Christina Fell is founder of The Proud Project W4, an all-new Pilates studio coming soon to London’s Chiswick High Street, which offers a wide range of Reformer Pilates and other exercise classes. Here, she looks at how Pilates strengthens sporting performance.
Pilates originated in the early 1920s for the purpose of rehabilitation, by developing a system of exercises that strengthened both mind and body. Fast forward to today, and we have seen many people flock to this discipline for its science-backed benefits, including athletes for its impact on sporting performance.
Whether sport is a hobby or a professional career, Pilates should be a core part of your conditioning programme - and these are just some of the reasons why:
● Power Generation - One of the key benefits of Pilates is increased core stability, meaning that we are able to utilise the deep stabiliser muscles to generate power, even when off-balance. A strong trunk can help generate power in unorthodox positions and assist with energy transference
● Injury Prevention/Recovery - Injuries are extremely common and costly in the world of sport, but quite often the cause of these can be unavoidable. Injuries caused by imbalances, inflexibility and weaknesses can be avoided by regular sessions that focus on these contributing factors. Pilates can also be a great tool during rehabilitation from injury
● Increased efficiency and control - Control is paramount in Pilates, specifically when using the reformer [machine]. It offers athletes more feedback to help build awareness around positioning and form than traditional weight or mat-based workouts. It is designed to teach the body to move optimally which is advantageous for endurance, with its focus on functional strength and flexibility which will assist in the conservation of energy
● Balance the body - Sport which requires the use of the same muscles, to be used the same way, repeatedly can strengthen the muscles in one way (for example, straight ahead) but not the other (for example, bending/twisting) making the body more susceptible to injury. Pilates moves the body in all planes and orientations, which strengthens any underused muscles reducing the risk of injury, as well as increasing efficiency when switching to movements
Pilates can benefit recreational and professional athletes focusing on strength, alignment and flexibility. It assists in refining your sport and offers the body and mind added awareness that is beneficial to any sporting activity. The increase in sedentary lifestyles also means that bodies are becoming weaker, less mobile and more imbalanced. Pilates can help reduce the damage of our behaviours over mobiles and computers to enable you to play the sports you love, to the best of your ability.
The Proud Project W4 is all about a community journey which aims to strengthen its members' bodies, confidence and knowledge on movement, by offering different types of exercises, suitable for everyone, at all levels. Launching July 2022 with a range of exclusive offers. For more information or to book a class and experience some of these benefit, visit www.theproudproject.co.uk
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