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.

Over the last few years we have adapted our Pilates style 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 sessions are truly therapeutic, taught by fully qualified Pilates instructors and specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapists, with Masters degrees in Physiotherapy. We’ll design a programme of excises as unique as you are, therefore ensuring you achieve your health and lifestyle goals. We love Pilates as part of a holistic approach to well-being. And 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 and sports injuries. This is also the case for women, both during and after pregnancy.

At Stretch, we can design a programme to suit you. When designing your tailored programme, we take into account your goals, current fitness level and any injuries. 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. This is done through a series of low repetition, low impact stretching and conditioning exercises. The exercises used during your regular 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 teachers are specialist musculoskeletal Physiotherapists, who undertook post graduate training in Pilates. Our team includes the first fully qualified physiotherapist and Pilates instructor in Chelmsford!

During your first session, we will ask you about any pain or problems you wish to address. We will also ask you about your health, lifestyle and goals. We will assess your postural type and look at how you move, examining any functional problems you may be having. Our therapists will then design a programme of sessions for you, based on our examination and what you’ve told us about yourself. Your programme will adapt to your changing needs and progress on a session-by-session basis. Your sessions will be kept fun, interesting and relevant. We will make sure that you benefit from relaxation and time to yourself, as well as your specific exercises.

We have fully equipped studios, including a state of the art Reformer and Cadillac. You may use our equipment to add graded resistance to your workout. Our Cadillac and Reformer machines enable us to make your exercises more functional and challenging. Our specialist equipment is particularly useful for those with back pain and who need a graded programme of strengthening exercises. This equipment helps to encourage those using it 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 are key to successful rehabilitation.


Small Group Classes

Small group Pilates classes, as well as yoga and mindfulness meditation classes are available at HummingbirdPilates.co.uk, our affiliated sister site.

Classes at Hummingbird have a maximum of only 8 participants per class in order to provide you with plenty of focused individual attention. For details of the Hummingbird class schedule, visit our affiliated sister site, Hummingbird Pilates & Yoga: Class Schedule

However, if you have any long term health conditions or musculoskeletal problems, we recommend that you first have a one-to-one session with Ellie, our Principal Physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor. Ellie is also one of the Directors of Hummingbird Pilates & Yoga.


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 the benefits of Modified Pilates and furthermore believe 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. You can use our exercises 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 equipment, which enables us to prepare you for the challenges of competition. This can help you confidently return to the sport that you enjoy. We can also use these exercises to help you improve your sporting performance. And we can achieve this goal using a range of mat, ball, Reformer, Cadillac and small equipment exercises.

Whatever your sport, age or ability we can design a programme of 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. We have even helped 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. 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. Our aim is to evaluate and address any postural habits and unhelpful muscle recruitment strategies which 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. Our therapists will also help to allay any fears 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. She 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 equipment in addition to 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.