Clinical Pilates

Clinical Pilates is one of the many services that Hawthorn Physiotherapy Clinic offers our clients. Depending on your needs or preferences, our physiotherapists run one-on-one or small group exercises that incorporate Clinical Pilates. Whether you’re looking to recover from an injury, wanting to get fitter and/or need to manage your aches & pains – we can customise a program for you.

The History Of Clinical Pilates

The concept of Clinical Pilates was pioneered by Joseph Pilates, who used some of his exercise methods to rehabilitate bed-bound veterans during World War 1 in the 1910s-1920s. Joseph was a physically fit man who participated in everything, ranging from bodybuilding, gymnastics and even martial arts.

However, this was not always the case. As a child, Joseph suffered from various conditions, including asthma, rickets and rheumatic. Despite having a sickly childhood, Joseph was adamant about using exercise to heal himself.

In 1925, Joseph Pilates moved to the United States of America. He opened up a Pilates studio in New York City, where he helped rehabilitate and train dancers using his techniques. Since then, Clinical Pilates has become a mainstream form of conditioning, rehabilitation and training for people who have just had surgery to professional athletes.

What is Clinical Pilates?

‘So, what is Pilates?’ This is a common question asked by our clients.

Clinical Pilates is a form of exercise that helps improve core stability, restore movement, strengthen your muscles, increase flexibility and overall health. It is particularly effective for those looking to rehabilitate from injuries, painful conditions and before & after surgery. Additionally, it can also be performed for general wellbeing and maintenance.

At Hawthorn Physiotherapy Clinic, all of our one on one & small group exercise is supervised by physiotherapists. These sessions have a strong emphasis on Pilates and use equipment such as a Pilates reformer and Trapeze Table. We will prescribe a series of movements and exercises that have been selectively chosen around your aches, pains and restrictions.

A significant part of Clinical Pilates is focussing on core stability. Core stability is the ability to use your trunk efficiency to help with everyday movements, such as walking, lifting and sports. When you attend Pilates, breathing techniques and keeping the abdominal muscles stiff are encouraged to engage the core. Our physiotherapists may also recommend other cues, such as changing your postural or re-positioning your body.

What is the Difference Between Pilates and Clinical Pilates?

While there are many overlapping features between Pilates and Clinical Pilates, there are also several differences. Generally, an initial assessment is performed to ensure that the exercises are safe and effective. For example, someone with a disc herniation will most likely benefit from extension bias exercises, like scooters or cobras. A proper assessment from a trained healthcare practitioner, such as a physiotherapist, reduces the risk of aggravating old injuries and choosing exercises that are directly beneficial to your condition.

Additionally, there are also other unique characteristics of 1:1 and group exercise at Hawthorn Physio, including:

  • A customised approach for each individual (no cookie-cutter approaches)
  • A maximum of 4 people in all exercise classes
  • Exercises are specifically selected based on your goals, injuries, needs and your fitness levels
  • Qualified physiotherapists always supervise sessions

What’s the Difference Between Reformer and Mat Pilates?

Both Reformer and Mat Pilates are exercises that are performed during Clinical Pilates. In short, reformer Pilates involves performing movements on Pilates machines. Mat Pilates incorporates a series of bodyweight exercises similar to reformer Pilates. Both have their benefits. While Reformer Pilates offers a variety of resistances, positions and movements, it may be hard to practice at home. On the other hand, mat Pilates exercises can be performed anytime and anywhere. Regardless, both types of Pilates movements are incorporated in Clinical Pilates depending on your needs.

Mat Pilates
Reformer Pilates

Is Clinical Pilates Covered by Health Insurance? The long and short of it.

The simple answer is, Yes, it can be. In 2019, there was a government reform to private health insurance that removed certain natural therapies from extras policies, including Pilates. The Department of Health announced however that “an insurer may lawfully pay benefits if a Physiotherapist, providing services to a patient within the accepted scope of clinical practice, uses exercises or techniques drawn from Pilates as part of that patient’s treatment as long as the exercises or techniques are within the accepted scope of clinical practice.” Seeing as all of our exercise prescription is carried out by qualified Physiotherapists and within the scope of clinical practice, you are able to claim the sessions we run on your private health insurance extras. These sessions, whilst they have a strong emphasis on Clinical Pilates, can also include other gym equipment and exercises based on your personal needs.

If you’re interested in booking in for some small group or individual exercise, you can email us on or give us a call on (03) 9819 2827. Our friendly physios will be able to assist you with a supervised program to suit your needs.

On-Site Pilates and Rehabilitation Gym

Depending on your needs, our physiotherapists will be able provide services through our on-site gym. To assist with your recovery and rehabilitation, our gym is fully equipped with all the necessary equipment. Pilates reformers, bikes, treadmills, free-weights, resistance bands, specialised rehabilitation equipment and more are available under the supervision of our physiotherapists. On top of providing one-on-one treatments, we also provide group services, including Pilates and GLA:D program classes. To discuss your needs, give our friendly team a call on (03) 9819 2827 or


Coach Jakob El Greco
Coach Jakob El Greco
Normal physio place with very good ppl. Charlie he’s exceptionally good. Knowledgeable and specific to everyone needs. 👍🏼 As I’m in similar industry, I know how to judge to good from great.! 💪🏼😉
James Brodie
James Brodie
Ashok B
Ashok B
Gavin is absolutely the best !!! Shares all info to get you better . Helps you get Maximise ndis funding & ensures continuous Therapy to maximise your ability. A man with no drams and absolutely the best I have ever met in my life . I would strongly recommend Gavin!!!
Ian Croucher
Ian Croucher
These guys attract the best physios and have helped me through many years at all stages of my exercise life. Can not recommend more highly.
Liam Siera
Liam Siera
I've made awesome progress with my injuries thanks to Hawthorne Physiotherapy Clinic. They focus on healing and progress through a combination of therapies and exercise. The staff actively provide polite and friendly assistance when called and they use modern software like Physi Track to keep patients like me on track with my recovery. If you're tired of being in pain from an injury, this is the place to go. Thanks, Rob and team
Dylan Emrose
Dylan Emrose
Had a fantastic experience with one the Physiotherapists today. Very informative, honest, and helpful. Highly recommend!
Erin Upson
Erin Upson
I ruptured my ACL in June and started seeing Charlie before and after surgery and have never looked back. The staff are all very friendly and Charlie's expertise and patience have been invaluable!
Rajesh Subramanian
Rajesh Subramanian
Charlie (Andreas Schall-Riaucour) is the best Physiotherapist that we've seen in Australia. And believe me we've seen so many in the country. He has an exceptional (almost uncanny) understanding of what's wrong, and knows very well on how to treat the condition. He saved my wife's (thrice-operated) knee, and I cannot thank him enough for that. The staff at the reception is also very polite and friendly here. You may need to wait for a few minutes from time to time, but it's well worth the exceptional service that will be offered here. I strongly recommend this Physiotherapy clinic.
Joanna Young
Joanna Young
After only a few treatments, Chris gave me the stretches, techniques and knowledge to be able to reintroduce running and high impact training. Super happy!
Ramnik Kaur
Ramnik Kaur
Awful service. Would not recommend it to anyone and never going back. Physio who treated me was extremely harsh with his treatment.