Why Performance Pilates?

Pilates can have a positive effect on both team and individual sports and is growing in popularity on the international circuit.  Many teams and athletes are incorporating Pilates into their training and exercise programme to enhance athletic performance, improve technique and prevent injury.  It can also improve mental focus and lung capacity.  

How is Pilates beneficial from a sports perspective?

Reduces the frequency & severity of injuries

Pilates addresses postural issues via correct structural alignment that can help to minimise or eliminate common injuries. Injury often prevails when the body is pushed to an extreme that it can not cope with due to poor posture, weak or tight muscles.  The impact and forces placed upon the body during sporting activities can often lead to ‘overuse’ injuries.  Supple Fitness Pilates can assess movement to identify the area of weakness and assist in re-educating the body through alignment to balance the body as athletes tend to over develop major muscles groups and underuse the smaller groups.  Pilates emphasises the need to train both sides of the body which is vital to create equilibrium within the body particularly in racket sports as there tends to be an overused/dominant and under used/non-dominant side of the body.    

Performance Pilates: Based upon the classical repertoire Supple Fitness adapts the session towards more functional exercises.  Weights, wobble boards and gliders are also used to replicate some of the actions and stresses reflected in the sporting environment.

Increases body control: The reformer originally designed for Pilates challenges the body via the element of strength (increased resistance) and instability (decreased resistance) in addition to flexibility of the muscles and mobility at a joint.  All elements are required to develop control, which is pivotal to performance.  The reformer has the advantage of giving an athlete more feedback than free weights, resistance machines or mat work. Supple Fitness can recognise muscular tightness within the body which limits the range of movement at a joint therefore an athlete’s action is often forced rather than controlled. Pilates exercises work to develop exercises in a functional way

Performance Pilates: The reformer assists in identifying where the limbs are in relation to the rest of the body and how to correct a position whilst moving.  This is key within the sports environment as an athlete will need body awareness of which muscles are working and the ability to activate the correct muscles for mobility and stability.  These motor patterns are fine tuned over time and are therefore transferable to the gym, court, pitch, track etc.  

Increases power output: Power requires the combination of speed and strength in which neither are effective from a position of instability.  Pilates can enhance core stability by encouraging athletes to move from the centre rather than focussing exclusively upon the limb itself. This allows athletes to channel forces more efficiently and produce a more effective power output. Supple Fitness also promotes the use of breath to help align movement which will increase muscle firing activity and focus of the mind to be more in the present moment during an event.

Performance Pilates: An athlete who can adopt core stability whether it be pelvic, spinal, or shoulder will enhance their performance in sport which often requires movement in unorthodox positions.  Stability at a joint allows the potential muscle recruitment to be more effective as length is maintained.  Equally mobility at a joint is of paramount importance to access the correct muscles.  Pilates exercises are often unilateral which challenge control and strength in unstable positions encouraging an athlete’s ‘weak side’ to become active.  Supple Fitness Pilates addresses the strength and flexibility imbalances within the body to assist optimal performance.  

What will Performance Pilates ultimately achieve?

  • Correct asymmetry within the body

  • Prevent injury

  • Hit the ball farther

  • Run faster

  • Jump higher

  • Lift stronger

Supple Fitness Performance Pilates Clients:

    • European & World GB Triathletes

    • England Cross Country athletes

    • Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers

    • Body Building: PCA JP Grand Prix winner class 4

    • Silver medallist World Indoor Rowing Championships

    • Regional netballers

    • National & elite junior golfers 

    • Club level mountain bikers, road cyclists, fell & road runners & ultra-endurance athletes 

“Just wanted to say thank you for introducing me to Pilates.  When I got in touch with you I was unsure about Pilates and how I would benefit both physically and mentally.

The 1:1 session was extremely valuable in giving me an insight into this wonderful form of exercise, which potentially for me I can see myself doing well into my journey into old age.  I can honestly say I can feel the muscles worked from my abdominals to my back and even the lower front stomach and thigh muscles – it was a really positive experience and I feel that I can enjoy it long term – there was no clock watching which can often be the case with other forms of exercise.  The following morning I felt more upright and elongated if that makes sense when I was walking.  I can now see how Pilates strengthens the muscles and gives you  much better core stability and body strength overall.  I look forward to working with you in the coming weeks, months and years – thank you for such a positive experience – you made me feel at ease – as though I was meeting with a friend who was supporting me.”

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