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Top Exercises In Clinical Pilates at Plym Physio

Pilates and Clinical Pilates
Pilates has become quite ‘in vogue’ recently, but there is more to it than just a bit of toning to help back pain or arthritic pain. Clinical Pilates at Plym Physio is a progression on from what Joseph Pilates developed in the early 20th century. He based Pilates around the principles of ‘Centrology’ – improving movement, control and strength. Clinical Pilates adds to that by incorporating individual assessment and knowledge of each persons physical needs, it is ’tailor-made’. With advancements in anatomy and biomechanics knowledge, Plym Physio has used their Physiotherapy background and JEMS certification to develop our own type of Clinical Pilates. We have incorporated movement patterns, balance, co-ordination and mobility training as well as plenty of strength training.

We have compiled 7 of our Clinical Pilates exercises that you can do at home to help improve your pain, whether it is back, muscular or arthritic.

1 Posture
One of the most important things to begin with, and necessary for further exercises. Adjusting your posture into the correct position ‘switches on’ muscles and helps to bring our body into alignment. It makes you consciously think about your body and your movements and allows you to work at your most efficient level.

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2 Extension
This exercise draws in your abdominals as you lift and reach. As the exercise gets easier you can add some weight (a couple tins of baked beans works well). In this video Physio Nicola shows you how to break it down into sections if you are concerned about stretching. It is particularly good for those with bone density problems such as osteoarthritis or osteoporosis.

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3 Total Body Rotation
As we get older we tend to lose our twisting movement, or ‘rotation’, and it can become painful when our bodies get too stiff. Performing this exercise will help you loosen and increase your range of rotation. For golfers, it is a great exercise to loosen you up ready for that full swing.

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4 Squat
‘Dodgy’ knees and hips can limit people from squatting or bending correctly, often overworking their backs and thus causing pain. This exercise helps you increase the strength in your legs as well as loosening up those knees and hips so prevent overuse of the back muscles that is causing you pain.

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5 The One Step
Also known as the ‘Small Dynamic Lunge’ but don’t be put off. It is a nice way to combine leg strength, timing and co-ordination. Perform it as gently and slowly as necessary to ensure your technique is correct.

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6 Bridging
This exercise gets the legs going, opens the hips and crucially starts working the glutes as well as loosening the spine. A perfect exercise for those with a more sedentary lifestyle.

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7 Abdo Press
Most of us feel our abdominals aren’t as good as we want them and more important than the aesthetics is that they are really important for supporting the back. This exercise gets them working automatically without doing sit-ups! In this video Nicola shows you how to start off gently and progress as you feel your muscles getting stronger. And don’t worry if you don’t have a ball, Nicola shows you how to perform it without.

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So, these are 7 of our favourite Clinical Pilates exercises. If you would like to learn the full set, our Clinical Pilates classes run Monday, Wednesday and Friday, catering for beginners, intermediates as well as advanced. Call us (656340), email (, visit our contact page ( or message us via our Facebook page ( All the classes are held in the gym area of our clinic in Plympton.


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