Have you ever noticed that some athletes, like Olympians for instance, seem to have a superhuman ability to maintain their edge? Of course, even top athletes really are human. Like you, they fear injury, they become frustrated with poor performance, and they get depressed by their recovery time. So, how do athletes stay in the game?
Fortunately, Pilates for athletes provides solutions to these problems and frustrations, and it can help you, too. But how is Pilates for athletes special?
1. Pilates Strengthens Athletic Performance
Every Pilates exercise begins at the center of the body – the core. Affectionately called the “powerhouse” in the Pilates Method, the core stretches through your torso from your shoulders to your hips. Strong body alignment and centering originates in your “powerhouse.” Your limbs respond to your core energy, synchronizing, harmonizing, and actualizing your best performance. This complex system of muscles supports the entire body and impacts your performance as an athlete tenfold. There’s a reason it’s called the “core” and if you concentrate on moving from your core, you can reduce injury, focus your strength, and power through your game.
2. Pilates Increases Power and Confidence
Is a nagging injury keeping you sidelined from your favorite activity? There’s nothing like searing back pain to deflate your confidence and rob you of your power to perform. Even an injured toe can take an athlete down for the count. Use Pilates to help you stay in the game! Energy from your core connects movement patterns through your arms and legs. Debilitating injury can occur when those connections misfire. Pilates re-patterns your movements, prevents injury, and reduces pain.
3. Pilates Engages Breathing Techniques
We all know how to breathe, right? Chances are most of us are doing it incorrectly. Most of us hold our breath under stressful conditions and many of us fail to take even a few deep breaths throughout our day, robbing our bodies of much-needed fresh oxygen. Proper breathing is extremely important during exercise because it supports your spine, oxygenates your blood, muscles and brain, and sharpens your concentration.
The Pilates breath technique requires you to inhale deeply as you extend your spine and limbs, and exhale completely as you flex your spine and limbs. Breathe with your entire powerhouse and fire up your whole body!
4. Pilates Coordinates Strength and Mobility
Do you want to run faster but find yourself tripping over your feet? Do you want to be stronger, or more flexible? Disaster can strike without the balance between strong muscles and mobile joints. Within each Pilates exercise you strengthen and stretch, coordinating your body through a controlled range of motion. With Pilates, you can release your joints and decompress your spine, increase your strength, and support your flow. With this coordination of movements, you can build confidence in your performance abilities.
5. Pilates Reduces Recovery Time
Chronic pain can be extremely frustrating. When you’re plagued with a healing treatment that drags on and on, you may find yourself getting depressed that you can’t perform as you once did in the field or in the gym. You feel valuable training time slipping by with each rest day. You fear you may never regain your performance or even more importantly, your joy. The balance, breathing, and coordination you learn with Pilates empowers you to calmly move through these discomforts with less risk of injury. Becoming more mindful of your movements allows you to make the connections between your mind and your body more quickly, catching those sneaky injuries before they become bigger problems.
Staying competitive in your sport may seem like a superhuman feat. However, if you strategize like a smart athlete and engage in Pilates exercises, you can stay in the game and at the top of your personal game. You deserve your best performance and Pilates keeps athletes, and gym-goers alike, exercising smart.
At the Village we’re here to help you meet and exceed your fitness goals! Stop by for a VIP Trial Membership and meet with a personal trainer to see how you can take steps towards a healthier you. Check out our class schedule to see if one of our over 130 classes is right for you.
About the Author:
Joan Kramer has worked in the fitness industry since 1982. She became a Pilates trainer in 1997 and brings a variety of health and fitness experience into each session. Her personal athletic accomplishments began with ballet, expanded into competitive roller skating and additional forms of dance, and continue with hiking, cycling, and ballroom dance. She teaches seniors, athletes, youth, maternity and rehabilitating clients.
Joan believes that everyone can accomplish fitness goals with safety and efficiency while having fun.