side plank

Pilates is an exercise method that incorporates principles of movement such as breathing, alignment, core control, and movement integration within each movement session. The Pilates approach in rehabilitation specializes in a whole body approach with a focus on increasing body awareness, core strength, spinal posture, alignment, and decreasing movement faults contributing to injury.

Pilates is for everybody and improves your body’s foundation in core strength, your posture, and spinal and extremity alignment while recovering from a variety of injuries. In the Pilates repertoire, the reformer and trapeze table are the safest way for you to experience and learn how to move in a healthy and pain-free way.

Each exercise learned while at the Pilates Clinic can be modified to help you practice with Pilates mat exercises at home.

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Please contact your insurance company prior to making your appointment to verify your coverage and referral requirements regarding physical therapy benefits.

  • Physical Therapy Evaluation
  • Core Fitness Assessment
  • Pilates Home Exercise Program
  • Private 45-55 minute Pilates Training in the clinic:
    • Reformer
    • Trapeze Table
    • Chair
    • Mat

The Reformer

A great machine to learn the basics exercises in an environment that is supported and assistive for unloading your joints, stabilizing you trunk, and to give you the proper feedback so you build your power and master your technique. The black carriage is a moving table that has springs attached to is with various levels of resistance to challenge your strength and core all in one session. The straps connect to your hands or feet to guide you into different postures that are safe and supported.

Typically we start a workout on your back and warm up, center with your breath and build from there.

The Trapeze Table (also known as the Cadillac)

A progression in many ways from the reformer to challenge your core strength, body awareness, and core control. One of the key differences is the use of the springs for your legs and hands instead of the straps for added resistance and control of movement. There is also a tower bar to guide more flexibility and range of motion and much more.

The skills learned on the trapeze table build core strength, control, flexibility, and support joint alignment.

The Chair

A more compact piece of equipment that can challenges you in every way. It provides more balance and core support challenges in more functional postures. The bottom pedal(s) are also spring loaded. Great exercises learned on the chair train you with good core control for gait, stairs, running, hiking, posture challenges, and more advanced core work.

The Ladder Barrel and Spine Corrector

A dome like arc that can challenge core stability, open up your spine more for greater flexibility and also bring out your best core strength due to its smaller base of support. The spine corrector also targets those smaller spine muscles.

Program Coordinator-Holly K Chiodo, PT, PMA-CPT

Holly K. Chiodo, MPT, is a physical therapist at the University Orthopaedic Center. She founded and directs the Pilates Rehab Clinic at UOC. Holly graduated from the University of Utah Physical Therapy Program in 2003 and has advanced her training from Polestar Pilates Rehabilitation and Fitness Track.

She is passionate about Pilates as a holistic modality and its benefits of addressing proper alignment and core strength to move easier and treat a wide variety of injuries, keeping any body moving well in life. She publishes a monthly newsletter called Core News to educate and inform the public about maximizing health and core awareness. Holly loves traveling, triathlons, and eating and living consciously.


Physical Therapist & Women’s Health Specialist-Carrie Cooper, PT, DPT


The Pilates Hundred Exercise Progression

1. Chest Lift

chest lift

2. Legs 90 degrees/"Table Top"

legs 90 degree table top

3. Chest Lift with legs "Table Top"

chest lift with legs table top

4. Full "hundred" position

full hundred position

One good test of core strength and core endurance is being able to maintain a stable spine while lifting the chest, positioning the legs in table top, extending the legs to a 45 degree angle, and holding this stable position for an inhale for 5 counts and an exhale for 5 counts for 10 cycle’s.

(If you any pain during this test, please discontinue and consult with your health care provider.)


Pilates “Hundred” Assessment

(The hundred exercise is a classical and fundamental exercise in the repertoire. This simple tool will help you assess your core strength and endurance.)

  1. Can I keep my low back stable while I lift my upper body and chest without stress in the neck and shoulders? (Photo 1)
    • YES: Great, move to photo 2.
    • NO: You might need more core stability and upper body alignment training to take stress out of the neck and learn how to use the lower abdominals.
  2. Am I able to hold my low back stable while I lift one leg at a time into table top? (Photo 2)
    • YES: Great, move to photo 3.
    • NO: This is when you can tell if your spine is moving because usually it causes pain and a tilt of the pelvis/spine forward creating more space under you low back. This may be a core stability issue, related to core endurance, or due to pain.
  3. Can I hold both positions together without pain? (Photo 3)
    • YES: Great, move to photo 4.
    • NO: This may be due to decreased core stability, upper body alignment impairment, related to core endurance, or due to pain.
  4. Can I extend my legs out without losing my low back stability? (Photo 4)
    • YES: Excellent, test your endurance in step 5!
    • NO: This tests your core stability, upper body alignment, and the added weight of your legs to challenge your core strength and endurance. One or more of these variables need to be addressed with a trained professional.
  5. Can I hold the posture, which is the full hundred position for 100 breaths (5 inhales and 5 exhale, 10 cycles)?
    • YES: Great work! Train with this exercise to continue to build your breath, core strength, and endurance.
    • NO: You might need more core endurance training if you made it this far and cannot sustain the posture. This is easy to build with changes in less than two weeks!
  6. Do I have pain and if so, which step?
    • YES: Pain can be a sign that your alignment is not optimal, that your muscles are inhibited or not firing correctly, or that you are over-stabilizing to protect. You need to have your pain evaluated by a trained professional and then learn which exercises are safest for your body and injury needs.
    • NO: You might need more core strength and stability in addition to good form.
  7. Is it too hard to hold the posture?
    • YES: You may just need to work on building more core stability and make sure your alignment is providing you with proper form.
    • NO: It might be endurance and core stability you need.

Ready to learn more and see how Pilates can help you safely move without pain? Email Holly with questions at or call 801-587-7005 to book a Pilates Therapy Evaluation at the University Orthopedic Center.

Most insurance is accepted for Pilates therapy with a prescription for physical therapy.

University Orthopaedic Center 590 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
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