Belinda Lavery – Myotherapist and Pilates Instructor
What do you think the top 3 benefits of Clinical Pilates are?
- Injury rehabilitation: Aim to decrease pain and stabilise the injury, and work with the client to achieve their movement goals
- Injury prevention: Once the client understands their injury, we can work with them to strengthen and stabilise the site to avoid potential flare ups
- Improved posture: An increase in core control and awareness of your body’s alignment creates an effortless length in the spine, allowing the spine to be comfortably supported and move freely.
How does Clinical Pilates differ from other Pilates classes?
The instructor will always do a 1:1 movement assessment to ensure a program is designed specifically for your needs. When you join a class, the program is put into place with the ratio still 1:3, so the instructor has adequate time to set up each client for their exercises and observe if any adjustments in technique need to be made. The instructor uses the assistance of springs and the machines for progressions and regression that will cater for each individual and their development within the program.
You will learn which muscles need to be activated before the movement will occur, how your breath will assist in the movement, what joint and muscles they are stabilising and what structures they are mobilising. The aim of this is to allow you to have a better understanding of how your body is moving and how to put this education into functional movements in your everyday life.
How can Clinical Pilates improve everyday mobility?
- Once you have an awareness of how to control your core, your whole spine can feel stronger and more supported and you can improve mobility in your hips and shoulders. With this increased stability in your spine, you will have an improvement in range and quality of your movements, specifically;
- With a heightened awareness in your posture you’ll feel less fatigued at work if you have to stand or sit for long periods.
Increased spine mobility is helpful in avoiding injury when vacuuming, or improving the range of your golf swing.
With better hip mobility you’ll find ease with lower body activities where you have to bend at the hip, such as gardening and going up and down stairs.
- With increased shoulder mobility you’ll find you have an improvement in how high you can reach your arms, which may help with putting out the washing or improving your tennis serve.
How can Clinical Pilates assist an already developed training regime?
Your Clinical Pilates instructor can design your program in consultation with your trainer. Your instructor can target areas of your training regime that you or your trainer may have identified need improving, such as range of hip mobility for sitting lower in your squats, core strength and endurance for holding a plank longer, and shoulder and thoracic mobility to lift overhead without aggravating your neck.
If you are developing injuries as a result of an existing training program, then a movement assessment is vital for your instructor to assess where dysfunction is occurring and develop your Pilates program to strengthen, stabilise and mobilise where appropriate.
Tell us what you think the most important concept of teaching clinical Pilates is?
Client education- as an instructor, you are not just demonstrating the exercise and getting the client to copy the movement, you are getting them to thoroughly understand the movement.
You will be guided by their instructor through verbal, visual and tactile cues so you understand what sequences need to occur in the movement. This will ensure the exercise is being executed safely and effectively.
What is your favourite exercise and why?
Bridging: It can be done at home, it’s safe and has regressions and progressions. It has many benefits: including lumbar stability and mobility, hip stability and mobility, glute strength, core control, thoracic mobility and arm mobility. It gives the client a really clear picture of the aims of the exercise and you can feel it’s benefits while you are doing the exercise.