19 Apr Pilates and Football
You might think Pilates fits more with footballer's WAGs (wives and girlfriends) more than the actual players but, as with many professional athletes, footballers are increasingly turning to Pilates to stay at the top of their game. Spurs do it as part of their team training regime, Steven Gerrard does it, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs owed their long careers at the top to it. So, just why is Pilates a hit with footballers?
Pilates can help footballers, both professional and social players, improve co-ordination, mobility and flexibility all of which are essential to be at their best for the season. Pilates can also help footballers recover from, and help prevent, injuries that could otherwise see them on the bench for weeks at a time.
Many injuries sustained on the football pitch are unavoidable, but some injuries such as groin or hamstring strains, back disc issues, could be avoided with the help of Pilates. These injuries are often caused by muscular imbalances with many footballers having strong, overworked quadriceps, strong and tight hamstrings, calf muscles and hip flexors but weak core muscles. All of which can result in poor trunk and pelvic stability, and poor flexibility, essentially a body that is not at it's best.
Pilates focus on postural muscles and strength through the core muscles, with exercises such as the bridge on the wunda chair for glute strength and pelvic stability, ensures that the body is in a stable, optimum position. From there global muscles such as the legs, will be able to work efficiently and effectively, ensuring the correct muscles are recruited as the player runs, kicks and defends throughout the game. Keeping footballers off the bench and at the top of their game for the season and longer.