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What Are The Benefits Of Pilates With A Physio?

The benefits of Pilates are far reaching but like any other system the results you can obtain will be dependant on a number of personal factors. You must consider what are your specific goals such as whether you are training for a specific sport, aiming for weight loss, a means for managing pain and/or regaining full movement after injury.

Benefits of Pilates classes led by a Chartered Physiotherapist

Our Pilates instructors are Chartered Physiotherapists who spend 85% of their working lives assessing, treating and prescribing therapeutic exercises for a very wide range of pain and movement dysfunction conditions. Our exercise classes, led by such a specialist, offer the highest level of attention and awareness of need for each participant. When being instructed by a Chartered Physiotherapist you can be sure your instructor has an understanding of the wide ranging spinal pathologies, biomechanics and safe principles of rehabilitation. This is key to understanding the difference between the type of service we offer and that which you may receive in a more ‘general fitness’ type Pilates class.

If you are a client of our Physiotherapy clinic you will understand why specific exercises are almost always prescribed as part of a pain management or movement rehabilitation programme. For many of our clients our Pilates classes are an on-going rehabilitation process. Our beginner class is for those new to Pilates and perhaps less confident exercising due to pain or post-injury dysfunction. As ability and confidence develops clients move on to more advanced levels of Pilates through our Improver, Intermediate and Advanced classes, where their regular Pilates class becomes fundamental in maintaining a pain-free, stronger and more agile body.

Benefits of Pilates are increased in a small group

Our Pilates classes are limited to a maximum of 6 participants allowing our instructor to offer greater level of attention to each participant. The success of the Pilates system (as is the case for almost any type of training) is largely dependant on performing each movement correctly so the correct muscles are activated and therefore being conditioned as intended.

Each of us have our unique set of physical differences, either inherited, gained or learned during our life experience. These differences will influence how 'easy' it may be for each of us to perform an exercise movement to its maximum beneficial potential. The slightest misalignment of balance or body position can cause unwanted muscles to activate and take over the movement, an all too easy and common occurrence. The difference between 'getting it' or 'missing it' altogether can be very subtle indeed.

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Consider the statement "you get what you train"

You may want to strengthen your stomach muscles but end up training your body to activate some abdominal muscle groups while neglecting others. You will likely develop strength in one area but never achieve correct core stability. The same situation applies to movements around your pelvis necessary for holding a neutral spinal position. You can learn/adopt incorrect movement patterns which over time lead to muscle imbalances and potential injury risks down the line.

The benefits of Pilates include a balance approach

Let's consider abdominal exercises as part of core stability. One of the significant benefits of Pilates is the variety of abdominal exercises available in the routine, challenging and conditioning all of the core muscles through the different movement sequences. Such variety and structure offers optimum potential for developing balanced strength and stability.

All movements originate from our trunk, stabilised by our core musculature (sometimes referred to as local stabilisers. The abdominals play a fundamental role in providing this stability which include a number of muscles; mainly the internal oblique, transversus abdominis, multifidus, pelvic floor and gluteal muscles.

The ideal training scenario is where these muscle groups can be conditioned without causing excess load and strain on the lumbar spine, as intended through the Pilates system. An experienced instructor who can afford to offer individual attention in smaller group classes offers you a much greater chance to perform these movements correctly.

Your need or goal influences your benefits of Pilates

We all have our individual needs and goal which impact our commitment levels and perhaps too our sensitivity to proper technique. If you are looking for a general keep-fit exercise class and do not have a specific goal or need, which would offer you a form of feedback or success measurement, then a big group class may be fun and worthwhile despite a high risk of failing to perform the movement as intended by not being able to receive individual attention.

If on the other hand you have a specific desire to reduce aches and pains for instance then you have a very real and motivating reason to 'get it' right. Daily aches and pains suffered as a result of conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis or previous injury take their toll in negatively affecting overall quality of life. These symptoms can be a very effective means for measuring the success or failure of your Pilates efforts. Some people notice positive differences almost immediately upon starting a Pilates programme while others require the initial 6-8 weeks for the conditioning process to take noticeable effect.

Conclusion

An exercise class, limited to 6 participants, based on the powerful Pilates system and led by a specialist offers you the highest potential for moving correctly and gaining the optimal health benefits for your efforts.

Summary of the important benefits of Pilates with a Physio

  • Led by an expert of the human body and injury processes
  • Small group classes offer greater individual attention
  • Higher chance of gaining maximum potential benefits
  • Regain lost movement from previous injury
  • Reduce aches and pains
  • Help prevent future injury

Written by Robin

Follow-on reading:

How Does Pilates Work?

Why Is Pilates Good For You?

PhysioPilates ~ healthy moving since 2011
Mount Merrion Physiotherapy
105 Trees Rd, Mount Merrion, Co Dublin. Tel. 01 283 4303