulty standing up from a seated position, and many other issues. As such, strengthening and retraining the core and pelvic floor becomes extremely important should these symptoms arise.
4) Rehabilitation after injury
Guided Clinical Pilates is very beneficial for injury rehabilitation. A trained Physiotherapist at our clinic will first assess your injury and then develop the most appropriate exercises tailored specifically to your needs. Every session can be progressed at a safe and effective pace needed for your injury recovery.
The guided Clinical Pilates exercises will aim to strengthen your weak muscle groups, improve movement patterns and prevent further injury to your body.
5) Corrects overall posture
Your posture plays a significant role in your overall health, strength, injury resistance, flexibility, and balance. With the help of a Physiotherapist, you will be able to make sure that your muscles have adequate length and strength for proper posture.
6) Reduces neck pain and lower back pain
Clinical Pilates will help with neck pain and can also target inactive or atrophying lower back muscles. This is particularly helpful for people who have a sedentary lifestyle and/or a desk job that doesn’t require a lot of physical activity during the day.
Clinical Pilates will strengthen your weak muscles that are affected by sitting for a prolonged period of time, stooping, or bending your neck to watch images and videos on your cell phone so that you can be more resilient to muscle strain and injury.
7) Improves flexibility
In society today, people are more likely to have desk jobs or less active lifestyles which can cause poor flexibility and weak muscles.
Joints and tissues that have good flexibility are also more resilient and less prone to injury. Clinical Pilates balances the task of gaining flexibility paired with strength so that your body can handle the load you throw at it!
8) Tones muscles
If you’re chasing a stronger core or a more toned midriff, a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, found that after 36 weeks of Pilates training, women had managed to strengthen their rectus abdominis (abs) by an average of 21%.
Celebrities like Cameron Diaz, Miranda Kerr and Kate Hudson are fans of the workout.
9) Improves overall health
Not only is Clinical Pilates great for strengthening your core muscles, but it also stretches and tones other muscle groups to improve your overall health and fitness. It will also aid in building up your cardiovascular health which in turn increases your overall endurance and fitness level.
Pilates conditions your whole body, even the ankles, and feet. Your entire musculature is evenly balanced and conditioned, helping you enjoy daily activities – no muscle group is overtrained or undertrained.
This is one of the reasons so many professional athletes swear by Clinical Pilates for better overall performance and injury prevention.
10) Promotes body awareness
Clinical Pilates ensures that you pay attention to the movements that you are making while regulating your breathing and stability. As you do more and more Clinical Pilates, you will pay more attention to what your body is feeling and communicating to you.
This awareness of your body is carried throughout the day, outside of your Clinical Pilates sessions in the clinic and eventually becomes second nature to you.
One last thing to mention is that Clinical Pilates can be extremely gentle. Many of the exercises are completed in reclining or sitting positions which don’t require heavy lifting. As well, the springs on the Pilates reformers and chairs can provide support or challenge depending on what your body requires at the time.
Whether you are rehabilitating from an injury, getting ready to deliver your baby, wanting to improve your core muscles and overall strength or simply desiring to be more active and healthier, you can always book an appointment with a Clinical Pilates-trained Physiotherapist here at Reformotiv Physio + Pilates to start tackling your goals.