‘Centrology (Pilates) develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit’ – Joseph Pilates

Clinical Pilates is a therapeutic form of exercise aimed at improving the way you use your body, by improving the central ‘core’ around which movement takes place. Pilates evolved over the early 1900’s led by German-born Joseph Pilates, who began his association with the Dance Community in New York in 1940. Pilates has since evolved into physiotherapy practice with incorporation of Pilates exercises into rehabilitation and injury prevention programs for conditions such as low back pain.

The foundation of Clinical Pilates exercises is correct functioning and strength of the deepest muscles of the abdomen, back and pelvis known as the ‘core’. These muscles form a corset-like support around your lower trunk and pelvis. Several muscles form your core in your tummy and pelvic region. These muscles work together to provide stability and support to the spine and pelvis whilst preventing it from getting injured.

When your core muscles are strong and functioning effectively, they work in conjunction with the larger muscles of the trunk to produce efficient and controlled movement. This improves the way force is transferred throughout the entire body. If the trunk is stable, there will be less stress on the joints of the spine enabling free and efficient movement. The effective use of core muscles has been shown to improve posture, flexibility and strength whilst reducing muscle tension and joint pain. This is why Clinical Pilates has proven effective in the treatment of back pain and other joint conditions. Clinical Pilates is also an excellent form of exercise for athletes returning to sport after injury, or in conjunction with training for peak performance.

Our Physiotherapy Exercise sessions may incorporate Pilates exercises as part of your program. Equipment you will see in our gym include reformers and trapeze. Whilst starting in the clinical setting/studio the goal is for these skills you learn to be incorporated into your daily life or training program to manage your injuries independently.

Physio Exercise classes at the ZEST Physio Pilates Health utilises a combination of reformer, trapeze, matwork and other specific exercises depending on your condition and goals. The program tends to involve the following steps:

1. Physio Exercise Assessment

In your initial session, your Physiotherapist will conduct a full history to assess your injury, problem areas and goals. This is really important to ensure your expectations and needs are met. In this session your Physiotherapist may perform a series of clinical tests to detect its problems that may potentially prevent injury developing. A Real-time Ultrasound assessment of your core muscles may also be performed in your first few sessions to assess if you can activate your core muscles effectively. This is an invaluable tool at the commencement of your program and will enable you to see your muscles working on the screen

2. Individual Physio Exercise Session

Focused 1:1 sessions may be necessary to ensure you are taught correct technique with instruction on posture, breathing and muscle activation techniques. We use specific physiotherapy equipment to give you extra feedback and will monitor you every step of the way. We can also provide you with advice on exercise outside of class settings so that you get the most out of your session. These sessions are particularly important for those new to Physio Exercise or if you have multiple injuries that need extra attention.

3. Physio Exercise Class

Group sessions are kept small with close monitoring of your technique to ensure your individual goals are met. All group sessions are instructed by physiotherapists, with regular sessions conducted on most days of the week. We take a maximum of 3-4 participants per session to ensure you are receiving the attention that you deserve.

Benefits of Physio Exercise Classes may include:

  • Increased Length & Flexibility
  • Improved Strength
  • Improved Co-ordination
  • Improved Posture and Alignment
  • Improved Bladder Function
  • Increased Deep Abdominal Strength
  • Improved Concentration and Energy
  • Improved Heart and Lung Health
  • Reduced Stress & Anxiety
  • Improved Athletic Performance
  • Management/Prevention of Injury
  • Improved Quality of Life
  • Reduced Back Pain


  • All exercise sessions are conducted by Physiotherapists including: Michelle Henneman, Kane Grbac, Kate Cremer