For some people Pilates is their only choice of exercise. Reasons for this are many and varied but usually have to do with the customisability of the method and other forms of movement not being the appropriate choice. One of the many great things about Pilates is that it is an excellent choice to compliment sport and exercise.
Penny Latey says in her 2001 article Pilates “can be applied safely to both fit and unfit people, and ranges from post-trauma rehabilitation to fitness for the ordinary or elderly body; and can be extended to the fine-tuning of elite athletes and dancers.”
Cross training and conditioning is important for injury prevention and maintaining longevity in sport. Added benefits include increased motivation, flexibility, coordination, mental wellbeing and decreased recovery time. Read our previous article on how Pilates and exercise benefits mental wellbeing.
Pilates is part of many elite athlete’s training program. Examples include ballet dancers, AFL teams, golfers, tennis players, soccer players and more. One study found that Pilates increased hamstring flexibility in soccer players much more than regular static stretching. Another study looked at Pilates for tennis players and found that there was “an effect on the tennis player’s ability to reach the ball in parallel and cross-strokes in time and to be able to recover in order to be ready for the next shot.”
Pilates isn’t just about the core, although that is a huge part of it, it also works the intrinsic muscles, the ones that support the joints. It is designed to work muscles and joints in their full capacity and full range of motion building on strength, balance and coordination. Using the equipment, Pilates instructors can replicate almost any movement encountered in sport.
Mixing different types of activity prepares the body and mind to cope in any situation and helps keep motivation up. Training hard and fast in any one discipline may eventually lead to burnout as well as biases and imbalances in the body.
So if you’re working towards a new PB, a personalised studio Pilates program might be a great option to get you to that goal sooner.
Comment below if you have any questions regarding your training program.