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Clinical Pilates 101: A Beginner’s Guide

By Kate Thomson
Physiotherapist at Life Ready Physio Cockburn

“My physiotherapist told me I should try Clinical Pilates for my back/neck/shoulder/hip/(insert body part)…” Now what?

First timers to a Clinical Pilates session can find it quite scary. Do not stress! The following information will help ease a few nerves and get your head around what to expect from your first class.

Clinical Pilates at Life Ready Physio

  • Small group classes (max. of three clients per class)
  • 40mins in length
  • Run by a qualified physiotherapist
  • Exercises provided are patient focused – for pain relief, strengthening weak muscles or lengthening shortened muscles

You should feel comfortable, pain free and it should feel like you’re engaging the correct muscles! If not – let your instructor know, and they will help correct your technique.

What to wear

  • Whatever you feel comfortable in! Clothes need enough give to be able to freely move. Keeping this mind, comfortable is great, but if your attire is too baggy, your instructor may not be able to see the outline of your joints
  • Gym tights, track pants, comfortable singlet or T-shirts are appropriate
  • Remove obstructive jewellery or accessories (wedding rings/small earrings are fine)
  • Socks for equipment use


Pilates lingo
Despite how casual (or scary!) the Pilates equipment looks, rest assured you will end up feeling quite comfortable completing the exercises. Expect to be introduced to:

  • The Trapeze (aka The Cadillac)
  • Reformer
  • Wunda-chair
  • Barrel
  • Pilates ring, chi balls, swiss balls, springs, bars, pulleys and other small equipment

Your instructor will teach you about

  • Breathing/diaphragm breathing
  • Pelvic floor activation
  • Lower abdominal activation
  • Segmental control of your spine
  • Correct muscle activation

What to bring
All equipment is supplied, however please bring:

  • Towel
  • Water bottle
  • BYO mat if you wish

For further information, contact the closest Life Ready clinic to you!

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