What are the benefits of Clinical Pilates Physiotherapy for athletes? 


What do Cristiano Ronaldo, Serena Williams, Missy Franklin, Antonio Brown and the London Irish Rugby team all have in common? All of these athletes use Clinical Pilates Physiotherapy to rehab injuries, prevent injuries, and improve their overall sport performance. 

Clinical Pilates Physiotherapy, provides athletes an exercise program targeted to meet their specific needs. Sport specific movements are integrated into Pilates based exercises on the Reformer and Chair in Studio, as well as on the Mat, for home exercises and on-field pre-sport priming exercises.

Benefits of Clinical Pilates Physiotherapy for athletes:

1. Overuse Injuries: Clinical Pilates addresses imbalances and corrects compensatory strategies.  Our bodies are smart, and often take the path of least resistance especially when pushed to their limits and fatigued. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the best path in the long term.  Alignment is addressed through manual therapy techniques performed by the Clinical Pilates Physiotherapist, combined with intrinsic muscle strengthening, flexibility training and eccentric muscle strength and lengthening.

2. Improved Control and Power: stabilizing through the core and pelvis allows for improved load transfer which is crucial for rotational sports such as: soccer, tennis, golf, field hockey and rugby.  Top athlete’s in these sports in the UK, New Zealand and Australia commonly use Pilates to improve their performance and reduce injury rates, and now the trend is moving into North America as we see many NFL, MLB and Olympic athletes utilizing these treatment methods.

3. Repetitive Injuries: repeated hamstring strains, or ankle sprains can hinder an athletes sport performance and leave you sidelined.  Clinical Pilates tackles the root cause of these reoccurring injuries and works to empower the athlete to improve their balance, coordination and proprioception.

4. Major Injury Rehab: after a major injury (ie. ACL, meniscus, rotator cuff) you may be advised to seek conservative or surgical treatment methods.  In many cases, Clinical Pilates Physiotherapy is beneficial in conservative, pre-surgical and post-surgical treatment as exercise positions can be varied and apparatus’ springs can be changed to provide resistance or assistance, which creates a safe yet effective exercise setting. Ask your Sport Medicine Doctor or Orthopedic Surgeon about if Clinical Pilates Physiotherapy is right for you.

5. Connection: connecting to the body through breath and specific muscle patterning allows the athlete to improve their awareness of their bodies mechanics, strengths and weaknesses.  When it’s the end of a long game and the body is fatiguing, Pilates provides athletes with the mind body connection and muscular stamina to stay focused and in control.

So, regardless if you’re a west coast weekend warrior or an Olympic bound athlete, look to improve your sport performance and return to sport with Clinical Pilates Physiotherapy. 


Diane Rizzardo
Pilates Rehab Physiotherapist