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The Top 4 Benefits of Clinical Pilates

Clinical Pilates is a form of exercise that focuses on whole body strength, flexibility and body awareness. It was first developed by Joseph Pilates way back in the 1900’s! Clinical Pilates differs to group reformer pilates in that the classes are small groups of 4, with a personalised exercise program for everyone, helping you to move and feel better.

4 top benefits of Clinical Pilates include:

Improved low back pain

Clinical Pilates can help to reduce low back pain through strengthening the core muscles (specifically the abdominals, multifidus and pelvic floor) and gluteal muscles (buttocks), creating greater stability around the spine. Your core muscles are important for everyday activities such as sitting, standing, bending and lifting.

Clinical pilates also focusses on the flexibility of muscles and movement of the spine your ‘spinal articulation’. Research has shown that increasing core strength helps to support the low back and improved flexibility assists functional movement (Gordon & Bloxham, 2016).

Preparation for pregnancy in the pre and post natal-period

Pregnancy Pilates is a safe and effective form of exercise both during pregnancy and in the post-natal period (Nascimento, Surita & Cecatti, 2012).  Strengthening your core and pelvic floor muscles helps prepare for birth, as well as recovery post-natally. Pelvic floor strengthening exercises are also key in helping reduce stress incontinence and pelvic girdle pain in both the pre and post-natal periods.

Exercises are tailored to the individual to reduce the likelihood of any pelvic girdle pain and prevent any unnecessary strain on the low back, abdomen and pelvic floor.

Improved sports performance

Clinical Pilates is a great way to rehabilitate an injury. A specifically designed exercise program to improve strength, mobility and agility, can lead to improved movement quality and motor control. Clinical Pilates helps to restore any muscular imbalances to help with injury prevention. Studies in elite footballers have found a targeted motor control program to enhance both muscle size and control, as well as reduce the amount of games missed due to injury (Hides, Stanton, Mendis, Gildea & Sexton, 2012).

Postural correction

Improving postural awareness and control is another positive of Clinical Pilates. Increasing mobility through your spine and strengthening your stabilising muscles, helps you to maintain optimal posture throughout the day. Correct posture reduces strain on the neck which can help to reduce neck pain and headaches. This is particularly important for desk workers!

References:

Ariëns, G., Van Mechelen, W., Bongers, P., Bouter, L., & Van der Wal, G. (2000). Physical risk factors for neck pain. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, 26(1), 7-19. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40967013

Hides, J,A., Stanton, W,R. , Mendis, M,D., Gildea J , & Sexton, M, J. (2012). Effect of motor control training on muscle size and football games missed from injury. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 44(6),1141-1149 DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318244a321

Gordon, R., & Bloxham, S. (2016). A Systematic Review of the Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity on Non-Specific Chronic Low Back Pain. Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 4(2), 22. doi:10.3390/healthcare4020022

Nascimento, S,. Surita, F., & Cecatti, J. (2012). Physical exercise during pregnancy: a systematic review. Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: 24 (6), 387–394. doi: 10.1097/GCO.0b013e328359f131