Posted by SportsMed NQ, 10 October 2014

Where did Pilates originate?

Born in Germany in 1880, Joseph Hubertus Pilates was the founder of this innovative and popular form of exercise, spending most of his days critiquing his methods as a self-defense trainer and circus performer. Joseph’s methods were centered around rehabilitation and body conditioning, today known as ‘Pilates’. During World War I, Joseph was responsible for training his fellow prisoners and guards in his method of training. Whilst using what equipment was available at the time, including bedsprings and bedposts, Joseph would assist his bed Pilates #5ridden inmates exercise. This in turn led to Joseph’s creation of spring based apparatuses such as the reformer, commonly used today, and allowed Joseph to refine his methods and beliefs regarding core strengthening.

By 1926, Joseph opened his first studio in New York City and was working alongside ballet dancers to promote core strength, flexibility, rehabilitation and performance enhancement. Joseph died in 1967, aged 87 years old and to this day, his theory lives on.

How can Clinical Pilates benefit me?

Clinical Pilates focuses on correct posture, core stability (the recruitment of deep stabilizing muscles), balance, flexibility, strengthening and breathing. Physiotherapists often refer patients to clinical pilates as further treatment and rehabilitation of postural related pain, sport conditioning, neck pain, rotator cuff injuries, and in particular, acute/chronic low back pain. Clinical Pilates is thought to achieve the above benefits by emphasizing abdominal and low back muscle strengthening whilst maintaining correct posture and body alignment.

What are my “core muscles”?Pilates #6

When people first think of their core, they think of the visible “six-pack” (if you’re lucky!) and that the core only comprises of the Rectus Abdominis muscle.

Whereas in fact, the core is made up of four muscles – Rectus Abdominis, External and Internal Obliques and Transverse Abdominis (superficial to deep).

Clinical Pilates involves exercises that engage the deep stabilizing muscles of the core – these muscles being Transverse Abdominis and Internal Obliques. The correct activation and conditioning of these muscles aid in normalizing spinal motor control, which in turn can reduce low back pain, improve sporting performance and ease activities of daily living that may cause people pain.

Pilates #7

Transverse Abdominis, when activated correctly, acts like a back brace that stabilizes the spine and provides support to the lower back. It is thought that this muscle, due to its unique orientation, is similar to a corset as it wraps itself around the abdomen and lower back.


Real Time Ultrasound:

Here at SportsMed NQ, we are fortunate to have access to three Real Time Ultrasound (RTUS) machines, giving our Physiotherapists access to the most effective method in retraining a patient’s deep stabilizing muscles.

Pilates #8Via the use of RTUS, our Physiotherapists are able to show patients a cross section view of the core, from superficial to deep layers, which enables patients to visualize the core, facilitate the isolation of Transverse Abdominis and receive effective feedback on their progress.


Clinical Pilates with SportsMed NQ:

Prior to commencing Clinical Pilates, our Physiotherapists will take you through a one-on-one session and complete a Real Time Ultrasound assessment that will allow you to practice under Physiotherapist supervision. You will be given information regarding neutral spine, correct activation of Transverse Abdominis, quick anatomy review, details of specific exercises, class/one-on-one session information and an explanation regarding the importance and benefits of core strengthening.

Whether you are currently experiencing low back pain, have experienced low back pain in the past or have another current injury, our Physiotherapists will tailor exercises to suit you. This will allow you to train in a safe and correct manner whilst participating in our fun, friendly and supervised group classes.

For the most up to date timetable of our group classes please go to the ‘Services’ tab on our home page and click on ‘Pilates’, otherwise feel free to give us a call.

Written By: Elisabeth MineoLiz

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