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Strong, Steady & Straight – Benefit of Pilates for Osteoporosis

Posted on 1st October 2019 by

Osteoporosis, although a well known condition, comes with much worry and fear surrounding it about physical activity and exercise. A diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia (reduced bone density on a less severe scale than osteoporosis), can often conjure up thoughts of being fragile and fearful of doing too much or exercises that might be harmful.

So, it’s great to see some updated guidance around exercise and physical activity for osteoporosis. The guidance is structured around 3 important themes:

  1. STRONG – the types and amount of exercise and physical activity needed to promote bone strength.
  2. STEADY – the importance of including exercise and physical activity to reduce falls and resulting fractures.
  3. STRAIGHT – a focus on ‘spine care’, keeping the back straight. A positive approach to bending, moving and lifting safely to reduce the risk of vertebral fracture, improve posture and relieve pain after vertebral fracture.

The key principles of the guidance include some important messages:

  • Physical activity and exercise has an important role in the management of osteoporosis – promoting bone strength, reducing falls risk and managing symptoms.
  • People with osteoporosis should be encouraged to do more rather than less. This should be supported with a positive and encouraging approach – ‘how to’ rather than ‘don’t do’.
  • Physical activity and exercise is not associated with significant harm – though some caution is advised, the benefits of physical activity and exercise outweigh the risks. Seek specialist support and advice to help you exercise in the most beneficial way.
Physical activity and exercise for osteoporosis

This makes Pilates a fantastic option as the main aims of Pilates are: 

  • Strengthen your muscles
  • Improve your balance
  • Improve you posture.  

Notice any similarities?!

Not only that, Pilates doesn’t involve any sudden impact so further reduces the risks of fractures associated to osteoporosis.

The added benefit of Pilates at goPhysio is that our classes are taken by a rehab professional with experience of treating patients with osteoporosis amongst other common conditions.

You can find out more about our Pilates classes here.

Read More

Love Your Bones – World Osteoporosis Day

More about Osteoporosis



More Pilates Exercises In Standing

Posted on 1st October 2019 by

Mat based Pilates exercise are carried out in a variety of positions, including lying on your back, front or side, sitting and kneeling on hands and knees. In addition to these positions, there are many popular Pilates exercises you can do in standing.

Here’s a few of our Pilate’s teams favourites!

#1 Mermaid Standing

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Imagine your head is a helium balloon to lengthen your spine. Imagine your pelvis as a bowl resting upright to align your pelvis in the neutral position. Gently set your centre. Glide your shoulder blades downwards towards your waist. Place your hands on the brim of your pelvic bowl.
  2. INHALE and lift the left arm to the side and overhead.
  3. EXHALE and lengthen the curve of the spine to the right while maintaining the neutral position.
  4. INHALE and return back to upright starting position.

#2 Corckscrew Warm Up Move

  1. Standing upright, back of the neck long, shoulder blades set, neutral spinal position, knees soft, weight placed evenly through the feet. Arms resting long beside the body. Centre set.
  2. Inhale, circle the arms outwards and upwards overhead. Keep the arms within your peripheral vision and the shoulder blades set, so pulled back and down.
  3. Exhale, fold the arms and place the hands at the base of the head. Keep the back of the neck long.
  4. Inhale, glide the shoulder blades upwards. Keep the collarbones wide.
  5. Exhale, glide the shoulder blades downwards. Keep the collarbones wide.
  6. Inhale, reach the arms overhead. Keep the arms within the peripheral vision and the scapulae set.
  7. Exhale, circle the arms outwards and downwards to return to the starting position.

#3 One Leg Circle

  1. Start in a natural standing posture. Hands on your waist.
  2. Put your feet and heels together. Keeping your heels together, turn your feet outwards slightly.
  3. Inhale, slide your right leg forwards keeping the toes on the mat.
  4. Exhale, circle your right leg outwards, placing your foot directly behind your right hip. Keep the toes in contact with the mat.
  5. Inhale, slide your right leg forwards, placing your floor directly in front of your right hip. Keep the toes in contact with the mat.
  6. Repeat up to ten times in this direction and then reverse the direction of your leg circles on both sides.

