Improve your sporting performance with Pilates

5th October 2016

Improve your sporting performance with Pilates
Pilates is a great way for Athletes and other professional sports people to improve their performance. One of the most relevant examples of this is Tennis star Andy Murray.

It's well documented that Murray added Pilates to his training routine a few years ago, following a series of injuries that required him to have back surgery.

Since then he's gone on to have a lot of success on the court and he has self-admitted that the changes to his training regime have played a huge part in that. He's not the athlete, nor is Tennis the only sport, that has benefited from Pilates.

Golfers such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have turned to it to not only fight back from injury, but help to prolong their careers.

Why is Pilates for athletes so beneficial?

There's a whole host of reasons why Pilates can make a difference. Not only is it a great way of recovering from injuries, but it's also a great addition to a regular training plan.

A Pilates workout strengthens the body's core muscles and this is the main reason people practice it. It works the deep abdominal muscles and the ones surrounding the spine. Having good muscular strength is a crucial part of performance. The stronger you are, the faster you become and you generate more endurance. Similarly, stronger body means less chance of injury.

Pilates also increases flexibility. Most physical workouts bulk your body, but Pilates also stretches the muscles which consequently lengthens them. This increases joint and muscle mobility. A body with better muscular balance is less susceptible to injuries. Muscular imbalance is a common cause of injury, particularly back pain. Pilates will deliver a more balanced workout, which improves physical performance and comfort when undertaking basic tasks.

Pilates itself is very low risk and this is another reason why it is popular. There is nothing worse than suffering a setback when you're nearing full strength. Once you have learnt the basics, the body begins moving in a safer way and by nature, Pilates is pretty gentle anyway.

Andy Murray, a Pilates enthusiast, discussed his training last year after winning the French Open title: “I had a pilates teacher come over from America. She came over to Barcelona so I did a lot more work on my movement and my range of motion in my body. I feel physically much healthier with my back than I did at this time last year. It's not just that - my tennis has been good as well - but it's been a big, big factor for me."

Injury rehabilitation Pilates classes

Pilates is a great way of strengthening after an injury, in particular muscular and back injuries.

Back Pain

Medical experts now suggest Pilates for treating back pain. By strengthening the core muscles around the spine through resistant work out – e.g. a Pilates reformer – you can regain strength and added suppleness. Improved flexibility will also decrease the likelihood of recurring injury.

Muscular Injuries

Muscle injuries are usually due to imbalance. Pilates can help work the whole body and balance out muscular strength. Muscular endurance that is gained will then allow the body to cope with more rigorous physical activity.

How to find a pilates class in your area

Pilates isn't just for athletes, anyone can use it to their benefit. Especially those people suffering from back pain, neck ache or joint stiffness.

Pilates is also great if you're pregnant, or if you've just had a child. Prenatal pilates classes in particular can make the journey through pregnancy a lot more comfortable.

To find a pilates class, you can use Pilates Near You. There are thousands of classes all around the States being offered by qualified Pilates Instructors and Pilates Studios. Simply search on our homepage using your location and you'll be able to find classes in your area. Once you find a suitable class, simply leave an enquiry with the instructor.

If you are recovering from an injury or want it to treat an ongoing injury, it's best to talk to the instructor first, because they can tailor a session to your needs. Alternatively, if it's a serious injury, it could be worth speaking to your doctor to ensure Pilates is a suitable activity.