Pilates for Athletes
There are many components of Pilates that give athletes an edge in their specific sports. Pilates can enhance your athletic performance whether you are a basketball player, rugby or football player or a weekend warrior. It is not surprising that Joseph Pilates was an athlete himself and participated in skiing, boxing, diving and gymnastics.
"Pilates is controlled movement, which enables athletes to become more attuned with their bodies. It heightens awareness to successfully execute more complex motor patterns," says Lucy.
3 Ways Pilates Improves Sports Performance
1. Implements the Pilates breath pattern, which involves breathing into the lower lobes of the lungs, thus improving lung capacity.
2. Activates core muscles. Pilates emphasizes the strengthening of core muscles in all body positions while moving in all planes of motion. Therefore it becomes innate to activate your core as you perform your sport, which takes stress away from other joints and decompresses the spine. This is also known as dynamic stabilization of the spine, pelvis and peripheral joints, which is vital to preventing injuries and maintaining a long lasting career as an athlete.
3. Balances range of motion with strength. Pilates enables an athlete to obtain the ideal range of motion at each joint while balancing it with strength. This is one reason why Pilates is used to help athletes to recover from injuries. Alignment is compromised in many athletic activities. Lucy works with athletes to develop a specific conditioning program to help them realign their bodies. Pilates also trains athlete to activate specific muscles in the right firing pattern and at the right time. This increases speed, force and power or grace and agility.
Lucy Garcia has been working with athletes for many years including professional golfers, soccer players, swimmers and cyclists. She received an athletic specialist certification through Stott Pilates®, and is also certified in golf instruction from Hole in One Pilates.