What is it, and how can it help you?
The Pilates method (known more commonly as just Pilates) is a fitness system developed by the eponymous Joseph Pilates in the 1920's. Joseph was born in Germany in 1880, and after immigrating to the US in the 1920’s, he set up a studio in New York where he taught his program for decades, principally to help ballet dancers improve their core strength and balance.
The Pilates exercise program centres around the use of spring loaded equipment. Whilst working as an orderly in a hospital, Joseph Pilates used springs from old hospital beds to make exercise equipment which lead to the development of the modern Pilates machines, the reformer and the trapeze.
This form of exercise is very specific, and works to develop the core postural muscles which help keep the body balanced, and which are essential to provide support to the spine. In particular, Pilates exercises teach awareness of breath and alignment of the spine, and strengthen the deep torso muscles, which are important to help alleviate and prevent back pain.
Pilates is very effective in the rehabilitation and management of back injuries and chronic back pain, because it focuses on strengthening the muscles around the spine which promote good posture and alignment, as well as being a good way to maintain general fitness.
It is crucial that any core strengthening program is set up and overseen by a trained instructor; as improper use of this method can promote poor patterns of movement, and may potentially lead to (further) injury.
Our Geelong clinic has a purpose-built, fully equipped Pilates gym, and physiotherapists who specialise in Pilates exercise and rehabilitation. We have specialised, accredited physiotherapists who provide a thorough assessment and subsequent programme. Access to our gym can be obtained by booking into one of these physiotherapists before deciding upon whether to pursue a one, two, or three month membership, or to partake in subsequent Pilates classes (up to three other people per class) which are run by Karen Donaldson and Elise Saw.
Other clinics that offer Clinical Pilates are;