#4 Clam Level 3

  1. Start in a natural standing position.
  2. Bend your right hip 45 and the knee to 90 degrees, keeping your legs a hip distance apart.
  3. Put your hands on your waist. Inhale to prepare.
  4. Exhale, rotate your right hip outwards, keeping your pelvis stable.
  5. Inhale, rotate your right hip back to the middle, keeping the pelvis stable.
  6. Repeat up to ten times on the right leg and then repeat on the opposite side.

#5 Roll Down

  1. Stand in a natural standing position. Engage your core.
  2. Inhale to prepare.
  3. Exhale, lengthen the back of the neck and curl the head and neck forwards. Continue to curl the body forwards, one bone at a time. Wheel the pelvis forwards and continue to roll the body downwards as far as comfortable. Allow the head and arms to relax forwards with gravity and keep the knees soft.
  4. Inhale and hold the roll down position.
  5. Exhale, draw the tailbone downwards and wheel the pelvis upwards. Continue to roll the spine upwards one bone at a time. Lengthen the upper body upwards and widen the collarbones to return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat 3 5 times.

Read More 

We have lot’s of informative and educational Pilates articles over on our blog, which you can find here

If you’re interested in finding out more about joining our specialist Clinical Pilates classes at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford, take a look at the details of what we offer, our timetable of over 20 classes a week and more information about getting started with mat Pilates.

Read More

Top 3 Pilates exercises in standing


The goPhysio Pilates Team

Posted on 24th September 2019 by

Specialist Clinical Pilates is one of our core (excuse the pun!) services here at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford. We are unique in the area in that all of our Instructors, in addition to APPI Pilates Chandlers Fordbeing specially trained Pilates Instructors, are clinically qualified, so have a degree in Physiotherapy or Sports Therapy.

This level of qualification and specialist experience enables then to incorporate Pilates with rehabilitation and recovery of injuries, and/or using Pilates for injury prevention.

The Pilates qualifications that all of our Instructors have is from The Australian Physiotherapy & Pilates Institute (APPI). This is the world leading provider of Pilates education.  The APPI has developed a unique modified Pilates technique. This technique has been developed specifically for rehabilitation settings. It ensures that safe and scientifically researched movement patterns are learned and taught to be part of effective Rehab, retraining of alignment, correcting posture, improving range of motion, supporting the spine and for safe sport and strength training.

All our Instructors are a minimum of Level 2 qualified with APPI. 

Meet Our Instructors!

We are so privileged to have 6 fantastic Pilates Instructors in our team. As they all work clinically too, this helps provide seamless care if you are moving from physiotherapy, sports therapy or rehab to Pilates or via versa.

So, whether you’ve heard great things about Pilates and would like to start, are looking for small, supportive classes to help with prevention or recovery from injury or want to do Pilates as part of a regular exercise routine, look no further!

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Here’s all the information you need to know about:

Clinical Pilates

Our regular timetable

How to book a Regular Pilates at goPhysio

How to book PAYG Pilates at goPhysio


Back To School Pilates Offer

Posted on 20th August 2019 by

It’s coming to the end of the school holidays, time to start thinking about YOU again!

September can be a great time to start something new, it’s a time of natural change and fresh starts, new timetables and schedules. Maybe you have more free time for yourself with a little one starting school or gaining more independence going to senior school or college, or even university!

Have you thought about starting or re-starting Pilates? Perhaps you used to do Pilates and would love to get back to it? Pilates is a fantastic form of exercise. It’s a whole body workout, helping you get stronger, leaner, more flexible and helping you invest in your health. Even better, it’s sociable and fun!

We’ve got a very special offer for you and a friend!

What’s the offer?

