Is Pilates right for me?

Benefits of Pilates: 

Pilates is a low impact type of exercise using body weight and light resistance. It involves a series of fluid movements designed to build body awareness, promote flexibility and support resistance training in a fashion that builds lean muscle. Pilates is specifically designed to help strengthen the core muscles related to the shoulder, mid back, low back, and pelvic region.

Programs can be tailored to an individual client’s goals, whether that includes improving posture, strengthening the core, or toning muscle groups. Programs can vary in intensity and benefit anyone from elite athletes looking for a challenge to beginners who are eager to start a regular exercise routine and feel good in their bodies. It is a safe modality of exercise that is very beneficial for healthy individuals as well as those experiencing pains. Common conditions treated include postural dysfunction, sports injuries, arthritis, low back pain and osteoporosis.  

Types of Pilates: 

Pilates was originally created by a German man by the name of Joseph Pilate during WW1. Today there are two main types of Pilates: Classical and Contemporary.  

Classical Pilates sticks closely to the ideologies of the original Contrology method. The exercises are performed in a specific pattern similar to Pilates’ original programming. There is also an emphasis on “imprinting the spine”, which refers to pressing the lower back into the floor creating a pelvic tuck when performing exercises on your back. 

Contemporary Pilates is a more modern approach that is heavily influenced by physiotherapy and biomechanical models of the body. This method has the original exercises created by Pilates with many variations and flexibility in order of programming. This method also encourages maintaining a “neutral spine” rather than imprinting. This means finding the resting position of the pelvis and learning to engage your core here which better translates to how the pelvis is positioned when standing or moving. 

What to expect with Clinical Pilates 

All Pilates sessions will be approximately 1 hour in duration, working 1-1 with the physiotherapist. The initial visit will consist of a biomechanical assessment and development of client goals. Once the assessment has finished, clients will move to the mat and learn to find neutral spine and activation of the core in this position. The focus will be on maintaining this core control while incorporating breathing and movement. Future sessions will build on this foundation of core control and breathing while incorporating additional challenges of movement and props. Clients will begin to feel changes within the first 4 sessions, and are encouraged to complete 8-12 treatments for true strength and postural changes. Speak with your physiotherapist to see if you would benefit from adding Clinical Pilates to your treatment plan.  

About the Author 

I am a registered Physiotherapist who graduated from the University of Toronto in 2017. I was trained in the Pilates Process technique, which was founded in Toronto in 2001. As a physiotherapist, I combine my knowledge of anatomy, rehabilitation and injury prevention to create programs specific to your needs and movement goals. I am currently incorporating Pilates into my clinical practice offering 1-1 mat Pilates sessions in the clinic or through tele-rehabilitation. If you have any questions regarding Clinical Pilates, please feel free to reach out to me directly at or call our clinic at 604-642-6761


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