- Concentration on specific body parts:
At Beyond, our pilates instructors choose exercises specific to your goals and the sport that you play. We are able to target specific muscles and strengthen areas which are at risk of injury. For example, a common injury in cyclists and rowers is low back pain. In pilates you strengthen your pelvic floor, deep gluteal and abdominal muscles. This gives you a stable platform when you apply force in your pedal or stroke and helps prevent injury from unnecessary strain on your lower back.
- Balanced muscle development:
In sport there are always groups of muscles that work more than others. This can lead to muscle imbalances and as a result, an increased risk of injury. Pilates targets incorrect movement patterns, correcting them and strengthening muscles evenly. This means that opposing muscle groups are able to support each other, reducing the risk of overuse and injury.
- Strengthening muscles through their full range of motion:
Our Pilates machines use springs to apply resistance and support. The springs maintain tension and allow you to strengthen the muscle through its full range of motion. A muscle that is strong through its full range of motion is much more stable than a muscle that is only strong in certain points. Take hamstrings in football for instance. Hamstrings are strongest in their mid range of motion. This means that movements such as kicking and sprinting which require muscle contraction at the weaker end ranges of motion have an increased injury risk. You can use Pilates to decrease this risk by strengthening hamstrings through their full range of motion.
- Body awareness:
Pilates teaches you awareness of where your body is in space. You learn what certain movements should look and feel like as well as the difference between feeling challenged by an exercise or experiencing pain from an exercise. This body control and understanding enables you to correct movements and technique in sport such as making corrections to your golf swing or tennis serve. This increased body awareness and understanding can reduce the risk of injury in your sport.
Have you ever been mid race or game and realised you’ve been holding your breath? In Pilates, you learn to follow the breath. You inhale to prepare and exhale with movement or exertion. This connection between breathing and movement reduces injury risk by assisting with pelvic floor and abdominal activation, giving you stability through the movement.