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Clinical Pilates vs Regular Pilates

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By Physiotherapist Rosie Purdue

Have you ever wondered about the benefits and the differences that Clinical Pilates and Regular Pilates can provide for you? Well, here’s a quick and easy summary.

In order to know the differences, you must know what the fuss is all about! Pilates is a form of exercise used to lengthen and stretch all major muscle groups in the body with composed techniques. It helps to improve flexibility, strength, balance and body awareness.

What is the difference between Clinical Pilates and Regular Pilates?

Recently a lot of friends and clients have asked me, “What the difference is between Clinical Pilates and the Regular Pilates that I do at the gym or in a big group class at KX Pilates?”
The major difference is in the extent of knowledge and training that a Clinical Pilates trainer has, which allows them to adjust, modify and choose the accurate Pilates exercises for an individual.

A trained physiotherapist is whom prescribes and supervises a Clinical Pilates class, whereas an instructor for Regular Pilates only recommends a generalised program of exercises to individuals.

Both types of Pilates are based on the original theories and practices of Joseph Pilates and are exceptional ways to improve strength, flexibility and control. However regular Pilates does not take into account an individual’s injuries, history, pathologies and specific physiological needs.

Here are some of the fundamental differences:

clinical vs pilates

The reformers, which are the base for a Clinical Pilates class are machines that allow your body to learn a newtask whilst developing muscle length and strength. They can however be also used in a regular class. Clinically trained physiotherapists are able to use their expertise to design a tailored program that encourages the correct movement pattern for your injury. Sometimes, strengthening in the wrong position can actually make an injury worse and this may happen during a class routine.

Additionally, Clinical Pilates focuses on the brain’s pathway to “switch on” the correct muscles making sure they are the ones that are being used for the right movement pattern, rather than compensating with other muscle groups.

Rosie Purdue was a physiotherapist at the ANZ Wellness Centre