Physio Pilates Proactive, Stirling SA

Tell us about Physio Pilates Proactive, when did it begin?

I began Physio Pilates Proactive (PPP) over 16 years ago, initially teaching Pilates Mat classes in church halls and school gymnasiums around Adelaide. There was definitely a market for classes taught by physios, and the business quickly grew. Because of this popularity I took the leap in 2003 to start up my first physio/Pilates practice in Stirling in the beautiful Adelaide Hills. Since then we have opened three other practices; in Parkside, Glynde and St Peters.

Tell us about your team...How many instructors do you have?

We have a wonderful team of 14 women, all physios who run the Pilates classes. They are all passionate about helping our clients achieve their movement potential and as well as sharing over 200 years of combined physio experience, we all hold the Polestar Pilates Rehabilitation Certification. This really helps us teach consistently and maintain the quality of our Pilates services.

What are the biggest challenges and rewards in running your own business?

Running a Pilates physio practice is a very expensive, complex  business to run. It requires highly qualified physios who also are equally proficient at teaching Pilates; these staff are hard to find! Also, Pilates studios require a lot of space and clients only want to come at certain times so often you have the space sitting dormant and yet we are still paying rent. We could put 4-6 treatment rooms in place of the studio area and be far more profitable, but we all love Pilates so much that we focus instead on building a great reputation for what we do and retaining our clients.

There are so many rewarding parts of running a  business, otherwise I wouldn’t still be doing it 16 years down the track! I love being my own boss, being able to create a space which resonates with me. I love working with clients who value their physical health and want to learn more. I love being a mentor to some of my staff who are younger and less experienced; it’s that feeling of giving back to your profession.  And in more recent times, I love the fact that I now share this business with my husband. PPP has really become a lifestyle business for us where we as a couple can make decisions for what’s best for us, our two gorgeous young children, our amazing team and equally amazing clients.

How is your studio different to other Studios in your area?

One of our biggest points of difference is that we are physios running the classes which means that clients experience a deeper level of anatomy knowledge and injury management. We run over 110 Pilates a week so we provide huge choice for our clients. As I mentioned before, it is a prerequisite that each physio upon joining PPP becomes Polestar Pilates certified. This really helps our clients have a seamless, consistent Pilates learning experience no matter which physio they see. I also believe we are very innovative with our Pilates; we run, in addition to our studio equipment rehab 1:1s and group sessions, mat classes (different ability levels, Men’s, Strength and Balance for our seniors), Barre (uniquely created based on ballet and Pilates; pre-choreographed routine), Reformer and EXO Chair classes. We are also open 7 days a week for both Pilates and physio appointments.

Do you have any special deals for new members?

We are happy to offer people reading this article their initial assessment gap-free and their first block of ten classes at $215 (instead of $270).


Which class is the most popular?

Mat classes have always been popular but clients are really enjoying the added resistance which Reformer and EXO Chair classes offer.

What's your favourite class that you offer and why?

Coming from a strong classical and modern ballet background of 18 years, I will always love mat classes for their creativity and flow. I love the variety of exercises as well as the easy ability to regress or progress an exercises depending on clientele. I also love mat exercises for their portability- you can do mat exercises anywhere!

Do you have one on one classes as well as group classes?

Because we are physios, we see a lot of clients 1:1. This is to ensure clients are performing the Pilates technique correctly but also for a myriad of different conditions which would normally preclude clients from classes. This can because of a neurological diagnosis, elderly clients, post-surgery, acute injuries, paediatric conditions, pregnancy in some situations, extremely obese clients, orthopedic rehabilitation. We also see many clients 1:1 for sports and dance specific programs to enhance performance, as well as goal specific programs like running a marathon or preparing for a big mountain hike.

What is involved in a 'Masterclass'?

I started the Masterclass series last year and received great feedback. They each run for 1.5 hours and focus on different themes to help Pilates clients delve deeper into their understanding of Pilates exercises. I have focused on condition-specific classes to address neck and headaches and low back pain. I have also run classes to prepare for hiking and walking holidays, learning about the muscular slings of the body, the top 10 Pilates exercises and ways to improve technique in performing these exercises, as well as standing Pilates, flexibility, and the toughest class around…The Pilates Challenge!

How often do you hold events?

We now offer Wellbeing events like our wellbeing day where guest speakers talk about all aspects of health and wellbeing. We have in the past hosted Wine and Cheese nights in the studios for our clients. Most years I take a group of clients to the ballet, and last year we ran our first Pilates Retreat in Bali. Nice perk with running this kind of business!

What does the next 5 years look like for your studio?

Consolidation of practices and team. We have experienced a lot of growth and change over the past 2 years and are happy now with the size of the business and what direction we are taking. I am now moving into a full leadership role with no clinical work which will leave me more time to mentor my physios and have time to focus on PPP’s strategic direction. Having said that, I can’t imagine ever not teaching so I’ll be like Where’s Wally, doing little cameos for classes when physios are away on holiday!



Stirling Studio

39 Mount Barker Road
Stirling SA 5152

(08) 8339 3188


Parkside Studio

86 Glen Osmond Road
Parkside SA 5063

(08) 8271 3144


St. Peters Studio


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