10 Apr Clinical Exercise
CLINCAL EXERCISE IS ONE OF THE FADS THAT HAS PROVEN ITSELF AND SURVIVED POST THE BOOM PHASE THANKS TO ITS ASSOCIATED BENEFITS. WITHIN CLINICAL EXERCISE HOWEVER THERE IS A LARGE RANGE IN THE STANDARD OF PROVISION AND EVEN THE TYPE OF EXERCISE IT ENCOMPASSES.
Clinical Exercise V’s Traditional Pilates
Traditional Pilates includes and derives very closely from, Joseph Pilates’ original exercises. There are multiple available training courses including Stott, Polestar, The Australian Pilates Method amongst others. Different courses have varying requirements about the amount of anatomy training, injury management and rehabilitation training that teachers must undertake, along with the various training hour requirements, to become certified. So each teacher will have differing levels of experience in relation to conditions they are skilled to treat, depending on where they did their training or if they did any official training at all. There has been a drive within the clinical community ie Physiotherapists/ Osteopaths/ Chiropractors/ Exercise Physiologists, to be able to safely deliver Pilates to members of the community, be it to healthy clientele/ for injury prevention/ injury rehabilitation or to those with pain or dysfunction. Whilst Joseph’s methods were revolutionary at his time, there are certain movements within the original repertoire which we know are likely to cause problems for patients with certain pathologies. Thus began the drive of ‘Clinical Exercise’.
Clinical Exercise is mainly designed to break down the original exercises, to either modify to a level which would be appropriate for the individual, or target certain areas to best rehabilitate problem zones. Under the ‘Clinical Exercise’ banner, the principles of alignment and neuromuscular retraining, are also applied and adapted to ‘normal’ exercises. This is often in the effort to gain the best benefit with the least risk for the individual.
Traditional exercises have still been shown to result in good benefits for the individuals but they may be better undertaken by those without significant injury or pain. However, if undertaking a traditional style rehabilitation approach for an injured or in pain individual, 1:1 sessions may be advisable at least initially, so that their instructor is able to closely monitor the impact of the selected exercises.
MATWORK VS EQUIPMENT
THE NEXT CONFOUNDING VARIABLE WHEN SELECTING TO UNDERTAKE A CLINICAL EXERCISE CLASS IS WHAT TYPE…
Matwork clinical exercise classes will generally be larger classes ranging from about 4 participants through to about 30 in some larger fitness arenas. 1:1 sessions are usually available as well. Matwork classes are, for the most part, floor based, but may include some standing or kneeling elements. So if choosing this type of class, you need to consider the whether you are able to get on and off the ground with relative ease and if not whether the instructor is happy to tailor exercises to your needs. Many teachers will often incorporate small equipment such as Swiss balls, ova balls, foam rollers and theraband. They are often cheaper due to larger numbers and less expensive equipment requirements. Depending on the size of the class, the participants will have various levels of feedback from the instructor.
Therefore depending on the level of your experience and disability you may wish to find a smaller class to enable more instruction or for those more experienced you may be happy with less interaction. Health professionals, who are running classes (which are usually claimable through health funds), are restricted in the number of clients which they are able to take in a class, with a maximum of 12. Many people also enjoy these types of classes for the social interaction. Matwork classes to be wary of are those where the majority of the class is spent on your back with either one or two legs off the ground. These classes are aiming the content at strengthening the abdominal muscles. However most people will fatigue with this and will be unable to maintain abdominal control for the length of a class and as a result tend to overuse hip flexors/ lumbar spine erector spinae and anterior neck muscles. In a matwork class you want to make sure that there is a variety of exercises done in a variety of positions ie side lying, prone, kneeling etc.
Equipment classes involve the use of reformers, split pedal chairs, trapeze (or cadillacs) and arc barrels/ barrels plus may incorporate various matwork exercises or the use of small equipment. The majority of this equipment is designed to add resistance to your exercises usually in the form of spring loading. The advantage of the equipment is usually being able to add or reduce loading to facilitate strengthening or movement for the individual. The classes are usually smaller with a maximum of 4-6 depending on the studio size and the number of clients that the individual therapist/ instructor is happy to treat at the one time. Some classes may tailor individual programs for each participant whilst others are still run as a group where everyone does the same exercise. This will vary based on the studio/ clinic. The equipment classes are often more expensive due to restricted numbers and the cost of equipment involved.
OFTEN EQUIPMENT CLASSES MAY BE MORE OF USE TO PATIENTS WHO FEEL THEY WANT MORE OF A CHALLENGE THAN THE MATWORK CLASSES OR THAT STRUGGLE WITH GETTING ON AND OFF THE FLOOR OR WITH CLASS LED STRENGTHENING.THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HOWEVER, IS TO FIND A CLASS THAT YOU ENJOY AND AN INSTRUCTOR WHO UNDERSTANDS YOUR NEEDS. FOR ANY FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT OUR CLINIC FOR HELP AND ADVICE.