What is Clinical Pilates?

Clinical Pilates is a movement based classification system, with a validated model for driving treatment outcome prediction.
— Tulloch 2012

Clinical Pilates is often used in combination with physical therapy to help you recover from injuries or help to rehabilitate you after surgery.

Clinical Pilates essentially takes a more personalised approach to treatment than a normal Pilates class. Using their knowledge and training, qualified clinical practitioners will tailor an exercise program to your specific needs that targets specific muscles and adapts and changes to suit your level and abilities.

The goal of Clinical Pilates is to help activate the muscles in your body that will allow you to experience a fast and safe recovery and help you return to thoughtless, fearless movement. Clinical Pilates focuses on the retraining and recruitment of key muscles. Core strength and stability is of high importance to support the low back and assist good posture.

Clinical Pilates is performed on specialised Pilates equipment in a safe and controlled environment. The specialised Pilates equipment offers great diversity of exercises. Springs provide resistance training, unstable surfaces challenge balance and stability, props can put you in a safer and more comfortable position, and the adjustable settings allow all of the exercises to be set up to give you maximum benefit. Exercises are tailored to the needs of the individual.

Since 2000, many researchers have turned their attention specifically to the Pilates modality as a tool for rehabilitation, and Pilates has been accepted into the mainstream as a widely accepted rehabilitation program by physical therapists and orthopaedic surgeons. It is generally understood to enhance a patient’s recovery process significantly*.

Clinical Pilates Instructors commonly see people with:

  • Injuries

  • Chronic musculoskeletal conditions

  • Back and neck pain

  • Lower fitness levels

  • Postural imbalances

  • Oteoarthritis

  • Frozen shoulder

  • Advanced fitness levels wanting to go to the next level


  • Pre/post natal women

  • Rehabilitation after surgery or injury

  • Anyone wanting a tailored exercise program

  • Dancers and athletes

  • Improving flexibility

At Southside Clinic we offer:

1:1 Private Clinical Pilates

Clinical Pilates clients will be given a postural assessment at their first appointment, and your instructor will design an individual program specific to your needs. The program will be progressive and diverse, giving you a safe framework to advance your Pilates exercises.

5:1 Group Clinical Pilates

We have a maximum of 5 people per group Clinical Pilates session. This small group size allows personalised attention from the instructor, who can offer modifications, progressions, regressions and props to make your Pilates experience perfectly tailored to you.

We promote quality over quantity. We want you to get the absolute most out of your Clinical Pilates session. Our 5:1 approach means you will be given more exercises, work harder, have a specialised program tailored to you, and most importantly, get maximum results!

We have the prerequisite that you participate in one 1:1 private Clinical Pilates session before you can join the 5:1 classes.

Who are our Clinical Pilates Instructors?

We have three highly experienced Clinical Pilates Instructors at Southside.

Paula Hobson

Paula Hobson

Dianne Colquhoun

Dianne Colquhoun

Vivienne Jachmann

Vivienne Jachmann



At your initial 1:1 session, your instructor will take your medical history, assess your injury, posture and any imbalances to develop a combination of exercises that will help you strengthen your weak muscle groups, increase flexibility and regain fluid movement. If you are also seeing other Allied Health Professionals at Southside Clinic, we can consult with them to ensure that all approaches and desired outcomes are complimentary to each other.

At your subsequent visits, your instructor may recommend that you continue with 1:1 private Clinical Pilates sessions for a while, or they may recommend that you attend the 5:1 group Clinical Pilates sessions.

In the 5:1 group Clinical Pilates sessions, you will be exercising with other class participants, however you will all be doing your own individual exercise program, with full supervision by your instructor.

Do I need a referral?

Many patients are referred to Clinical Pilates by their Doctor, other health practitioners or personal trainers however, you can make an appointment without a referral.


All sessions, initial and subsequent, run for 1 hour.

What do you need to bring?

You will be exercising during both initial and subsequent sessions, so please wear clothing you are comfortable to exercise in. You will need to wear grip socks, which we have for sale at the clinic if you need to purchase them.

Please bring water. We do have water available for purchase on-site also.

If you would like more information on Pilates or if would like to talk to one of our Pilates team members for advice, please phone us on 1300 10 11 22.


*Anderson, B.D., Spector, A., 2000. Introduction to Pilates-based rehabilitation .Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Clinics of North America 9, 395–410.

Lange C., Unnithan V, et al., 2000. Maximising the benefits of Pilates-inspired exercise for learning functional motor skills. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapy. 4:99-108

Graves, S., et al. 2005. Influence of Pilates-based mat exercise on chronic lower back pain. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 37 (5, Suppl.), S27.

Curnow D., Cobbin D, et al., 2009. Altered motor control, posture and the Pilates Method of exercise prescription. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 13:104-111

Bryan M., Hawson S., 2003. The Benefits of Pilates Exercise in Orthopaedic Rehabilitation. Techniques in Orthopaedics 18: 126-129

Cozen DM. 2000. Use of Pilates in Foot and Ankle Rehabilitation. Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Review: Volume 8 Issue 4. Version 1.9 Modified 28April 2010

Rydeard R, Leger A, et al., 2006. Pilates-based therapeutic exercise: effect on subjects with nonspecific chronic low back pain and functional disability: A randomised controlled trial. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. 26:7 472-484