Pilates & Athletes
Pilates & Athletes
From weekend warriors to elite professionals, athletes looking for a competitive edge are discovering that Pilates helps you
• Hit the ball farther
• Run faster
• Jump higher
• Correct muscle imbalances
• Prevent injury
Pilates builds a strong core, increases strength and flexibility simultaneously, and improves posture, stability, and alignment. It also emphasizes complete concentration on smooth, flowing movement, and proper breathing. You become acutely aware of how your body feels, where it is in space, and how best to control its movement.
Pilates For Swimming
Swim with better control and faster times – without straining your body.
For swimmers, proper body alignment is critical. Swimmers need to work with the water and the slightest misalignment can cause them to work against it. Much of a swimmer’s training, however, focuses on working the global muscles – or the outside musculature system. It does not work the inside ‘stabilizing’ system. This bilateral imbalance leaves a swimmer open to misalignments which make certain parts of the body work harder than they should. That can add seconds to a competitive time or – even worse – to a variety of tears, pulls or strains.
Swimmers will also see stronger stomach muscles, which are the base of all their movements. For a swimmer a strong core will keep the scapula, shoulders, pelvis, and spine balanced and aligned so that they can lift their arms up and out of the water without the usual straining of the neck muscles, leading to less overall wear and tear on the body and a faster swim.
- Muscles fire correctly leading to more fluid movement
- The body is aligned, leading to less strain on the neck
- Proper mind body control leads to a steadier, faster pace
Pilates For Running
Run faster and farther with less chance of injury.
Whether you’re a competitive runner or jogger trying to shed a few pounds, running is an easy way to keep in great cardiovascular shape. But your body can take a beating – and develop asymmetries. Body asymmetries originate in poor body mechanics, causing certain muscles to become overused (a common trait in runners), while others become underused. This can result in lower back pain, hip bursitis and knee problems. It can also lead to a wide variety of tears, strains and pulls.
Pilates exercise creates a stronger, more flexible spine and core, and promotes faster recovery from strains or injuries. For a runner, posture is key to success and posture is dependent on a strong core. Pilates develops a strong core by supporting and strengthening the muscles of the torso, hips shoulders and pelvis. It enables you to focus on where your head and neck are in relation to the spine and pelvis, resulting in more efficient movement and less chance of injury.
Pilates is proven to build up the back muscles evenly, elongate and align the spine, expand the diaphragm, and increase range of motion in the hips and shoulders.
For runners this means:
- More efficiently move uphill with a stabilized musculature
- More efficient downhill with a stronger and more balanced sciatic area
- Decreased tightening of the neck, head, and shoulders
- Increased oxygenation and stamina with a diaphragm that can fully expand
- Decreased fatigue with less strain on the body
- Reduced times because you move more efficiently
- Pain-free running!
Pilates For Golf
Pilates helps golfers hit the ball farther, straighter, with more accuracy and less chance of injury. Whether twisting the body on a drive, squatting down to measure a putt or leaning over to pick up a ball, golfers are constantly torquing their bodies and using repetitive movements. As a result, some muscles become overused and others weaken, causing imbalances.
Muscle imbalances can affect the legs, hips, arms, shoulders, and the lower back. It can also affect your game, particularly for those over the age of 50. Your drives may be shorter and less accurate, your stamina may decrease, and the potential for debilitating strains, pulls and tears becomes much higher. Many golfers – from weekend warriors to the game’s elite golf professionals – are using Pilates as an essential training tool that keeps the body in balance and helps improves performance.
Pilates is based on movement from the center of the body, as are most shots in golf. It strengthens the center of the body, also known as the core (the trunk, shoulder girdles and pelvis). Core strength can improve hip rotation, range of motion in the shoulders and back stability leading to more powerful and accurate golf shots.
Pilates helps golfers to build back muscles evenly, elongate and align the spine for better stability, strengthen abdominals “core” muscles, increase range of motion in hips and shoulders and enhance concentration through focused breathing.
Performance benefits of Pilates for golfers include:
• Attain an optimal backswing and follow-through with increased range of motion in shoulders
• Get more distance and power because of added hip and torso flexibility
• Create a smoother and more powerful swing due to evenly conditioned back muscles
• Maximize balance and alignment while rotating
• Hold a body position long enough to play through a shot
• Play golf without pain!
Pilates For The Equestrian
The types of exercise, the amount (and quality) of sitting you do at work, etc. – these and more directly affects how you function on a horse. Imbalances develop over time, based on physiology, posture and lifestyle. Resulting asymmetries greatly affect movement and alignment, resulting in impediments like rounded shoulders, curving in the lower back and tight hamstrings.
Pilates exercises increase your body awareness and improve flexibility, balance, and strength to facilitate an optimal riding experience. Pilates helps equestrians to lengthen the spine and strengthen the core, which stabilizes the body in movement; sculpts a stronger body with increased flexibility, strength, and balance; and creates a deeper seat and enhances the suppleness of the lower back.
Benefits of Pilates for riders include:
- Freely move arms and legs around a stable base
- Stability and strength to hold jumping form
- Better absorb a horse’s movement
- Increase comfort during and after your ride
- Maintain a neutral pelvis so you can easily follow your horse’s movements