… or, injury prevention through Pilates!
Imagine being tumbled by a big wave, and rolled, pushed and pulled by the power of the ocean. Flexible ligaments, tendons, and muscles lengthen and shorten, but are less likely to tear. A strong and flexible spine will twist and bend without breaking. Balance and coordination get you on your feet and alert more quickly.
Forces on the field can be just as intense and preventing injury should be a key part of any preseason, off-season, or in-season program! Preventing injuries now may give you a longer career in a sport you love and a longer career in life free from pain.
As athletes, we practice Pilates to develop our ‘powerhouse’, or the center of the body, the ‘core’, the hara, and all our intrinsic core stabilizers. The muscles that lift and strengthen our spine and support our pelvis allow us to use our backs, legs, and arms to maximum athletic advantage while minimizing injury potential. When the powerhouse is strong, everything becomes easier!
Rowers come to the catch with greater control and have a stronger pull. Field athletes are more likely to survive scrimmages with joints intact. Basketball, soccer, and tennis players’ legs absorb more shock and have greater control for each impact and balance for lateral moves. Running, lifting weights, swinging a bat or a golf club with a stable, protected spine, and strong torso and hips give athletes every advantage in their sport. Pilates increases athletes’ range of motion and their ability to control explosive movements.
Balance and coordination are also key principles of Pilates. Muscles and nerves – which translate to strength and agility – develop a smooth integration of purpose through control and awareness as the mind and body come together.
Another key benefit of Pilates for athletes is accelerated recovery. The demands of sport require crosstraining to avoid repetitive stress injuries. Most professional and elite athletes know this and enjoy downtime activities. Pilates is the perfect adjunct activity to any sport, because it only develops, it doesn’t destroy! Look into mat classes and consider a series of private sessions to get on the right track. Tell the studio that you are an athlete and what your injury prevention goals are.
As an ACE certified personal trainer I include Pilates principles and exercises in every workout. As a weightlifter, practicing Pilates has helped my lifting. As a massage therapist and Certified Authentic Pilates instructor I recommend and teach Pilates privately, and at the following studios; Art of Control at Purchase College www.artofcontrol.com, Pilates Studio of Fairfield www.pilatesstudiofairfield.com Other youth and adult training venues that incorporate the principles of injury prevention through better preparation are www.connecticutweightlifting.com, for Olympic style Weightlifting, and Norwalk River Rowing Association www.norwalkriverrowing.com.
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