Pilates Classes at Hills Physiotherapy Emerald and Rowville
These days, almost everyone has heard of Pilates. People all across the world are enjoying the improvements in strength, flexibility, and reduction of pain associated with regularly exercising in this sophisticated and interesting way.
Classes On Offer
First, click here to see the types of Pilates classes on offer
A few things you might not know about Pilates
The Pilates Method was pioneered by Joseph Pilates in the early to mid 1900’s, the son of a gymnast and naturopath, he became convinced that many of society’s illnesses were the result of bad posture, and poor breathing. He was himself a gymnast, diver and bodybuilder and was interned (being German) by the British in World War 1. During his time interned on the Isle of Man, he began refining his concept of training the body using breathing control, and flowing movements with emphasis on the core muscles and their control of the spine, pelvis, shoulders and hips. He termed this system “Contrology”. He emigrated to USA in 1925, opened a studio in New York with his wife, and became a favourite of the local dance and performing arts community, due to their involvement with training and rehabilitation of the dancers.
Since this time the health benefits of this system of exercise have become well known, and even better understood with the analysis of modern exercise physiology and adoption by skilled medical practitioners such as physiotherapists, sports physicians, osteopaths and myotherapists. Due to their increased knowledge of abnormal movement due to pain and injury, and ability to diagnose specific muscular weakness and asymmetry, these skilled practitioners can retrain muscles from the most simple contraction up to complex, many joint movement.
Though many people consider Pilates the realm of bored rich house-wives and back pain sufferers, the Pilates Method can be highly useful in rehabilitation of lower limb injury such as ankle sprain, fracture or joint replacement, by challenging balance and functional movement without excessively loading the joints themselves. Equally, shoulder pain/weakness, postural weakness, headaches and neck pain can be dramatically improved by judicious strengthening. Even long term neurological conditions such as ataxia post-stroke, muscular spasticity, and control issues associated with nerve injury or disease can be improved. The increased feedback for the neuromuscular system using spring loaded equipment can assist or challenge from super-high, to low functioning patients.
Patients feel taller, more energised, and more “clear headed”
A skillful instructor will increase level of difficulty only as easier exercises are mastered, and by offering more challenging and unstable body positions or postures, and adding pieces of equipment such as Chi-Balls, Foam Rollers, or Spin-Discs. These are designed to make the patient/client work MUCH harder to control movement, but without necessarily increasing axial load (compression) of the joints. Other progressions may involve change of equipment, from the mat (stable) to Cadillac (medium) to Reformer or similar.
Due to the “Clinical” aspect of Clinical Pilates, it is necessary to have at least one individual session with your instructor or one of the trained therapists prior to commencing classes. This is because the individualised instruction in correct muscular activation, retraining of pelvic floor and inner abdominal muscles, and explanation of breathing pattern are not easy or obvious, and take some assistance. Even if the patient has a long history of doing Pilates classes in a gym environment, we still require this. If your injury or condition IS being managed already by a physiotherapist who wants you to attend our classes, we would appreciate written hand-over from them to assist in assessment and exercise prescription.
Above all else, Clinical Pilates is just more fun and interesting than standard strength training. The sessions are not designed to have you dripping sweat or “feeling the burn”, but with regular attendance the change in body shape, condition, and function are undeniable. Patients feel taller, more energised, and more “clear headed” – due to increased postural tone and the extra oxygenation from the breathing control during exercise. It must be experienced to be appreciated!
For more information about Pilates and the health benefits it provides, visit Better Health.