For the total price of £300, you and your friend will both recieve:

  1. A 30 minute 1-2-1 Pilates session to get you started
  2. 3 consecutive months of Pilates classes, with a dedicated space every week in your chosen class from our timetable
  3. A pair of Pilates socks
  4. Access to our special Pilates membership (5% discount off all services, special offer of the month, monthly Pilates newsletter with exercises for home practice)
  5. The option to continue Pilates at a special reduced monthly rate of £55/month (normally £60/month).

That’s £300 between you – so only £150 each! A saving of over £150 off our normal price. If you haven’t got a friend to join you, you can pay £150 for an individual package.

We only have 10 of these special offers available, so be quick, once they’re gone they’re gone.

Read more about our range of specialist Pilates classes here. You can also take a look at our timetable.

Our Pilates classes offer:

  • 20 classes a week for all abilities
  • A dedicated place in your chosen class every week
  • A ‘make up’ class system, so you don’t loose any missed classes
  • Small classes, so you get individual attention and guidance
  • Clinically trained Instructors, specialists in helping and preventing injuries (with on hand advice every week!)
  • A spacious, fully equipped, air conditioned studio

To take advantage of this offer, please call us on 023 8025 3317 to have a chat, book your 1-2-1’s and find out what classes we have spaces in.

T&Cs

  • Offer only open to new members, existing members do not qualify for this offer
  • Payment of £300 for 2 people (or £150 for 1 person) is to be taken upfront. This is non refundable
  • Offer expires 30th November 2019
  • 3 month’s of classes include September, October and November 2019
  • Any unattended classes can not be carried over, however, you can ‘make up’ unattended classes as long as 24 hours notice is given
  • Classes are non-transferable


Osteoarthritis & How Pilates Can Help You

Posted on 1st August 2019 by

Osteoarthritis (OA) affects over 10 million people in the UK alone. OA can cause joint pain and discomfort where the smooth surface of the joints wears away over time, often referred to as “wear and tear”. Knees and hips are 2 of the most commonly affected joints.

Pilates for arthritis

If you have pain caused by OA, you can enter a bit of a negative cycle, where your pain stops you being so active or makes you fearful of activity, you move and exercise less and your muscles become weaker and your joints stiffer. This in turn can cause your more symptoms.

However, research has shown that exercise is the most effective non-drug treatment for reducing pain and increasing movement in patients with OA.

What this means is that it is perfectly safe and in fact, highly recommend to continue exercising and being active, even when you have pain or stiffness with your OA. If you’ve never exercised, starting activities that will strengthen your muscles will be extremely helpful.

Pilates is an excellent choice of exercise for people who have OA, as it is a gentle, low impact-based exercise, that combines weight-bearing with range of movement and strengthening exercises. Pilates can also be adapted to suit each person, tailoring the exercises to each person’s abilities within the limits of their movement and pain.

By having stronger muscles supporting the joints, you will be able to move and function more efficiently, which longer term will reduce the level of pain and discomfort you may experience. Over time, you may find that this has an impact on other activities, such as walking further or being able to climb the stairs more comfortably.

Physio and Pilates Instructor Kim, has put together some beginner level Pilates exercises you could try if you have OA in your knees or hips.

#1 Clam Level 1

  1. Lie on your side with your shoulders and hips stacked, with your underneath arm outstretched in alignment with your trunk. Ensure your back is in neutral and your centre is engaged. Bend your hips to approx.45 degrees and bend your knees to 90 degrees.
  2. INHALE to prepare.
  3. EXHALE, lift the top knee upwards keeping the feet together.
  4. INHALE, lower the top knee onto the bottom leg.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

#2 Hip Twist Level 2

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent up in the Pilates Rest Position. Legs hip width apart, shoulders drawn down and in and your neck long. Centre engaged.
  2. Place your arms out to the sides just below shoulder height, palms facing upwards. Connect your legs together and hold a small block or light book between your knees.
  3. INHALE to prepare.
  4. EXHALE, roll both knees to the right, continue to roll your pelvis, waist and then lower back towards the right. Finally, roll your head and neck towards your opposite shoulder, keeping your neck long.
  5. INHALE and hold.
  6. EXHALE, roll your head and neck back to the midline. Finally, roll your lower back, waist, pelvis and then legs back towards the midline.
  7. Repeat alternating sides.

