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  • Writer's pictureRobin R Varghese, PT.

Are you aware of the fact that Pilates incorporated with Physical therapy has been a success story?

Updated: Mar 24, 2023


  • Pilates is a form of exercise and body conditioning developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century.

  • Pilates exploded into the mainstream by the mid-2000s.

  • Pilates has many potential health benefits, including increased flexibility, muscle tone and strength.

  • Some of the principles that guide the Pilates method include concentration on each movement, use of the abdomen and low back muscles, flowing, precise movement patterns and controlled breathing.

  • Pilates is a form of strength training. Pilates focuses more on improving muscle tone than building muscles, but the result is similar: greater stability and endurance with reduced likelihood of injury.

  • It can enhance mental awareness.

  • In Pilates, every movement should be done slowly.

Basic principles of Pilates

  • Centering: This is the practice of bringing your awareness to the center of your body—the area between the lower ribs and pubic bone. This central region of the core powers all Pilates exercises.

  • Concentration: By focusing on each exercise with your full attention, you will yield maximum results from each movement.

  • Control: Complete muscular control requires conscious, deliberate movement and is emphasized in every Pilates exercise.

  • Precision: Sustained awareness ensures that each movement is precise. This means the appropriate placement of each body part, and focusing on proper alignment and core engagement.

  • Breath: Joseph Pilates advocated for using the lungs to strongly pump the air fully in and out of the body. Most Pilates exercises coordinate with the breath since the breath is integral to the method.

  • Flow: Pilates exercises are not meant to be rigid. Fluidity, grace, and ease are applied to every movement. The idea is that the energy of an exercise performed from the central "powerhouse" connects each part of the body to move in a single fluid motion. Pilates equipment such as the reformer is a great indicator of flow since it functions best when a practitioner is performing movements with both precision and fluidity.

Classic and Modern Pilates

  • In his book ‘Return to life’, Joseph Pilates talks of 34 mat work exercises. They form the Classic Pilates.

  • Joseph Pilates original Exercises have been changed and some new equipment has been added, thereby forming Modern Pilates.

Non Clinical and Clinical Pilates

  • Pilates and Clinical Pilates (now known as clinical rehabilitation or clinical exercise) may sound like two sides of the same coin, but in reality, there are several differences in practice, purpose, and methods

  • Non-Clinical Pilates

-It involves general core stability, strength and endurance exercises

-It does not focus on a specific injury or physical need.

-Classes can be mat or reformer-based, and can involve different props such as weights, resistance bands and balls and balls.

-Classes can be mat or reformer-based, and can involve different props such as weights, resistance bands and balls.

  • Clinical Pilates

-It is patient-specific

-Clinical Pilates is used for patient-specific treatment after an injury or surgery.

-There are multiple benefits to this including, improvements in posture, flexibility, muscle strength, control, balance, and core, and pelvic floor strengthening.

-An additional factor is a clinical assessment by a certified instructor – normally a physiotherapist.

-A Clinical Pilates instructor has expert knowledge and training in exercise physiology and pathology. This allows the instructor to tailor a program with targeted exercises that improve and addresses the patient’s concern and reduces the risk of aggravating and re-injuring.

-The level of personalization that Clinical Pilates offers is not available in traditional Pilates classes.

Pilates in Physical Therapy

  • As in fitness programs, it is also being used in some rehabilitation programs. There is a significant amount of research and clinical evidence supporting the benefits of Pilates exercises.

  • It has been used by Physical Therapists to increase respiratory muscle strength and performance as it incorporates set breathing patterns. This means that, inhalation occurs during one phase of a specific movement or exercise, and exhalation during another phase of the movement.

  • Pilates-based core stability training, is aimed at improving control of the body's stabilizing muscles. It is used as a popular form of exercise for people with Multiple Sclerosis as symptoms such as fatigue sensation can be reduced and physical performance can be improved in MS patients by Pilates exercises.

  • They are proven methods to reduce lower back pain. Improvements were noticed in patients with low back ache with respect to their pain, disability and physical and psychological perception of health.

  • Modern Pilates mat and ball exercises were effective in reducing obesity, body composition parameters and flexibility in sedentary obese women.

  • Pilate’s techniques, may promote and contribute to a gestational period with no complications and to reduce the risk of low-back pain and osteoarticular discomforts in pregnant women. Stabilization, strengthening and stretching exercises may be performed, by taking the gestational week and the patient's physical and emotional limitations in to concern.

  • Along with physical therapy exercises, incorporating Pilates exercises have been found to be effective in improving pelvic health in women and in post prostatectomy in men.

At Valley Healing Hands, Brownsville, Texas, we provide the best Pilates routine as we have highly trained Physical therapists who will be more than willing to train you. They will have your back, no matter what your condition is. Our patients are so satisfied with our services. You may learn about it here. Also, please click here to get connected to us. Our patients love us and you too will!!!


"Pilates", Physiopedia, <> 03/20/2023.

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