Many people have been exposed to the benefits of Pilates within the injured population, but what about those of us who have strong healthy bodies, and participate in sport? Including Pilates as a cross training tool can definitely increase sports specific performance, with some of the elite athletes of the world using Pilates to get them ahead of their competition. So how does Pilates improve our ability to be better at our chosen sport?
Improved Neural Activation
One of the reasons why Pilates has become so popular over the years with the Rehab community is its ability to be able to reawaken dormant muscles in a person's body. This important facet of Pilates can also be used to increase power, strength and sports performance.
Let's take a sport like running how could Pilates possibly increase running performance, let alone shave time off your 5km PB? Running is a sport where the larger, more powerful muscles in your legs are primarily responsible for the speed in which you run (technique is important too, obviously). But have you ever heard of the saying 'you are only as strong as your weakest link'? No matter how strong your leg muscles are, if you don't have good stability in your hips, all that power gets nullified. Not only that, you will increase you chances of getting an injury.
Pilates helps your nervous system make connections with your muscles in order to get them to contract and turn on. The stronger these neural connections are, the stronger your muscles can work. Pilates focuses on reconnecting the neural hardwiring of those all-important hip muscles that get overlooked during strength training. With these new connections, you have more muscle to work with during your run. The stronger the hip muscles are, the more power output you can develop through your legs, and hence the faster you can run.
The Importance of Strength
Pilates is also a great way to develop general strength throughout the body. Ask any conditioning coach, in any sporting discipline, and they will always highlight the importance of muscular strength in regards to athletic performance. Basically, the stronger you are, the faster you can become, the longer you can sustain the activity you are trying to do, and with less chance of injury.
Sometimes it requires lots of practice and excellent instruction to get the most out of your Pilates. At Studio Pilates, you are in luck as when you join in on our classes our instructors are well versed in getting the most out of your exercise, even if you have a few stubborn, lazy muscles. Additionally, you can take a course in Pilates that helps you understand the mechanics and intricacies of all the exercises you are doing. Studio Pilates takes courses nation wide and also internationally.
Visit studiopilates.com for a Studio Pilates Reformer class near you or find out more about our leading Pilates Certification courses.