Combining Pilates and Sports Training to Maximize Performance

Keeping fit and healthy calls for maintaining balance. It’s well-known that a strength training program should be accompanied by an aerobic exercise to help build stamina and strengthen the cardiovascular system. Exercise routines that concentrate on only one set of muscles need to be accompanied by exercises that work out other muscles.

What is sports training?

Sports training or sports-specific training is an exercise regime designed to improve an athlete’s performance in a given sport. Many such regimes emphasize stamina, flexibility and strength. They also concentrate on attributes needed to perform a sport at an elite level. For example, swinging a golf club calls for both good balance and strength, so a golfer’s exercise program would emphasize those needs. A tennis player needs strong arms and good reflexes, so their program would focus on those attributes.

A sports training program would also teach the athlete about the game itself. The trainer would also help the athlete train or practice at the optimal pace to ensure their fitness and readiness for game days.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a form of exercise that emphasizes conditioning and strengthening the core muscles to improve flexibility, balance, and posture. Practitioners perform exercises involving the lower back, abdomen, hips and thighs. During a typical routine, the athlete could perform 25 to 50 repetitions of a given exercise.

Pilates reminds some people of yoga or calisthenics. Many of the exercises are done on a mat while others require a piece of equipment called the reformer. It resembles a wooden bed frame with a flat carriage the athlete lies, sits, kneels or stands on. Shoulder blocks help keep the athlete stay in the proper place. The reformer also has a set of leather straps.

For all its virtues, Pilates is not an aerobic exercise and should, therefore, be paired with an aerobic exercise like biking or swimming to get the best results.

How can Pilates help an athlete with sports training?

Pilates provides balance. Some athletes, like golfers or tennis players, use one side of the body a lot more than they use the other. Eventually, the muscles on the dominant side become much stronger than the muscles on the other side, resulting in imbalance.

That imbalance can lead to overtraining injuries. Pilates works both sides of the body, and the exercises can be tailored to strengthen the weaker side and relax the overworked side.

Pilates strengthens the core muscles and thus gives the athlete a strong foundation. All athletes, no matter what their sport, need strong core muscles. A strong core provides stamina and enables the athlete to move efficiently.

Also, strong, well-balanced muscles are less susceptible to injury. A Pilates program can reduce the number of injuries an athlete might suffer and, therefore, gives them more time to train.

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Contact Zero Gravity Fitness today to see how combining Pilates and sports training can benefit you.