Clinical Pilates is a variation on traditional Pilates that takes the knowledge and skills of physiotherapists and exercise physiologists in the human body and injury management and uses the Pilates exercises and equipment in ways that are most beneficial from an injury, exercise science and performance perspective.
The real strength of the Clinical Pilates process is that it is not a strict interpretation of traditional Pilates exercises, but the basis is the knowledge of the body and injury management. The exercises selected for a client are very specific to their needs and goals and subsequently, the effect on the body’s structures. This really means that Pilates is made to fit around the person, not the person to fit around Pilates. The result is that anyone, no matter their age, injuries, fitness or strength, can benefit from Clinical Pilates and achieve their goals.
In Clinical Pilates, you most likely will not perform some of the fancy, difficult moves seen in some programs such as hanging from the trapeze table or a lot of the v-shaped holding exercises, but that’s okay because these exercises rarely suit a lot of people. What you will see is targeted, specific exercises, designed and instructed for a purpose to achieve the client’s specific goals.
Article written by Michael Dermansky – Senior Physiotherapist.
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In general, clinical and reformer based Pilates is strength training. The wonderful thing about reformer based Pilates is that it not only works on the obvious power muscles that you generally tend to work in the gym, but you also target the stabilising muscles, the muscles that control movement, which makes training more efficient and effective.
The main elements of Pilates which makes it a great strength training program are:
- Reformer Pilates is resistance based – when using the reformer, a good instructor will set the weight of the reformer a little bit heavier than you are comfortable pushing or pulling. This gives the muscles a stimulus to grow and strengthen overtime.
- The exercises have a purpose – the great thing about Pilates is that it is not like lifting a random weight in a random direction. The movements and exercises that you perform match what you would do in everyday life, so your body and mind learn movements that they will use outside of the gym or studio, which makes them much more useful and improve your “functional” strength.
- The Pilates exercises have a balance component of training – Pilates exercises on the reformer, if instructed properly, are never one dimensional. They will also work on your balance as well as your strength, to make then even more useful in real life and in any kind of sport you pursue.
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Frozen Shoulder Explained
What is a Frozen Shoulder?
A frozen shoulder is a condition characterized by inflammation, scarring and tightening of the connective tissue surrounding the shoulder joint, usually resulting in a large loss of shoulder movement. Frozen shoulders most commonly occur in people over 40 years of age and typically affect women more than men.
Causes of a Frozen Shoulder
The exact cause is not known, but it is thought to occur following injury or damage to the shoulder joint or adjacent soft tissue. In these cases, a frozen shoulder is more likely to develop if the initial injury is not treated appropriately.
Signs and Symptoms of a Frozen Shoulder
Frozen shoulders can generally be divided into 3 phases, each of which can last a number of months:
1.Pain – the shoulder typically becomes painful with most movements, and may also start to stiffen.
2.Freezing – a marked loss of movement of the shoulder, coinciding with scarring of the shoulder joint capsule. Patients typically experience difficulty when elevating the arm or taking their hand behind their back. Pain may decrease noticeably during this phase.
3.Thawing – In this final phase, the shoulder spontaneously begins to ‘loosen’ up and movement to the shoulder is gradually restored.
Treatment for a Frozen Shoulder
Once a frozen shoulder is established, little can be done to accelerate its course. Treatment is aimed at minimizing pain and maintaining range of movement and function. One of the key components of treatment is sufficient rest from ANY activity that increases your pain.
Prognosis of Frozen Shoulder
Most cases of frozen shoulder tend to settle after a number of months. In severe cases, symptoms may be present for 18 months or longer. Usually the painful stage of a frozen shoulder lasts 2 – 6 months. The frozen phase approximately 4 -12 months, whilst the thawing phase may last an additional 4 – 18 months.
Christmas Health and Fitness Tips
With the holiday season fast approaching many people neglect their regular exercise and eating habits which are a part of their daily routine throughout the rest of the calendar year. So here are some Christmas Health and Fitness tips to help you maintain and improve your health and fitness this festive season.
1. Festive Exercise
When getting together for your family Christmas lunch or work Christmas party, why not make exercise a part of festivities? After you have finished Christmas lunch with your family you could all go for a nice walk around a local park to burn off some of the calories you have just devoured at the table. A game of backyard cricket is also a great way to have fun with your family and friends as well as expend some energy at your next Christmas barbecue. Even when you are planning your next work Christmas party you can make the occasion more physical by including an activity such as rock climbing , ten pin bowling or even paint balling to blow of some steam at the end of the working year.
2. Healthy Eating
Having Christmas in summer here in Australia means we have access to a fantastic variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to make part of your festive season meals. Try to include healthier options such as watermelon, strawberries and mangoes as an alternative chocolates and lollies on the desert menu.
3. Keep Exercise Routine
Many people say they don’t exercise during this time because they are too busy, when they actually have more free time due to not working. Often the main reason for stopping exercise is that they are not in their normal routine of going to work, so exercise is also neglected as this is often performed on the way to or home from the office. To get around this set yourself some exercise goals or reminders and plan when you are going to go for a run or get to the gym so you can get in your regular exercise over the festive season.
4. Limit Alcohol Intake
Eating too much food is often blamed for stacking on extra kilos over Christmas, but more often than not it is the amount of alcohol we drink which really does the damage. Alcohol is very high in calories and is easy to take in large amounts without feeling like you are getting full. Try to limit your alcohol intake this festive season by only having one or two alcoholic drinks at a Christmas function. Due to the large amount of functions people attend over the holidays, try to avoid drinking any alcohol at some of these events to help keep your calorie intake down.
5. Celebration In Moderation
Over Christmas there is nothing wrong with enjoying a beer and some pork crackling, but these festive season treats should always be enjoyed in moderation. You are also more likely to enjoy the occasional piece of chocolate or glass of champagne if you only have a small amount during your celebrations.