Pilates


Pilates is a programme of conditioning exercises that targets the deep postural muscles of the abdomen and spine. Our approach to Pilates sessions has evolved beyond the idea of improved core stability; we develop functional rehabilitation strategies, using graded Pilates exercises and equipment.

Our Pilates style has been adapted over the last few years in response to the findings of new scientific research. Our evolving understanding of how the body responds to pain and how to restore normal movement are now key considerations in the development of our Pilates rehabilitation programmes. Our Pilates sessions are truly therapeutic, taught by specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapists, with Masters degrees in Physiotherapy, who are also fully qualified Pilates instructors. Our team will design for you a programme of excises that is as unique as you are, ensuring that you achieve your health and lifestyle goals. We love Pilates as part of a holistic approach to well-being. We champion the fact that it is suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

Senior woman training with dumbbells

Pilates is one of the fastest growing exercise techniques, hailed by many sports stars and celebrities. We believe that Pilates sessions can be particularly beneficial for people with pain, poor posture, sports injuries and both during and after pregnancy.

At Stretch, we can design a programme to suit you, taking into account your goals, current fitness level and any injuries that you may have. Pilates has a number of benefits, including: reducing back pain, improving flexibility, function and sporting performance. The exercises focus on movement quality rather than quantity, building your strength and improving your posture through a series of low repetition, low impact stretching and conditioning exercises. The exercises used during your regular Pilates sessions are gradually progressed, increasing your confidence to move, get fit and achieve your goals.

 

One-to-one Pilates sessions

A young Pilates student receiving Pilates advice from Stretch's director, Ellie Searle

We believe that the best way to try Pilates is to have one-to-one sessions. Personal training sessions ensure that our focus is you. Our Pilates teachers are specialist musculoskeletal Physiotherapists, that undertook post graduate training in Pilates. Our team includes the first fully qualified physiotherapist and Pilates instructor in Chelmsford!

At the beginning of your first session, we will ask you to tell us about any pain or problems that you wish to address, your health, lifestyle and goals. We will assess your postural type and look at how you move. We will examine any functional problems that you may be having and will then design a programme of exercises, which is specific to you. Your programme of Pilates sessions will take into account what you’ve told us about yourself and what we’ve learned from our examination. We will alter your programme on a session-by-session basis, adapting to your changing needs and the progress that you are making. We will keep your sessions fun, interesting and relevant. We will make sure that you benefit from relaxation and time to yourself, as well as your specific Pilates exercises.

We have fully equipped studios, including a state of the art Reformer and Cadillac, which can be used to add graded resistance to your workout. Our Cadillac and Reformer machines enable us to make your exercises more functional and challenging. Our Pilates equipment is particularly useful for those with back pain, who need a graded programme of strengthening exercises, encouraging them to work gradually into more functional positions. At the other end of the spectrum, the Reformer and Cadillac can be used to help rehabilitate athletes, working to get back to high level sport. Eccentric and plyometric exercises can be designed using the Pilates equipment, in progressively more challenging, sport specific positions. We find that progressively increasing the challenge of your exercises, which are specific to you and your sport are key to successful rehabilitation.

 

Pilates for the Prevention & Rehabilitation of Back Pain and following Spinal Surgery

Mature woman doing Pilates exercise with a gym ball

At Stretch Physio, we teach modified Pilates (where appropriate) to those with back pain and following spinal surgery. Early research suggested that retraining the deep abdominal and spinal muscles such as Transversus Abdiominis and Lumbar Multifidus, can reduce the recurrence rate of lower back pain. However, we believe that its real secret is improving your postural awareness in ever more functional positions and increasing your confidence to move normally that makes it effective.

Modified Pilates is a programme of mat-based exercises designed by the Australian Institute of Physiotherapy & Pilates (APPI) to rehabilitate people with back pain and other injuries. Modified Pilates works on neutral lumbo-pelvic alignment, activation of the key lumbo pelvic muscles, correct ribcage and thoracic alignment, scapulo thoracic re-education and deep neck flexor retraining. Spinal mobility, postural awareness and flexibility of the trunk and lower limb muscle groups can be improved through the use of modified Pilates. We have helped many of our clients recover from back injuries and spinal surgery using this safe and fun method of exercise. We are passionate about its benefits and believe that its only side-effects are a toned body, enhanced confidence, relaxation and better posture!

 

Pilates for Sport

Man doing Pilates exercises at the gym

Pilates sessions can help to prevent and rehabilitate sports injuries. Our exercises can be used as part of your overall training programme to improve sporting performance. At Stretch Physio, we use Pilates exercises to help our clients to prevent or recover from sports injuries. We have extensive knowledge and experience in sport-specific rehabilitation and can design a programme to meet your individual needs.

Our studio houses state-of-the-art Pilates equipment, which enables us to prepare you for the challenges of competition, helping you confidently return to the sport that you enjoy. We can also use Pilates exercises to help you improve your sporting performance using a range of mat, ball, Reformer, Cadillac and small equipment exercises.

Whatever your sport, age or ability we can design a programme of Pilates sessions to help you to improve your technique and achieve noticeably better results. We have helped many of Essex’s elite horse riders, golfers, swimmers, triathletes and dancers to prepare for their competitions, helping many of them to achieve personal best performances.

 

Pilates for those with Hypermobility

A young woman working out on an upside-down bosu-ball

Research has shown that gentle exercises help to control and support hypermobile joints by building up the muscle strength around the joints.

Modified Pilates is perfect for those with hypermobility as it was designed by Physiotherapists to increase postural awareness and gently strengthen key muscle groups in progressively more functional positions. We can use modified Pilates, following your initial assessment, to help you to address incorrect muscle balance, reduce pain and improve function. We believe that the key to the successful management of hypermobility-related joint problems is to help you to understand your condition. We seek to evaluate and address any postural habits and unhelpful muscle recruitment strategies might be contributing to your problem. We will help you to get stronger and fitter, reducing the risk of chronic pain and ongoing functional problems. We will also help to relay any fears that you might have regarding ongoing pain, fear of movement, or recurrent dislocation. We aim to help you to achieve your goals and prevent recurrent problems.

 

Ellie, our Clinical Director, has specialist knowledge of the management of hypermobility syndrome and regularly uses Pilates principles and exercises to help people manage their joint problems. Ellie will keep your programme motivating and enjoyable, using a range of mat-based, Pilates equipment and functional exercises to progressively increase the difficulty of your exercise programme. Ellie’s innovative approach has helped many of our clients manage their joint problems caused by hypermobility syndrome.

Let us help you to achieve your goals today; simply contact us to discuss your needs and we’ll be happy to arrange an appointment.

 

Call to book Pilates sessions on 01245 505 866 or email us at info@stretchphysio.co.uk Please see the Special Offers page for all our Pilates deals See the Prices page for all our physiotherapy costs.