|ap-plied| adj. put to practical use, relevant, suitable
The Applied Pilates approach derives from these fundamental principles:
- We’re trained to define and apply the right exercises for you, based on your assessment and your objectives
- We apply preparatory exercises and modifications to cater for different abilities, conditions and levels of fitness
- We practise a clinically-modified form of contemporary Pilates, based on up to date principles of exercise science and rehabilitation research
- We will work with your Consultant, Physiotherapist, Osteopath to complement and progress your rehab process
- We prioritise bio-mechanical stability over variety of movements and exercises
- We maintain each client’s programme, pace and modifications whether they are in a 1:1 or small group session
Choose your Pilates Instructor and your Pilates Method wisely!
With the generic brand Pilates, the industry is populated by instructors with varying levels and standards of training, many of whom have little or no understanding of even basic anatomy. Many instructors genuinely believe that they are offering their clients something with incredible potential, but due to their lack of knowledge, they are unable to understand why certain clients get good results from their instruction while others break down with injury, despite every effort to teach them correctly and specifically.
Effective instruction is not about delivering a series of entertaining exercises, but application of the right exercise. Without the necessary foundation in anatomy, musculoskeletal movement and associated pathologies, the most well-intentioned instructor will be unable to define an appropriate routine for each individual. While it’s the role of the clinicians to diagnose pathologies, the Pilates instructor is responsible for defining the appropriate exercises and modifications. So if your instructor doesn’t understand the clinical nature of a prolapsed disc, sciatica or facet joint syndrome, or a ruptured tendon, ligament or muscle, clearly they won’t understand which exercises will aggravate or worsen your condition.
Next consider the type of Pilates that is practised and how it’s delivered. Over the years, 3 basic styles of Pilates have evolved:
Classical Pilates is based on the original teachings of Joseph Pilates and is a rigidly unmodified form of Pilates originally developed for professional dancers. It can be highly traumatic to the lumbar spine when practised by the average Pilates client, and is wholly inappropriate as an option for those with musculo-skeletal issues. It is also notable that Joseph Pilates’ own belief in creating and maintaining a flat spine directly contradicts today’s medical and scientific evidence.
Fitness Pilates is based on a contemporary modification of the original form, anatomically-based in accordance with modern bio-mechanics. This is predominantly the choice for matwork classes, fitness centres and group reformer sessions. However, practised in these environments it can fail to deliver clients’ objectives, due to the group sizes required to keep costs down, the need for everyone to perform the same exercises simultaneously, and the emphasis on number and variety of exercises to maintain group interest. All of these factors result in lost focus on the basic bio-mechanical principles during exercise.
Clinical Pilates was developed from the early 1990s by rehabilitation specialists who began to incorporate Pilates exercises and equipment into their protocols, and found they needed to modify the exercises to meet established physiotherapy concepts. This type of Pilates is predominantly found in the 1:1 physiotherapy environment, and so is generally inaccessible to those who choose Pilates outside of a rehab or remedial context.