Function & Form & Exercise
Function & Form & Exercise
Physiotherapy in North Sydney

Clinical Pilates in North Sydney

Clinical Pilates in North Sydney @ Function & Form Physiotherapy.

Function and Form is the perfect environment to learn and develop your pilates skills and fitness. The Studio is a comfortable, modern and climate-controlled space.

Pilates is conducted in complete privacy, enabling the individual to explore movement with confidence and with one on one direction from our qualified physiotherapist.  The Studio contains a large variety of equipment, including a commercial-grade Pilates Reformer.

As Pilates, and Clinical Pilates, in particular, requires close instruction and feedback, learning pilates in large class numbers is not advisable or optimal.

Sessions at Function & Form, for this reason, are either conducted one on one or partner sessions.  In this way, you are ensured you will be able to effectively execute each movement with the appropriate muscles.

Clinical Pilates improves mobility, stability, balance, posture and overall function. Both a safe and effective form of exercise, pilates is perfect for  addressing the specific needs of each individual.

Clinical Pilates has proven to be effective in achieving improvements in posture, re-educating movement patterns, specifically targeting activate weak muscle groups or providing progressive recovery from injury or surgery.

History Of Pilates

Joseph Hubertus Pilates was born on December 9, 1883 in Mönchengladbach (near Düsseldorf), Germany. His father, a native of Greece, had been a prize-winning gymnast, while his German-born mother was a naturopath who believed in the principle of stimulating the body to heal itself without artificial drugs. No doubt his mother's healing philosophy and father's physical achievements greatly influenced Pilates' later ideas on therapeutic exercise.

Small and sickly as a child, he was afflicted with asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever, and was continually taunted by the bigger children. He quickly became determined to overcome his physical disadvantages. Thereupon young Joseph began to self-educate himself in anatomy, bodybuilding, wrestling, yoga, gymnastics, and martial arts. He soon achieved an almost Adonis-like "anatomical ideal," to the extent that at the age of 14 he was posing as a model for anatomy charts. He was also an accomplished boxer, skier, and diver.

His physique was such that, like Eugen Sandow, Pilates in his public career as a circus entertainer used to perform a "living Greek statue" act. He was enamoured of the classical Greek ideal of a man who is balanced equally in body, mind, and spirit, and he came to believe that our modern lifestyle, bad posture, and inefficient breathing were the roots of poor health.

His answer to these problems was to design a unique series of vigorous physical exercises that help to correct muscular imbalances and improve posture, coordination, balance, strength, and flexibility, as well as to increase breathing capacity and organ function. He also invented a variety of machines, based on spring-resistance, that could be used to perform these exercises.

There is a famous story about Pilates' inspiration for his unique apparatus. Before World War I he was touring England as a circus performer and professional boxer, and even teaching self-defense to the Scotland Yard police force. But when war broke out, he found himself interned in England as an enemy alien on the Isle of Man.

The health conditions in the internment camps were not great, but Pilates insisted that everyone in his cell block participate in daily exercise routines to help maintain both their physical and mental well-being. However, some of the injured German soldiers were too weak to get out of bed.

Not content to leave his comrades lying idle, Pilates took springs from the beds and attached them to the headboards and footboards of the iron bed frames, turning them into equipment that provided a type of resistance exercise for his bedridden "patients."These mechanized beds were the forerunners of the spring-based exercise machines, such as the Cadillac and the Universal Reformer, for which the Pilates method is known today.

Pilates legend has it that during the great flu epidemic of 1918, not a single one of the soldiers under his care died. He credited his technique (which he called "Contrology") for the prisoners' strength and fitness — remarkable under the less than optimum living conditions of internment camps, which were hit especially hard by this deadly flu.

After the war Pilates returned to Germany, where he worked for a few years training police officers and collaborating with dancers and other experts in physical exercise.

However, around 1925 he decided to emigrate to the United States. He met his future wife and dedicated teaching partner, Clara, on the boat to New York City. Together they opened the first Body Contrology Studio on Eighth Avenue at 56th Street in Manhattan, in the same building as a number of dance studios.

For the rest of his life, he continued to develop his exercise system and to create new pieces of equipment for it. In this task he was evidently not only inventive, but also resourceful. It is said that his first Barrel was constructed from a beer keg, and he used the metal hoops from the keg to make his first Magic Circle.

Who is suitable for Clinical Pilates?

Clinical Pilates is a valuable resource in successfully treating injuries and conditions of the low back pain, and rehabilitation particularly of musculoskeletal injuries.

Athletes over the years have also sought the benefits of pilates, and have found positive improvements in muscle control, flexibility and essential movement patterns.

Pilates is suitable for those seeking enhanced fitness and performance, as well as assisting with injury prevention. Pilates can be a wonderful form of exercise, however, pilates still has the potential to cause injury or pain if not prescribed and monitored in the correct way.

Clients or patients with special needs, require a more structured and considered approach to ensure that the exercises selected are not only safe but equally beneficial.

Who is qualified to conduct clinical pilates sessions?

Ideally, clinical pilates should be conducted by a health professional with thorough diagnostic and injury rehabilitation skills.

Ultimately the effectiveness of the Pilates program is determined by the appropriate selection and execution of a tailored exercise regimen.

Pilates Reformer


The Pilates reformer is a traditional piece of Pilates equipment which looks like a bed with springs, a sliding carriage, ropes and pulleys.  It is the one of most versatile and effective piece of exercise equipment.

The 5 springs provide much of the resistance on the reformer, adding or subtracting springs can vary the intensity considerably. The surprising element of the Reformer is at times more springs (resistance) reduces the exercise difficulty and at other times increases intensity.

At Function & Form the Reformer is used for:


The Reformer allows exercise in a horizontal plane of motion without vertically loading and weight-bearing through the following a knee injury or surgery exercising in the horizontal plane enables strengthening of the lower limb through a larger range of motion, whilst using a lighter resistance than their body weight. Therefore the reformer assists accelerating the recovery process through controlled progressive resistance.

Sports Specific Cross-Training

Reformer Pilates works on core stabilisation, muscle endurance, lactate tolerance, peripheral joint stability, muscle strength, balance, coordination.
The number of exercises available on the reformer would seem only limited by the imagination.

Clinical Pilates in North Sydney blank

Clinical Pilates is a valuable resource in successfully treating injuries and conditions of the low back pain, and rehabilitation particularly […]

Read More
Shoulder Injuries blank

Shoulder Injuries tend to fall into one of three categories: Stiffness Frozen Shoulder or Adhesive Capsulitis Osteo or Rheumatoid Arthritis […]

Read More
Physiotherapy in North Sydney During COVID-19

Function & Form Physiotherapy and Exercise remains open for business during COVID-19 times. And here's how we help cope with […]

Read More
Vertebral & Spinal Injuries blank

Table of Contents Injury to the Spinal Cord (Spinal Injuries)Injury to the Vertebral BonesCompression fractureBurst fractureSpondylolithesisInjury to the Spinal Nerves […]

Read More