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When you think of Pilates what comes to mind?

Older people doing group exercise?

Mums coming to exercise on the reformers after dropping the kids off at school?

I bet you don’t think of Professional AFL players?

I bet you don’t think of Nat Fyfe, Christian Petracca, Tom Mitchell, Joel Selwood or young gun Noah Anderson.

What about other incredible, international athletes such as Serena Williams, Lebron James, Cristiano Ronaldo and Stephanie Gilmore?

All of these athletes have talked about how they have incorporated Pilates into their training routines, to great success. So why in clinic do I get asked questions such as: 

– What exactly is Pilates? 
– I go to the gym already, I wouldn’t benefit from Pilates, would I?
– Isn’t Pilates “girls” exercise?

Pilates was originally created by a German man by the name of Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s. He created the machines that he called apparatus, that we now call the Cadillac and Reformer, that were designed to improve technique or recover from injury. 

The Pilates method has been modernised and improved on by Physiotherapists over the last 30 years into what it is today. Pilates has many definitions, which may cause some confusion to what it actually is. However at Glen Forrest Physiotherapy we simply believe that Pilates is a form of exercise that aims to improve strength, flexibility, movement control and general conditioning with relatively low load exercises. Pilates can be scaled to absolutely any fitness level or ability. 

Let’s take WA footy legend Nat Fyfe as an example, who had a season to forget in 2018, plagued by multiple soft tissue injuries, limiting him to 15 games for the year. After tearing his hamstring in a round 15 loss to the Brisbane Lions, Fyfe made a change to his training program. He started incorporating two 1 hour Pilates sessions into his week, along with his usual weights, running and football training sessions. 

Just over 12 months later Fyfe was crowned the 2019 Brownlow medalist. Fyfe poled 33 votes, and more importantly, suffered no soft tissue injuries for the entire year. Fyfe credited his Pilates instructor for his great season and quoted “This becomes the blueprint for how I’m going to prepare for the next two or three years, I think this has been my best year so far!” 

A two time Brownlow Medalist recognises the importance of Pilates along side his rigorous strength, running and football specific training. I think this shows that Pilates offers a point of difference and can be greatly beneficial in an athletes training program. Pilates allows you to improve movement control, strength through the entire range of motion and the endurance of muscles to reduce the likelihood of injury and improve overall performance. Pilates can be used as an adjunct to a strength and running program to improve performance in sports such as AFL, basketball, soccer, tennis, netball and rugby. 

At Glen Forrest Physiotherapy we offer a range of different Pilates classes to suit any age or goal. As previously mentioned, Pilates can be scaled to every fitness level.

For our older clientele a Masters Mat Class is appropriate for those wanting an improvement of strength and balance, whereas our regular Mat Classes are for those with minimal injuries wanting to increase their strength, flexibility and overall conditioning in a group environment. 

Our Studio Classes incorporate the use of the reformer and other Pilates equipment as well as our gym equipment to tailor a specific program dedicated to your goals and specific needs. We believe that these classes are absolutely suited to any fitness level and could benefit everyone greatly. 

As we have learnt in this blog, Pilates is not just for older people or parents looking for a low impact exercise option after school drop off. Pilates is suited to any age, fitness level or goal that you want to achieve. I promise you that you can try a Pilates class and never leave disappointed with the level of fitness required for the class. 

Whether you are just starting out on your fitness journey or are an experienced athlete looking to improve their performance, Glen Forrest Physio has a classe suited for you to hit your goals. 

If you would like to book an initial assessment with one of our experienced Physiotherapists to design a specific plan for your needs please give us a call on 9298 9648. 

Beth Antonio - Physiotherapist/Pilates Instructor

Lincoln Smith

Senior Physiotherapist
Pilates Physiotherapist

Lincoln graduated with distinction from Curtin University in 2017 and has been working with Glen Forrest Physiotherapy since 2020. Lincoln believes in an active approach whilst treating, encouraging people to take ownership of their condition and achieving their individualised goals through simple, yet effective treatment plans. 
Having grown up locally, Lincoln is an active member of the community and is the head coach of the Glen Forrest Tennis Club. He also enjoys spending time mountain biking, hiking and camping across Western Australia. 
Lincoln throughly enjoys treating sporting injuries and tailoring a treatment program to get you to return to sport as soon as possible. He also loves working with chronic (long term) pain patients to increase participation in exercise and reaching your goals!
Special interests: 
  • Sports injuries
  • Chronic pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Spinal pain