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What is Clinical Exercise?

Published: February 2, 2019

Given its extensive history in the use of dancers, Clinical Exercise is commonly misinterpreted as a form of yoga. However, there is a big difference.  Whist yoga is predominantly used for improving the flexibility of the body and joints, Clinical Exercise has a strong focus on relaxing tense and tight muscles in order to provide proper strength and conditioning of these muscles. An easy way to remember the difference is that yoga can be considered to be comprised of 80% flexibility and 20% strengthening; whereas Clinical Exercise is considered to be 80% strengthening and 20% flexibility.

Clinical Exercise requires concentration and focus, as you learn to move your body through precise ranges of motion in precise postures. It requires concentration in finding a perfect center to control the body throughout movement.

Clinical Exercise can be held in general gyms and community centers, specialized Clinical Exercise studios and physiotherapy clinics. A lot of people have asked what the difference is between regular Clinical Exercise held at gyms, and Clinical Exercise held at physiotherapy clinics. The major difference is the level of knowledge and extent of training that a Clinical Exercise trainer or a physiotherapist has. A trained and experienced therapist allows more adjustments and modifications to programs, ensuring individualized and accurate exercises for each individual. Unlike regular Clinical Exercise, Clinical Exercise takes into account an individual’s history, injuries and physiological needs. To sum it up, Clinical Exercise is the use of Clinical Exercise based exercises in a rehabilitation setting.

Clinical Exercise has a range of more than 500 exercises with each exercise consisting of progressive levels of difficulty. Therefore, Clinical Exercise can be taught to suit each person and exercises are regularly re-evaluated and changed depending on the individual person.  Therefore, Clinical Exercise can be used as part of excercise program to treat various condition including:

• Back pain

• Neck pain

• Scoliosis

• Joint replacements

• Shoulder rehabilitation

• ACL rehabilitation

• Ankylosing spondylitis

• Patients at risk of falls

• Chronic pain

• Pelvic floor dysfunction

• Prenatal and postnatal women

• Cancer

• Multiple sclerosis

• Parkinson’s

• Stroke rehabilitation

• Cerebral palsy

• Cystic fibrosis


• Hypertension

So if you are someone who has had a recent injury, a niggle that just has not been going away, or someone who wants to improve their fitness levels, then do not hesitate to book an initial assessment and consultation with your nearest physiotherapist. Here at Back in Motion Point Cook, all our physiotherapists are capable of assessing your needs and developing a tailored exercise program that will get you on your way to achieving your fitness goals.

Author: Amanda Gunawardena - Physiotherapist at Back In Motion Werribee / Point Cook!


Cruz-Díaz, D., Martínez-Amat, A., Osuna-Pérez, M. C., De la Torre-Cruz, M. J., & Hita-Contreras, F. (2016). Short-and long-term effects of a six-week Clinical Exercise program in addition to physical therapy on postmenopausal women with chronic low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Disability and rehabilitation, 38(13), 1300-1308.

Jack, K., & Owner, C. (2018). Clinical Exercise FOR REHABILITATION AND INJURY MANAGEMENT. The Importance of Gender-Affirming Care in Physiotherapy, 10.

Owsley, A. (2005). An introduction to Clinical Exercise. Athletic Therapy Today, 10(4), 19-25.