Why Pilates is the Perfect Complement to Your Other Training
All athletes committed to their sport participate in training – to improve performance, to increase strength, to boost stamina, the list goes on.
But many elite sportspeople are beginning to realise the benefits of complementary training to their main sport, and are finding that Pilates ticks all the right boxes to enhance performance.
Whether you’re a runner, a swimmer, a footballer, a golfer or anything in between, keep reading to find out the benefits of incorporating Pilates into your training regimen for your sport.
As we spend so much of our time during the day with our muscles contracted, Pilates is a great way to promote much-needed stretching and flexibility within the muscles for your running.
Pilates also targets the stabilising muscles that support those in use while you run, helping to prevent any muscles from overcompensating for others’ weakness (a leading cause of injury).
Your knees and hips will thank you for incorporating Pilates into your training!
Did you know that the New Zealand All Blacks are advocates for Pilates? As sports that call for flexibility, agility and stability in its most common movements, football, soccer and rugby are all perfect candidates for Pilates training.
The strain of constantly stopping and starting play, the impact of tackling, the stress of jumping and the general fast pace of these sports all put a high demand on the body.
Building foundational support through the trunk, improving flexibility of the muscles and working to build coordination and balance throughout the body can all help to enhance performance of footballers.
As a sport where technique is crucial, swimming shares a lot of similarities with Pilates. Coordination, stamina and control are all key elements of both; and so Pilates can be a great complement to your swimming training.
While there are many physical benefits to Pilates for swimmers – think mobility, alignment and rotation – perhaps the most value from regular practice lies in the breathing techniques.
Breath control plays a central role in Pilates, and through separating your breathwork from your time in the pool, you’ll find you can make greater progress with your breathing overall.
Golf is notorious for working one side of your body quite differently to the other, but aside from heading to the driving range, it can be hard to know how to improve your swing.
That’s where Pilates can help – promoting core strength and flexibility through your hips, regular practice can help to enhance performance on the fairway and increase the length of your drive.
The secret to a good golf swing is actually the opposite of what you might think – it’s not about power or tension at all! In fact, your best swing will come from a completely relaxed stance; you just need the foundational strength to support this in order to hit straighter and more accurately.
For racquet sports
Racquet sports like tennis, squash and badminton combine the one-sided nature of golf with the high impact, high agility elements of sports like football – so they can have a high degree of wear and tear on the body if not supported with complementary training.
As a whole body workout, Pilates can help to build:
Upper body strength to increase the power of your serve
Core strength to improve your stability and build power in your strokes
Flexibility to give you the confidence to reach for challenging shots
Correct mobility to reduce the likelihood of injury
Even if you practice a different sport, you can see that the benefits of Pilates are many and can help to build the necessary foundations of strength, flexibility and stamina needed for just about every physical activity.
Learn more about what you can expect from your first few classes with us here at Return Pilates