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The Benefits Physiotherapy and Pilates Combined

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

Throughout my career as a Pilates instructor I’ve worked closely with physiotherapists. Why? Because they interlink and compliment each other!

Pilates is the type of exercise that can be very clinical or very “abs and ass” workout based. I like to swing between the two depending on what the client needs.

Today we’re talking about the clinical end of the spectrum. As much as we like the “ass and abs” workout, more often then not we actually need to re-pattern and improve movement to get the long terms results we’re looking for, whether it be aesthetically or to reduce pain.

Tom Bradley, director of Warrior Sports Rehab located inside The Vault Gym in East London is a physiotherapist I’ve worked closely with for many years. He’s amazing at getting his elbows, knuckles or his infamous ‘scraper’ (technical name is IASTR or Guasha tool) into all your tight spots to help release. After treatment he’ll give you an initial homework program of exercises to help get you out of the acute phase of an injury... and you basically feel like he’s saved your life!

However, the rehabilitation journey doesn’t stop there. For successful, long lasting results you need to re-pattern or re-learn a more efficient way of moving (performing your daily tasks) to prevent the injury from repeating itself (I’m generally talking about lowers back pain and common mis-alignment and over use injuries).

Thats where I come in. I strip it back, dissect your movement and get to the crux of what caused the pain in the first place, whilst still paying attention to your body as a whole. Zooming in and zooming out I call it, because often the cause of injury might not always be at the sight of pain!

To raise awareness of this harmonious and successful working relationship, I’ve asked Tom himself for the way he explains the working relationship between physiotherapy and Pilates.

Q; Why do you choose to refer Pilates over yoga for rehabilitation purposes?

A; I feel that Pilates finds issues with and trains muscular control and coordination in every joint in your body, and in every section of range of motion. Recovery from injury and improvements in athletic performance require these levels of detail, throughout the entire 

Yoga explores the ends of your range of movement. During recovery from injuries you want to avoid over stretching, and instead focus on strengthening within the range you have.

Q; From a physiotherapist point of view, what do you look for in a good Pilates teacher? 

A; As well as being an excellent technical teacher, I look for someone who can communicate well with both their clients and the team of physios they are working with. Importantly for me I like teachers that can identify a person's limits with expectations and performance and push them. 

Q; What are your 3 top tips for someone looking for a good physiotherapist? 

A; 1. Make sure they have adequate experience in the type of injury you have suffered, and have experience in returning people to the activities you want to do.

2. Make sure you can connect with them as a person, and that they understand you as a whole, not just the section of you that is injured. 

3. Make sure they set you clear objective goals from session to session, and over the course of your treatment and rehabilitation.

Q; Personal cheeky question - do you like doing Pilates? 

A; I love doing Pilates!

Q; Why? 

A; It teaches me about movement every time I go, and when I leave I feel so connected to both my mind and my body.  

Q; Which exercise do you love? 

A; Scooter and clocks

Q; Which one do you dislike? 

A; Book openers / anything that makes me twist!

Q; Which one  do you think you need

A; The book openers!

If you have come across some back or joint pain in your body, it’s likely a combination of both physiotherapy and pilates will help you with a sustainable exercise program. If this is you, feel free to reach out to either Tom or I or both. You can find Tom here:

And here are 2 healing exercises that are used most often:

Arm Circles HERE

Pelvic Clocks HERE

With love,

Alex Coleman

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