Pilates is a whole-body exercise system that can develop strength, functional coordination, and balance in athletes wanting to improve their skills. Mat-based Pilates is a series of exercises performed on the floor using gravity and your own body weight to provide resistance. The main aim is to condition the deeper, supporting muscles of your body to improve posture, balance and coordination. By engaging in Pilates core exercises regularly, athletes will create better movement patterns and decrease the chance of re-aggravating old injuries, as well as developing new ones.
1) Increases Body Awareness
As foundation training, Pilates helps athletes improve their movement patterns by engaging the mind to change the body. Helping athletes feel their imbalances and teaching them how to improve them is a key element of Pilates and of mind-body training in general. Small movement and low repetitions allow for focused training targeting smaller areas at a time.
2) Improves Core Strength and Lumbo-Pelvic Stability
Greater stability in the lumbo-pelvic and hip regions can increase flexibility, generate power for throwing or rotational sports, and decrease lower-back pain and injury. A comprehensive Pilates mat program designed to strengthen the trunk in all planes of motion can improve dynamic stability in the core.
3) Helps to Balance the Body
The asymmetrical nature of athlete’s activities can lead to misalignments and strength imbalances on either side of the body. A specifically designed Pilates program can target the neglected side of the body or work on the opposite movement pattern to cross-train the body and improve symmetry.
4) Improves Spinal Health
Pilates may ease pain and improve daily life for those athletes suffering from chronic low-back pain. By strengthening the area around the spine and reducing spinal overload, Pilates can improve the way the body moves taking strain off of lower back.
5) Pilates is a Low Impact Workout
Many of the Pilates exercises are low impact done reclining or sitting. This workout can be done on road trips as no equipment is necessary. A comprehensive mat routine can be completed in 30-40 minutes and can be added on recovery days.