Pilates For Elite Athletes




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Published November 24, 2020

What do basketballer Lebron James, tennis legend Maria Sharapova and world champion surfer Stephanie Gilmore all have in common?

They practise Pilates!

With benefits including core strength, increased mobility, and flexibility, it’s no wonder elite athletes all over the world add Pilates to their training regime. Pilates is ideal for athletes as it can improve sporting performance by strengthening the body, encouraging effective muscle movement patterns, and preventing common injuries.

Pilates exercises are designed to create strength and stability in key areas of the body including the core, hips, and stabilizer muscles. This results in greater power and stability for athletes in their chosen sport. Athletes can also use Pilates to target sport-specific areas (like back, glutes or hamstrings) to improve key areas of the body and maximize their sporting performance.

Injuries can be prevented, controlled, and treated using Pilates. This happens because Pilates exercises stretch, strengthen, and rebalance problem areas of the body. Injuries are a common problem keeping athletes sidelined, so quick recovery and injury prevention is an essential part of any athlete’s routine.

Why add Pilates to your sports routine?

Adding regular Pilates practice to your sporting routine is an easy way to make improvements in your sporting field. Whether it’s daily, weekly, or just on the off-seasons, Pilates can take your athletic performance to that next level.

It doesn’t matter what sport you play– Pilates routines can be tailored to your body and your specific sporting needs. If there’s an area of your game you’ve been wanting to improve, Pilates could be a great tool to reach your next goal. Using Pilates, you can target key areas in the body that have been holding you back on the track or field.

It’s not just beneficial for injury prone or sport-specific areas, Pilates exercises also improve the muscles and joints of areas not directly associated with target areas. Pilates is an integrated whole-body workout that encourages effective kinetic chain throughout the body. This process can then increase your overall sporting or athletic performance.

Case study: Hugh 

After completing his first marathon in 2018, distance runner Hugh joined Pilates Can. He hoped to enhance his athletic performance and manage his history of pelvic bone stress fractures and stress reactions.

Pilates successfully helped Hugh develop greater strength, control, and body awareness. He recognises Pilates for reducing his time out injured, and helping him improve his marathon time by nearly four minutes.

Pilates for Athletes

“Pilates is a key part of my routine now and assists me in developing greater control and awareness of my body. Adding this into my weekly routine plays a big part in making sure I'm ready for the next training session” – Hugh

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- hugh

Hugh thoroughly recommends Pilates to anyone looking to build a solid foundation of strength, conditioning, and proprioceptive training to improve their performance in their chosen sport.

“The incorporation of Pilates into a weekly routine provides a significantly beneficial impact on a person's health and wellbeing which will assist them in preventing unwanted injuries and pathologies in the long run.” – Hugh

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- hugh’

About the author 

Claire Gunther is a PAA Principal Level Pilates Instructor with over 20 years and 20k+ hours of professional Pilates delivery experience.


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