#3 One Leg Stretch Level 1

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent up in the Pilates Rest Position. Legs hip width apart, shoulders drawn down and in and your neck long. Centre Engaged.
  2. INHALE to prepare.
  3. EXHALE, slide your left heel forwards along the floor.
  4. INHALE, slide your left heel back along the floor.
  5. Repeat alternating legs.

#4 Scissors Level 1

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent up in the Pilates Rest Position. Legs hip width apart, shoulders drawn down and in and your neck long. Centre Engaged.
  2. INHALE to prepare.
  3. EXHALE, slide your right foot inwards towards your sitting bone and float this leg into tabletop.
  4. INHALE and hold the tabletop position.
  5. EXHALE, lower your right leg to the mat.
  6. Repeat alternating legs.

If you have OA and would like some guidance and support on exercising, getting more active and what it’s recommended you do to help you be active with OA, please give us a call on 023 8025 3317 to have a chat.


Getting On The Ball With Pilates

Posted on 1st July 2019 by

This month, Physio and Pilates Instructor, Kim, has chosen her top 5 Pilates exercises you can do with an exercise ball.

We will often bring the ball into our Pilates classes. It adds another dimension and an extra challenge with it’s natural instability. You can pick one up online or in shops such as TK Max, Argos or Sports Direct (just make sure it’s an anti-burst one!).

#1 Scissors in Sitting

  1. Sit up tall on your sitting bones on top of the ball. Position your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Balance your weight evenly through each foot. Relax your arms by your sides or place them on the brim of your pelvis.
  2. Lift your right leg and hold keeping your weight even through your sitting bone.
  3. Lower your leg and foot to the floor and repeat on the opposite leg.

#2 Swimming Level 3

  1. Kneel in front of the ball. Gently walk your hands forwards along the floor until your pelvis is resting in top of the ball. Balance with your fingertips and toes on the mat. Align your pelvis in the neutral position and gently set your centre.
  2. Simultaneously lengthen and hover your right arm and left leg from the mat.
  3. Hold and then lower your arm and leg to the mat.
  4. Repeat alternating sides.

#3 Bridge Hip Dips

  1. Sit on top of the ball and engage your centre. Slowly walk your feet forwards and lower your back until you are in the bridge position. Support your head, neck and upper back on the ball. Bend your knees to 90 degrees. Keep your centre engaged and gently engage your gluteal (buttock) muscles.
  2. Stabilise in the bridge position.
  3. Lower your hips and pelvis downwards without arching your lower back.
  4. Lift your hips and pelvis returning to the bridge position.

#4 Shoulder Bridge Level 1

  1. Lie on your back with your legs in the tabletop position, resting on top of the ball. Position your hips knees and ankles into parallel lines. Align your pelvis into the neutral position.
  2. Gently roll your pelvis and peel your spine away from the mat, one segment at a time rolling up to rest on your shoulder blades.
  3. Hold the shoulder bridge position.
  4. Roll your spine back down on to the mat, one vertebrae at a time to return to the neutral pelvic position.

#5 Plank Walks

  1.  Kneel in front of the ball. Gently walk your hands forwards along the floor until your pelvis is resting in top of the ball. Balance with your fingertips and toes on the mat. Align your pelvis in the neutral position and gently set your centre.
  2. Walk your hands further forwards along the floor. Simultaneously, lengthen your legs and lift your feet off the floor. Your body will align into the ’plank position’ where your spine and legs form a horizontal line. Only walk out as far as you can control.
  3. Hold the plank position.
  4. Walk your hands back along the floor and lower your toes to the floor, keeping your arms and legs long.

