Pilates for Athletes

Whether you are a seasoned professional athlete or a weekend warrior, if you swing a racquet or jump for a ball, Pilates can be the perfect complement to improve your game. Many professional athletes swear by Pilates as part of their sports training to help extend their careers and keep them injury free.

Pilates’ integration of the trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle and emphasis on proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment and smooth flowing movement allow athletes to access each part of the body individually, and become familiar with the functional mechanics.

One- sided sports, such as baseball, golf and volleyball can create imbalance in the body. Pilates helps to balance out the body against the forces of the swing. It helps to create less torque in the spine because you learn to swing from your center and not from your limbs.

BASKETBALL:

Lebron James, Jason Kidd, Kobe Bryant, Greg Oden, Ben Gordon, Lebron, Michael Jordon, Nazr Mohammed, and Juwan Howard.

“I do Pilates and yoga to stay in front of the curve. I feel like it’s helping me. Does it work for everybody? I don’t know. I’m not a guru on how to be in the best condition. Let me sit here and tell you that. But it works for me.” – LeBron James, Miami Heat

“Pilates has been great for my core and will help my strength when I’m down low in the post. Other guys won’t be able to move me off a spot easily.” – Greg Oden, Portland Trail Blazers

 

BASEBALL:

James Loney, Curt Schilling and the Milwaukee Brewers.

“The first three weeks, I was really disappointed. I wasn’t sweating. I wasn’t winded, which is what I associate with true exercise. Then in the fourth week I started to understand the Pilates terminology, the idea of working from your center. By the third month I was more powerful and flexible than ever before. And I’d lost 15 pounds.” – Curt Schilling

 

FOOTBALL:

R.W. McQuarters, Ruben Brown, Rodney Harrison, Calvin Johnson, Al Wallace, the Detroit Lions, the Green Bay Packers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders.

“Pilates has helped me stay on the field and off the training table.” – R.WMcQuarters. New York Giants.

Dara Torres (Olympic Swimmer ,3 World Records, 13 National titles, 9 Olympic Metals – 4 of which are Gold!)

“In swimming, speed comes directly from the core, so Pilates helps immensely!” –Dara Torres)

Natalie Coughlin (gold medalist swimmer)

Sasha Cohen (US Champion Figure Skater and Olympic Silver Medalist)

US Downhill Ski Team

Gabrielle Reese (Beach Volleyball World Campion)

Sarah Martin (Gold Medalist, US Dressage)

 

GOLFERS:

Tiger Woods, Rocco Mediate, Rich Beem, Charles Nardello, Annika Sorenstam, David Duval, Kelli Kuehne, Andrew McGee, Grace Park and Carin Koch.

Mediate gives Pilates credit for major improvements in his game.

Mediate has since got rid of his weights and has completely outfitted his workout room with Pilates equipment.!

“Pilates has helped me stay on the field and off the training table.”

– R.WMcQuarters. New York Giants.

*Pittsburg Steelers

Venus Williams (7-time Wome’s Tennis Grand Slam Winner)

 

PILATES FOR SKIING

Skiing involves balance in motion. In skiing, you are concerned with transitional balance, or the ability to keep your balance in between movements. As such, training programs using the Pilates Equipment are ideal for skiing because they incorporate dynamic balance challenges while enhancing fluidity of movement. The exercises and instruction within a pilates equipment session, focus on principles of ski and snowboarding form, technique, and demands, as well as providing important muscle coordination and strengthening to prevent compensations and injuries.

 

SKIERS AND KNEE INJURIES

Skiers run the risk of many different injuries, but particularly in the knees. We have seen tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and the meniscus. Pilates helps skiers really focus on a dynamic and full range of motion and hamstring strengthening, which can help balance overused quads as well as serve as back up for the ACL. Exercises that emphasize the adductors can help a skier’s recovery from catching an edge or keeping the skis under the center of the body, thus reducing the stress on passive structures such as the MCL. In addition, closed chain exercises (where the foot is in contact with bar/strap/board/floor) can help simulate proper muscle recruitment and timing, as well as provide functional applicable movements for skiing. Using specific exercises to focus on VMO (vastus medialis oblique of the quadriceps) and gluteus medius are important for proper patella (knee cap) tracking and stability of the knee and hip joints.

SKIERS AND LOWER BACK INJURIES

Another area we see injured or overused a lot in skiing is the lower back. Injuries here often result from poor core stabilization or fatigue. Often the hip or lower extremity moves and then the pelvis and lumbar spine follow. This increases the stress on the spine and can cause unnecessary muscle imbalances, compensations. Rapid motion of the trunk requires increased energy as efficiency of movement is lost and speed of fatigue is gained. In Pilate’s class, we help individuals gain control of trunk stability to maximize their extremity mobility and efficiency, by teaching them proper abdominal recruitment.

Our pilates equipment classes can take your skiing to the next level!