Pilates classes at Kathy Greathead Physiotherapy in Cape Town


Pilates and Rehab

What is the benefit of Pilates​?

Pilates is a type of exercise based on movment control and alignment and anyone who has tried it can attest to its benefits! Though it may be challenging at first, our patients can testify to the improvement Pilates has made to their previously sore backs and necks! At Kathy Greathead Physiotherapy, we believe that hands-on treatment for painful conditions is important, but it would be in vain if our patients did not adjust what caused their pain in the first place. Malalignment and muscle weakness, coupled with an often sedentary lifestyle, causes many people to start developing back and neck pain as well as headaches.

Our muscles are loosely divided into two groups: Stabilisers and Mobilisers. Stabilisers, much like the foundation of a crane, create a stable base from which mobilisers (the arm of the crane) then create smooth, controlled movements.
When a muscle is placed under stress, it either lengthens or shortens due to inactivity, causing spasm s and pain. Your body must now use a different combination of muscles to achieve a certain movement in order to avoid this discomfort, thus creating a “cheating mechanism” where you recruit your mobiliser without a stable base. This “cheating mechanism” can in turn put strain on certain areas, causing pain.

20% of all people who have an injury or go through a growth spurt, do not recruit their stabilisers again post-injury. They therefore continue to reinforce their “cheating mechanisms”, using their low endurance muscles to do the high endurance work.
Specifically targeted exercises are necessary to switch on or recruit your stabilising muscles, therefore no amount of undirected exercises will help to improve a “cheating mechanism”.

With all Pilates exercises, the focus is on building a strong centre and core stability to create a stable body foundation from where movements can flow.
Gentler stabilising principles had a much better success rate in management of back pain than traditional strengthening methods. By increasing the coordination and strength of deep abdominal muscles, the lumbar spine is stabilised and protected.

Kathy Greathead completed a Pilates mat work course in 2008 through Reneé Watson’s Conscious Movement Education. She runs Pilates classes and private matwork sessions at the beautiful Pilates Studio at Constantiaberg Human Performance Centre.

Carla Mowat is in the process of completing the same Pilates mat work course and runs rehab-based classes one on one or in groups for beginners, with a focus on returning to the basics of posture and alignment.
The benefits of attending Pilates classes regularly which are run and supervised by qualified Physiotherapists cannot be overstated.

Join our fun group classes and experience the benefits for yourself!
Classes are available at different times in the week. Each session is R140, payable upfront for the month.