Read More 

We have lot’s of informative and educational Pilates articles over on our blog, which you can find here

If you’re interested in finding out more about joining our specialist Clinical Pilates classes at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford, take a look at the details of what we offer, our timetable of over 20 classes a week and more information about getting started with Pilates.


Pilates: It’s more than the core!

Posted on 1st July 2019 by

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“You need to strengthen your core!”

“You’ve got a weak core!”

“Pilates will help your core!”

Sound familiar? Particularly if you’ve ever had back pain, these may be comments or messages you’ve heard quite frequently.

The buzz of ‘the core’ started back in the 1990’s, when targeted exercises towards the deep core muscles were thought to be the best way to help with back pain. It was thought that low back pain may have been caused by weak deep core muscles and that by working and ‘strengthening’ the core muscles, you could help back pain. Therapists and exercise pro’s leapt on this ‘theory’ and you will still read and hear people talking about this all the time, despite there being no link ever having been found between back pain and core muscle ‘strength’!

The current thinking and evidence surrounding ways to both prevent and help people with back pain (an in fact many other common injuries, aches, pains and long-standing conditions) is that it’s movement, activity and any exercise is the best way! The key is that you find something you enjoy, fit’s in with your daily life, you can commit to regularly and that challenges your body in some way.

There is a common misconception that all Pilates exercises do is work your ‘core’.

But there’s a lot more to Pilates than the core!

So, although Pilates exercises will focus around exercising your ‘core’ tummy and back muscles, doing Pilates exercises will also work and benefit your body in many other ways! This makes it a fantastic form of exercise if you do have back pain, a long-standing condition such as arthritis or other aches and pains.

A Pilates class will challenge and work on:

  • Your balance and flexibility
  • Strength in your arm and leg muscles
  • Breathing techniques
  • Movement and body awareness – so becoming aware of your posture and how your body moves and rests, important in helping you be mindful of your body and connecting with it
  • Relaxation and time invested in you
  • Co-ordination

Our specialist classes here at goPhysio will further support you, by providing access and support from our dedicated team of Clinical Instructors – so you can be rest assured you will be in great hands! Being Clinicians, our team can integrate their knowledge and experience of not only how the body works and moves, but also injuries, aches, pains & MSK conditions for which you might need specific support.

Read More

Pilates at goPhysio

Pilates Articles


5 Elements of Posture and how Pilates can help

Posted on 1st June 2019 by

Having an awareness of your body and posture is a great way to help maintain a healthy, well-functioning body.  Sustained postures that your body isn’t used to or a lack of awareness of how your body feels in certain positions can lead to low back pain, neck pain, headaches, injuries, shortness of breath and even digestive problems. Being aware of your posture can help with maintaining the body’s natural spinal curves, reducing muscle tension and improving movement.

The APPI (Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates institute) method of Pilates taught at goPhysio is based on 5 key elements which are the focus of postural awareness:

5 Elements of Posture How Pilates helps
  1. Breathing
  2. Centering (engaging the core muscles whilst maintaining the neutral spine)
  3. Rib cage alignment
  4. Shoulder blade placement
  5. Head and neck position

Through these 5 key elements, Pilates can really help us become more aware of and in tune with our body. Ultimately, this can help encourage us to move more, move better and prevent injuries from occurring.

Whether you work at beginner or advanced level, Pilates exercises focus on maintaining an optimum postural position throughout all exercises regardless of the specific muscle group a particular exercise may be targeting.  Always looking for optimal alignment and movement control of the pelvis, spine, ribcage, shoulders and head whilst maintaining good breathing patterns. With practice, this is transferred through into daily life as you are moving around.


The Anatomy of A Pilates Reformer

Posted on 28th May 2019 by

As you may be aware, we are delighted to be starting Reformer Pilates here at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford.

