How Pilates Exercises and Mindful Movement Help Athletes Boost Performance and Prevent Injury
One of the most important keys to maximizing athletic performance and preventing sports injuries is balance—the ability to move gracefully from one posture or position to another.
Why are athletes increasingly adding Pilates exercises and mindful movement to their training regimens?
Adopting a regular Pilates and mindful movement workout routine can have many benefits for athletes. This form of mind-body exercise counterbalances athletes’ high-intensity training regimens. It helps them work on other areas of the body or aspects of their training that cannot be fulfilled or may be neglected by other, higher-intensity athletic approaches.
For example, Pilates and mindful movement exercises can help athletes develop their neuromotor skills, spatial awareness and dynamic stability within the movement. All of these contribute to preventing potential injury in their game or performance.
From my perspective, athletes also generally appreciate the process of practicing mindful movement to become more fully aware of their own bodies. Also, as disciplined athletes, the practice of moving mindfully— with intention, awareness and focus— resonates with them. They’re used to this type of intense focus from competition.
What is the most important thing for fitness and Pilates instructors to know about working with athletes?
First, you need to identify and familiarize yourself with the physical demands of their sport. You need to understand the sport-specific movements that they must perform regularly. I often watch videos of them playing, or go see their game before we get together for a workout.
I always try to present a clear path or blueprint of how we’re going to get to their ultimate goal by setting ‘small goals’ in between. Those small goals, or milestones, should be achievable, realistic, and tangible.
Make sure to warn them that they may hit a plateau or experience a slight dip in performance during this journey as a result of changes in their body, but their performance should increase afterwards.
How do Pilates and mindful movement help performance, injury prevention and rehab?
Pilates and mindful movement provide muscle strengthening and endurance, and also teach people how power is transmitted throughout the body. This is particularly beneficial for athletes because it helps them enhance their motor control, which contributes to an athlete’s performance development and injury prevention.
Pilates and mindful movement workouts allow athletes to embody the changes they’re making, and apply those discoveries on the field or in the game.
Ready to join the tribe at Vibe Pilates?
We encourage everyone, of any age or ability, to join us for a Foundation class and see what Vibe Pilates is all about for yourself. You get to have a play with the machine and have fun learning new moves across a 45 minute workout.
Our Foundation session is a focus on the core foundations of the body. It’s a set up class designed for our beginners to get you started with confidence. The session is set at a slower pace to ensure you develop the understanding of the movement and feel why a reformer workout is so beneficial for your body.