Whether you’ve had a chronic injury for years or have a twinge from your last workout, injuries are painful, frustrating and often restrict your participation in the things you love doing. We want to make our classes accessible to EVERYONE!
A gentlemen called Joseph Pilates originally developed Pilates during WWI to rehabilitate injured soldiers, Pilates can be adapted to not only avoid causing further injury but to build strength in areas to reduce pain and improve performance. The first and most important piece of advice we can give you, if you have a manageable injury is to inform your instructor. We can’t help you if we don’t know about it. Our instructors are more than happy to give you some alternative exercises and advice on how to manage your particular injury in class, we just have to know what it is first. We suggest you show up 10-15 minutes before your class and discuss your injury; tell us what’s going on, when you feel pain and any advice given to you by another health professional such as a physiotherapist or doctor. This way our instructors can plan ahead before class, ensuring you participate safely and that the class flows smoothly for everyone.
Secondly, one of the key teachings in Pilates is mindfulness. Your class is YOUR practice, you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone so listen to your body, be mindful of how you feel in the moment and acknowledge your limits. Pain is the greatest indicator that something isn’t right and it is important that you differentiate between this kind of pain and the “burning sensation” of activating the right muscle group. If you push through pain with certain injuries, you are putting yourself at risk of doing further damage which could set you back weeks, even months. If you feel pain at your injury site during class, stop the exercise and inform your instructor. We can adjust your spring load, posture or give you an alternative.
Furthermore, listen to the modifications and cues given by instructors. In Pilates you can still have an amazing workout with the most basic exercises if you concentrate on form and precision. Often we will start with a simple variation of the exercises and layer them to increase the challenge level. If you have an injury you’re welcome to continue with the simplest version to ensure you can maintain good form and reduce the risk of making it worse or causing pain. All of our instructors have done extensive training and most importantly have your best interests at heart; if they give you a specific modification for your injury, follow their advice even if it seems conservative. They are trying to keep you safe and do what’s best for your body. Remember to focus on executing all movements well.
Choosing the exercise variation that suits you and focusing on technique is not just applicable when you have an injury. Everyone should consider these factors for injury prevention. Additionally, if you’re feeling particularly stiff and sore after too many classes in a row, it might help to try a yoga or yin class for flexibility and to balance your practice. Cross-training is an effective way of keeping your exercise program interesting and reducing the risk of acquiring overuse injuries.
Mixing up your routine could also include taking a mat Pilates class. Mat Pilates classes can open up a whole new repertoire and provide a stable base with less moving parts. Most of the exercises are performed lying down on your stomach, back and side, or in a four point position, creating greater stability. They also heavily focus on your core stabilising muscles such as your abdominals and glutes which is perfect for rehabilitation as well as injury prevention.
Overall, we truly want to ensure that all of our clients have an outstanding group Pilates experience. Remember that when you attend a group reformer class, you are sharing the experience with up to 12 other members. If your injury is severe or acute please consider others in the class. Be mindful that while our instructors will do their best to attend to your needs, they are required to divide their attention equally between all clients and will not be able to modify and talk you through every single exercise individually.
If you do have a serious or acute injury you might like to take a private lesson. Private appointments are the best way to manage your injury as we can create an entire class or program tailored specifically to your body. In a single private class we can go through with you which exercises to do, which to avoid and give you some options so you know what to do when you get into your group class. If you’d prefer a more tailored program, one or more private classes per week will put you well on your way to recovery by targeting key areas that will support your injury site and have you feeling stronger and more confident in no time! Private classes allow you to work towards and achieve specific, tailored goals as we can focus the classes around areas you want to improve on, and avoid exercises that cannot be performed with your injury. We can also give you advice on exercises to do at home in between sessions to speed up progress and enhance performance. Private classes are the perfect way to learn how to manage your injury and achieve personal goals.
So whatever your injury- show up, let us know, listen to your body, and get informed. We can’t wait to see you soon!