Having offered mat based Pilates at goPhysio since 2008, alongside the extra space and growing team, expanding into Reformer Pilates was the next step.

Many of you will not be at all familiar with the Reformer equipment, so we thought we’d share a little overview of the key components that make up The Reformer.

THE CARRIAGE is a flat, lightly cushioned bed section, which you lie, kneel, sit, lunge or stand on. This platform smoothly glides up and down the rails. As the carriage moves as part of your Pilates exercises, you will need to engage and work key muscles in a controlled and symmetrical way.

THE FOOT BAR is used to rest your hands or feet against to stabilise you as you move.

THE SPRINGS provide a variable, dynamic resistance to your Pilates exercises. They demand control throughout your full range of movement, which adds a whole new dimension to Pilates. The different colours represent different resistance (from very light and easy to heavy and more challenging!).

ROPES & PULLEYS are used as an alternative to the static foot bar. Hands or feet can be placed inside the loops or handles, and used to work in multiple directions. This further challenges stability and balance.

HEAD REST is an adjustable section to rest your head whilst you are lying on the Reformer bed.

SHOULDER RESTS are used when lying down, to block your shoulders and assist with moving the carriage during exercises as your shoulders press against the rests. They can also be used as hand holds for different exercises.

STANDING PLATFORM at the foot bar end of the Reformer, is a non slip surface that you can place a foot on for doing certain exercises (the foot bar is lowered out of the way for these exercises). The other foot will be placed on the moving carriage.

BOX is placed on the carriage for variety of exercises. It can be great for those who are a little less flexible or to help make some exercises more comfortable.


For anyone who starts Reformer Pilates with us here at goPhysio, you will have a comprehensive introductory session, where one of our Reformer Instructors will introduce you to the Reformer and go through the equipment, how it works and make sure you are confident and comfortable before you start!

The great thing about the Reformer is that although it may look a little daunting, it can actually make Pilates easier, as your movements and exercises can be assisted, supported and facilitated through the Reformer bed, springs and pulleys. At the other end of the scale, the Reformer can take your Pilates to another level by challenging you too – so it’s great for all abilities!

Interested in our upcoming Reformer?

Click here to register your interest.



Mixing Up Pilates With Equipment

Posted on 1st April 2019 by

Pilates is a great whole-body conditioning class, which can be done in many different ways. Our classes here at goPhysio are mainly mat based, however, we like to mix things up to ensure you get the most out of your classes and add different challenges and keep them varied.

One way in which we do this is to use small pieces of equipment. Using equipment has many benefits it can be used to assist you, and/or give you more of a challenge.

There is a lot of different pieces of small equipment that can be used in our Pilates classes. Here’s a few examples of some of my favourites!

Resistant Exercise Band

Exercise bands are a great to use, as we can use different strength bands depending on what we are trying to achieve. Clams can be made harder by tying the band above the knees to add resistance and to really get your gluteal muscle firing. Roll ups can be a challenging exercise however, we can use a strong band to assist you to achieve a full roll up. 


The ‘Magic Circle’

The Magic circle-this is a great piece of equipment, although some would say they are a bit like Marmite; personally, I love using them! They add great resistance, making you work that little bit harder and ensure that you really feel which muscles you are working. 


Gym Balls

Pilates ball is always a fun class with the added balance component to compete with, in some exercises. The pilates ball can allow you to do exercises in a seated position, whilst having to engage your muscles to keep you nice and stable on the ball. 

goPhysio Gym Ball Pilates

Weighted Balls

The weighted pilates ball adds increased resistance and challenge. The balls come in different weights so you can pick which weight you are happy with. The balls that we use weigh from: 0.5Kg-1.5kg 

Pilates balls goPhysio

So, if you would like a bit more of a challenge or are struggling with an exercise, ask your Pilates instructor about the different types of equipment that you could use in your class.

Written by Graduate Sports Therapist & Pilates Instructor, Francesca