Muscles

Pilates Reformer Pilates & Co Gold Coast - pilates is great for athletes

Why Pilates is great for athletes

What professional dancers and performers discovered years ago, athletes and sporting professionals are discovering now. It’s that Pilates is not only a killer workout, it’s one of the best forms of full-body conditioning. And what that translates to is that Pilates is great for athletes – both female and male. We have a number of men who do classes at our studio, and some male instructors too, but we’d love to see more of them complementing their sports training with Reformer Pilates and here’s why…

Research has linked Pilates to better flexibility, increase core stabilisation, higher focus and improved athletic performance. Whether it’s in team sports such as rugby or football, individual sports like tennis and athletics or endurance events, here is why more teams and athletes are making it a key practice in their training regime.

 

Increase core strength

When you start focusing on your core, you will realise that all your muscles are connected. For example, have you tried doing lunges without your abdominals? With a stronger core, the remainder of your workouts will begin to improve. More specifically, deep core strength in the abdominal muscles directly leads to improving the length and flexibility of the hamstring muscles which is vital for increasing speed. Core strength is one of the key benefits of all Pilates programs, enabling athletes to channel and make the most of their power.

 

Better flexibility

Pilates allows you to strengthen while you lengthen. In one Brazilian study, when young women (without any prior Pilates experience) performed 20 Pilates sessions, they became 19 percent more flexible. When you’re tight, you shorten your muscle and limit your body’s range of motion which is needed especially in professional sports.

 

More explosive power

The spring resistance of the Pilates’ reformer and jump board create a great environment for plyometric training. Athletes can learn to rebound and explode with control which is very good in sports such as basketball and netball.  One key to explosive power is the concept of triple extension (the coordinated extension of the ankle, knee and hip). Effective triple extension requires strength, range of motion and timing – all of which can be taught using the reformer in a Pilates class.

 

It hones your focus

Pilates urges you to focus on your breath, your body, and how they move together. It takes a lot of concentration and doesn’t allow you to zone out. That means you’re forced to forget about work, family, kids, partners, and other drama for the duration of the class. A great skill to have in any competitive or solo sport, or in any line of work for that matter.

 

If you’re an athlete who loves Pilates or hasn’t tried it yet, come visit us at the studio or try one of our introductory passes. Even better? Sign up for our next 6-week challenge.

Pilates & Co. Gold Coast Pilates Reformer & Fitness Studio

Using SMR for tight muscles

Feeling tightness in your muscles? SMR (or Self Myofascial Release) could be the answer to relieving those tensions after a workout.

WHAT IS SMR?

SMR stands for Self Myofascial Release and is a form of self-massage that uses equipment like foam rollers and massage balls to target muscles that need some TLC.

Our muscles get tight for many reasons, from overuse, inactivity or injury and this, in turn, creates a muscle imbalance and limited range in the joints associated with them.

PRE- & POST-WORKOUT BENEFITS

Performing SMR pre-workout will release tension in muscles so that you have a full range of motion, getting the very best from your workout. It’s also an amazing tool post workout, combined with an appropriate stretch.

Current research shows that consistency is key when it comes to stretching. As little as 90 seconds of SMR and stretching on each muscle group is all that’s needed to make a change! This is pretty encouraging news if you experience short and tight muscles. The great thing about SMR is that it not only targets your muscles but your fascia (connective tissue), tendons and helps to increase blood flow.

SMR RESULTS

You may experience some muscle soreness the day after SMR, don’t let this discourage you, keep at it! SMR is hands down the simplest and most effective way to get your body mobile and feeling more aligned. Get out that ball and get rolling today or book into one of our Roll & Release classes during our seasonal challenges.

DID YOU KNOW…

  • All it takes is 2 minutes every day to create more flexibility and better mobility.
  • SMR is great pre- and post-workout.
  • If it feels sore, you’re probably in the right spot. Ease the ball or roller around the area until the intensity decreases.
  • Stretching right after SMR allows the muscle to stay lengthened for longer – like a clear coat of lacquer. This is only for post-workout.
  • Consistent SMR and stretching daily is more effective than getting a weekly massage.
  • Allow your muscle to relax while you release and to get deeper by applying more pressure if needed.
  • If you have a tennis ball lying around, it’s a great tool to get you started. Invest in a good lacrosse ball for longevity and density.

Belinda Survilla is the Pilates & Co. studio manager and takes regular classes at the Miami studio, including orientation for new members.