Much is made these days of core stability training and most people endeavour to incorporate some core work into their training or fitness programmes. Indeed many successful sports teams have been reported to incorporate Pilates and Pilates based exercises into their training schedule to improve their performance and gain a sporting edge. Why?
Pilates exercises, correctly taught, will isolate the deep abdominal muscles, training these to stabilise the pelvis and spine and strengthen the core, as they are designed to, freeing other muscles to focus on their own specific task. In order to obtain this correct muscle recruitment you need to breathe correctly using the lower lodes of the lungs, which will also improve focus and concentration, as well as improve body awareness and posture. These benefits are all valuable contributors to sporting success.
Many sports such as cricket, golf and tennis, are predominantly one sided which can lead to muscular imbalance, which if left unchecked can not only affect your game but also impact on everyday movement quality. Pilates exercises performed well and regularly, will assist in rebalancing your body by strengthening the weaker muscles and stretching the tight muscles. Pilates exercises can also increase joint mobility by stretching and lengthening muscles and thereby creating space in the joints of the hips, shoulders and vertebra of the spine and allowing greater flexibility and also reducing the risk of injury by allowing the body to more freely, smoothly and with greater control.
It has probably taken many years for these postural changes to take effect, and they cannot be expected to change overnight, however, the benefits of Pilates can be felt within a few weeks.
“In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 you will see the difference, and in 30 you’ll have a whole new body.”
Joseph H Pilates
Potential benefits of regular Pilates exercises include;
- Reduced risk of injury
- Better and quicker recovery after injury or surgery
- Improved flexibility, posture and movement quality
- Increased core stability & strength
- Enhanced endurance