Pilates – can do more than you might think
Pilates conditioning is not just about getting a flat stomach or looking good. In fact, contrary to what many people think, it is a far more challenging discipline than it appears at first glance. If it is done properly and with proper supervision, it is an excellent full body workout. As such, it has great potential as a way to prepare the body for a variety of different sports.
Let’s take a closer look at why it is so good, and how the different forms of Pilates can help.
Pilates Conditioning and its benefits for sport
Getting fit for a specific sport usually comes with its own individual requirements. However, for most of not all active sports, there are some key areas of conditioning that are common throughout.
Think of a sport and the chances are it will involve all of the following to different degrees, power, strength, speed, balance, agility, coordination, and endurance.
You need more endurance to run a marathon than to throw the discus, but it is only the balance of these components that differ. To be properly prepared for any sport you shouldn’t overlook the key cornerstones of fitness.
And that is why Pilates is so beneficial in your sports preparation. It truly is an all over body conditioning workout. And it is deceptive, it takes a lot more strength and power to perform exercises well than you might think.
Also, the moves in Pilates tend to be long and flowing, which means that your muscles and joints practise moving through the full range of motion.
Injuries can occur when strength and flexibility are only built through a partial range of motion. That’s why traditional weight training isn’t always the complete answer to building strength for example.
Examples of how Pilates can help with sport
Pilates can be massively beneficial for skiers. It can help you to gain control of trunk stability which will help maximise the mobility of your extremities. It teaches proper abdominal recruitment which is crucial for good balance and coordination. When you are skiing, the hip or lower extremity move first and then the pelvis and lumbar spine follow. This can create a lot of pressure on the spine. With Pilates conditioning, it can be a helpful way to stave off injury.
The advantages of Pilates for cyclists are numerous. Cycling is very much a sport revolved around power output and endurance. And it is critically important for cyclists to preserve energy. Pilates targets the core muscles that help stabilise the rider on the bike, keeping the spine in a stable position whilst the limbs move By improving core strength, cyclists can increase their power output.
Even runners can benefit from Pilates conditioning. Many runners have taken to mat-based Pilates, as it is a gentle, low-impact, strength workout that has been shown to help ease low back pain. Pilates can also encourage runners to properly stretch and rebalance muscles and joints that they are often too fatigued to do properly at the end of a long run.
If you haven’t done so yet, why not give Pilates a go and see how it can help with your sport.
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