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Get Fit Without the Pain: How Pilates is Revolutionising Rehabilitation

As exercise professionals we are often asked about Pilates and whether it is worth doing. This article helps explain more about this valuable form of exercise and why you might consider adding to your regular exercise routine.

Pilates was developed by a German, Joseph Pilates, whose father was a gymnast and his mother a naturopath. Pilates said that the inspiration for his method came to him during World War One, while he was being held at an internment camp on the Isle of Man. Pilates spent four years there, working on his fellow internees, developing his method of a system of exercises intended to strengthen the human mind and body, believing that mental and physical health were interrelated.

Who can benefit from Pilates?

  • cardiac patients

  • post injury clients

  • pre- and post-surgery clients

  • older adults, especially those who aren’t doing resistance training

  • people looking for a different type of resistance training

  • People looking to strengthen their core and protect their back


Pilates offers a multitude of benefits for rehabilitation, aiding individuals in recovering strength, flexibility, and mobility while promoting overall well-being. 

  • Gentle yet effective: Generally, Pilates exercises are low-impact and can be tailored to suit various fitness levels, making them suitable for individuals in different stages of post-surgery recovery.

  • Enhanced flexibility: Pilates incorporates movements that promote flexibility in muscles and joints, aiding in restoring range of motion that may have been affected by surgery or prolonged immobility.

  • Balanced muscle development: Through a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises, Pilates helps in achieving balanced muscle development, preventing muscle imbalances that can lead to discomfort or injury during recovery.

  • Increased body awareness: Pilates emphasises mindful movement and awareness of body alignment, aiding individuals in reconnecting with their bodies and improving proprioception.

  • Stress reduction: The focus on breathing techniques and controlled movements in Pilates can help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation, which is crucial for overall recovery and well-being.

  • Customisable workouts: Pilates exercises can be modified to accommodate specific needs and limitations of individuals recovering from surgery, ensuring a safe and effective rehabilitation program tailored to each person.

  • Joint protection: Pilates exercises are designed to be gentle on the joints while still providing a challenging workout. This makes it ideal for individuals recovering from surgery who need to rebuild strength without putting excessive stress on their joints.

  • Supports functional movement: Pilates movements often mimic everyday activities, helping individuals regain functional movement patterns essential for performing daily tasks with ease and confidence.

  • Long-term benefits: Incorporating Pilates into post-surgery rehabilitation not only aids in immediate recovery but also fosters long-term improvements in strength, flexibility, and overall physical fitness, promoting a smoother transition back to regular activities and reducing the risk of future injuries.

At HFRC, we offer a number of options for clients wanting to add Pilates to their routine.

  • 1-on-1 mat Pilates, Reformer Pilates, or mix of both

  • Group class (max 3 people) Reformer Pilates

If you would like to try Pilates, we recommend one-on-one sessions initially and then joining a small group. Contact us to arrange an initial session.


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