Pilates for Sports Performance

Pilates enhances sports performance, reduces the severity and occurrence of injury and gives longevity to your sporting career (ask Ryan Giggs)! Often described as an “hour of physio” a Pilates session will include many recognisable exercises, clients often mention that their physio has had them doing several of the exercises we practice regulalry.

Conditioning the body

Many people flock to Pilates for help with pain and injury recovery, but the benefits for athletes are huge. Whether a professional athlete or playing sports at the weekend and training around work, Pilates should be a part of your conditioning training.

With the majority of top tier professional sports people having some form of Pilates work integrated into their training, it is not surprising that many have become advocates for this technique of conditioning the body.

Benefits of Pilates

Pilates strengthens the core, improving power generation aiding explosive movement while safeguarding the spine.

Pilates improves mobility, ensuring you can move through a greater range of motion with control and strength, again aiding power generation and avoiding injuries. Helping with freer movement.

Pilates balances the body and improves muscular function and efficiency – life and sports, through repetitive action, build imbalances in the body which can lead to injury and pain as well as inefficient movement, wasted energy and limited performance.

It’s a shame that this does not filter down well to the “weekend warriors”, at least not until injury strikes but I am hoping to change this and have been working with a number of non-professional sports teams to try to raise awareness and provide short regular routines which can help.

The biggest personal improvement for me was my box jump which is remarkably higher now, in my mid-thirties, than it was 10 years ago before my back issues even began. A combination of improved power generation from a truly strong core, hip mobility and balance have enabled me to add around 15cm to my best box jump comfortably.

In rugby I also noticed how my side-step improved, not to say at any point it was ever good, but it improved! I battled with regular calf and hamstring strains which could be absolute agony, whether it was getting sniped with sudden hamstring pulls on the rugby pitch, or a gradual build up of pain in my calf on a short run to the point where I had to limp home, all of these things went away with regular Pilates practice.

If you are suffering an injury and want to keep moving but are struggling to find anything you can do which does not aggravate your injury, I would recommend Pilates as you have complete control of what level you go to, when you rest and we always have a work around or alternative exercise to help manage injuries. As Pilates is a controlled, precise technique you are unlikely to suddenly cause more damage. Pilates was key in my recovery from a bicep tendon rupture and has helped me come back from this injury very quickly.

My public group sessions are mixed ability and relevant whether you have pain and injury or whether you want to safeguard or improve your performance. More challenging sports specific sessions can be provided for sports teams or individual sports people on arrangement.

I’ve been through the pain of several serious injuries, battled with back pain and as I have a sports background with rugby, martial arts, weight training, running and swimming, I understand the need to continue to perform in sport which I also still do now. Making me the ideal instructor for you.

Please reach out if you would like to discuss your specific circumstances, I’d love to hear from you.

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