Pilates and Sports People

Many Athlete’s incorporate Pilates into their training schedule, they include footballers, rugby player, runners and ballerinas, Pilates is playing a bigger and bigger role in elite sports. This is our belief at Hartley Heys in the Ribble Valley
Pilates should be part of everyone’s training/exercise programme whether you are a fun runner or elite athlete. Here are a few benefits
1 Reducing the frequency and severity of injuries
By addressing postural issues through Pilates, athletes can avoid many common injuries.
Instability through the pelvis is a common cause of lower back pain. The cause is often postural; an anterior pelvic tilt (in plain English, a tendency to stick the bum out), which is often caused by tight hip flexors. This in turn shortens the lower back muscles and brings the hamstrings into a stretched position, leaving both vulnerable to injuries. Pilates is excellent for releasing the hip flexors, which will help bring the hips in to a more neutral position, and reduce strain through the back and hamstrings.


2. Increased Body Control

Pilates allows you to be aware of the body in space at any one time. The brain has to think about the control of the exercise, stabilising some aspects of the body whilst moving other parts. This feedback helps build awareness of where the limbs are in relation to the rest of the body, and how to correct their position whilst moving. Pilates will also build awareness of which muscles are working and how to activate the ‘correct’ muscles to provide movement and stability.
These motor patterns are fine-tuned through repetition over time, and are directly transferable to the gym, pitch, court course or track.

3 Increased power output

The body cannot generate powerful movements from a position of instability. Increased core stability is one of the key benefits of all Pilates programmes, enabling athletes to channel and maximise their power more effectively.
The extra stability through the hips and core that Pilates develops can allow athletes to generate power from more unorthodox positions. A lot of exercises in Pilates are unilateral, generating strength and control in unstable positions even through an athlete’s ‘weak’ side.


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