Getting in to the Swing of Things: How Pilates Improves Sports Performance and Prevents Injury

Golf, Tennis, Baseball… these are just a few sports that demand mobility, stability, alignment for efficient movement, coordination, and balance. Athletes who participate in these rotational sports are excellent candidates for Pilates.

If we take a moment to think about the demand placed on the body when playing any of these sports, we can quickly see that the repetitive over-head swinging of the arm, if not integrated with the rest of the body, can easily cause injury. Common injuries include rotator cuff impingement and tears, tendonitis, bursitis, sprains and back pain. All of these things can be avoided and minimized with one thing…Pilates!

As Pilates teachers, we know how to help our clients integrate movement efficiently. We are great at looking at the bigger picture. For example, when we observe someone performing Footwork, we are not just looking at foot and ankle alignment. We are watching how the knees track in line with the hips; do their hips seem level; does the weight distribution and timing seem to be balanced; are the ribs in line with their pelvis and softly resting on the carriage; are the shoulders open and level; is the head centered with their body…? These are just some of the basic things a Pilates instructor is trained to see– just imagine how powerful a Pilates instructor’s intervention could be with an athlete!

Pilates for Rotational Sports

can help sharpen this skillset of looking at the dynamic relationships of the body. By using Polestar’s six Principles of Movement together with the Pilates repertoire, we can make better decisions on which exercises to use with athletes to optimize their sports performance.

It is clear that Pilates for Rotational Sports is synonymous with Pilates for injury prevention. As alignment is improved, efficiency and endurance increase. When our joints are moving in their optimal way, muscle actions are more balanced and the likelihood of injury decreases. By adding Pilates to an athlete’s workout routine, we can better educate them so that they can get the best out of their play.

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