Following on from our last blog on the “core” I thought I’d talk you through the differences between traditional and clinical pilates. There are many institutions that offer pilates but it’s often hard to know which is best suited to you.
Traditional pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1900s. He believed that injuries were caused by muscle imbalances and poor posture. He saw that when a person had a weakness in a specific area, they would compensate with other areas of the body to achieve a particular movement. Therefore he developed pilates in order to correct these imbalances, thus reducing the risk of future injuries. Traditional pilates is what most people think of when they hear the word pilates. Joseph developed 34 pilates exercises based on the mat, which he then developed into machine based pilates to add spring based resistance. The most commonly used machine being the reformer. Pilates was originally designed for fit and healthy people, requiring high levels of flexibility and joint range of motion. It was mostly used within the dance industry and hadlittle focus on the deep stabilising core muscles. The focus was more on the strength layer of the core, requiring high levels of proprioception and body awareness. These days traditional pilates classes are run in a group setting and run by a qualified pilates instructor. The classes consist of a routine of exercises with every participant performing the same exercises.
On the other hand clinical rehabilitation uses the same repertoire of 34 exercises, altering them to suit a clinical population. In other words, changing the exercises to suit an individual’s pain or injuries, with a focus on the deep stabilising layer of the core. To be able to facilitate this, clinical rehabilitation is run by a qualified physiotherapist or another registered health professional who is able to assess and identify any imbalances and weaknesses. They are then able to specifically tailor the exercises to suit the individual’s needs. This means within a clinical rehabilitation session, everyone has their own exercises and programs, rather than everyone performing the same exercises.
Which Suits Me?
The main difference between traditional pilates and clinical rehabilitation is the targeted and individualised prescription of exercises. So if you have a particular goal or pain (eg. low back pain), you’d be better suited to clinical classes. Your physiotherapist will be able to assess and determine the underlying cause of your pain, then determine the best exercises to help with your rehabilitation. You may also combine physiotherapy and pilates to get the best possible treatment.
On the other hand, if you aren’t experiencing any pain or have any injuries but want to become stronger and work on your core strength, then traditional pilates and clinical rehabilitation are both great options!
Before beginning clinical rehabilitation or our pilates group class we perform an initial assessment to help understand your reasons for do
ing pilates, your conditions and any goals you may have. We then perform an assessment to determine any weaknesses or muscle imbalances, which we then use to form a plan. In the initial pilates assessment we also use the real-time ultrasound to assess the strength of your pelvic floor. We will also educate you on the basics of pilates and your core, so you have all the necessary tools to kick start your program!
Our clinical rehabilitation classes run for 1 hour and have a maximum of 4 participants. Within these classes the exercises you perform are specific to you and your goals. We also offer 1-on-1 clinical rehabilitation sessions. On the other hand, we also have a traditional group pilates class, with a maximum of 10 participants rotating through 9 various exercises. Click to see our class times!