Clinical Pilates

Clinical pilates provides a more wholistic approach to managing your pain. Each program is specific to the individual and changes regularly to meet the goals of the client.

What is clinical pilates?

Clinical Pilates refers to the practice of tailored exercises that have been individually prescribed based on clinical need.

We draw on the original pilates repertoire, as well as modern strength and conditioning exercises, in order to create a program that is designed to help you recover from and prevent injury. The aim of clinical pilates is to mobilise joints, strengthen key muscle groups, and improve balance and coordination.


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What does a clinical pilates class involve?

Your clinical pilates journey at Wellness Osteo will begin with an initial assessment by one of our osteopaths. This is a time where we learn about your medical history including pre-existing injuries and health conditions, and understand your goals and what you want to get out of clinical pilates. We will take you through a series of movements to assess your range of motion, painful areas, and function. This initial assessment will allow us to develop a program that is suited specifically to your physical needs and abilities as well as your goals and expectations.


After this assessment, we will work together to develop a clinical pilates program. A typical clinical pilates session involves a series of exercises performed either on a mat with or without equipment, or on a reformer which is a specialised Pilates apparatus. Expect repetitive movements throughout each exercise to activate and strengthen key muscle groups.

A 1 on 1 (1:1) clinical pilates session lasts 60 minutes where you will have your osteopaths undivided attention. They will coach you through each exercise and correct technique as you work through your program.


Once you’ve gained more confidence with your clinical pilates program, you can join a group session, typically 3 on 1 (3:1). You will perform your own clinical pilates program alongside others also completing theirs. These sessions are still supervised by your osteopath where you will receive ongoing feedback throughout the class.


Over time, as you improve, your osteopath may modify your program to ensure it remains challenging. This typically happens every 4-6 weeks.

What is the difference between group classes and clinical pilates?

Group classes tend to be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ scenario where everyone in the class is doing the same exercise at the same time. Minor modifications are usually available to cater to people’s differing abilities. Commonly group classes can have between 5 to 20 people in them with 1 instructor. These classes typically are an all-over body workout so having an injury can sometimes be disruptive to your ability to complete the entire class. They’re good classes to routinely go to for a solid work out and can also serve as a fun social time too!


On the other side, clinical pilates classes are designed to be more specific for your physical abilities and goals. The exercises are tailored and modified based on your function and pain levels. Clinical pilates is a great option if you’re recovering from injury or wanting to avoid recurring injuries.

They’re a bit more slow paced, allowing you time to really understand the specifics in each movement and what key muscle groups we’re trying to activate. Initially you’ll have the undivided attention of your osteopath as you attend 1:1 classes. Then as you progress and become more confident with your exercise program, you’ll progress to a 3:1 class. Here, you will still get lots of feedback and supervision to ensure you are performing each exercise correctly.


Because the program is tailored just for you, we can modify elements of your program whenever it is necessary. For example, if you hurt your wrist, we can still complete a clinical pilates session focusing on other body areas and setting you up for exercises in inventive ways to avoid loading that sore wrist.


At the end of the day, both group class and clinical pilates classes have their benefits! It’s just figuring out where you’re at with your body at the moment and if you have specific complaints you need to focus on.

What are the benefits of clinical pilates?
  • It is an accessible form of exercise in terms of allowing you to mobilise joints and strengthen muscles even when you have an injury. The postures and equipment used in clinical pilates means you are able to move in a pain-free way even if you have particular weaknesses or limitations.
  • The tailored nature of the exercises means it is specific to your needs, abilities, and goals.
  • The small class sizes mean you receive helpful feedback throughout each session to ensure your technique is correct and you’re getting the most out of each exercise.
  • The Pilates repertoire is extensive, and the specialised equipment provides lots of different options for movement so exercises can constantly be modified. Having such variation means you can be regularly challenged in new ways and avoid boredom!
  • Being supervised by a qualified Osteopath who has extensive knowledge of anatomy and human movement means you are in safe hands.
  • Clinical Pilates aims to keep joints and muscles healthy and strong so you can continue doing other activities you love!

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