Why More Athletes Are Turning to Pilates to Improve Their Core Strength : Did you know that more and more professional athletes and sporting icons around the world are starting to include Pilates in their exercise schedules?
Among other things, one of the biggest reasons for this choice of exercise is because of the benefits it brings to core strength. If you want to improve your own core strength, it’s time to follow in the footsteps of these athletes.
Firstly, it’s natural to feel nervous and suspicious about a new exercise when it first enters the scene. Well, the good news is that Pilates isn’t a fad, and it isn’t even a new idea. In fact, it was Joseph Pilates who first brought the system to the world towards the beginning of the 20th century.
Rather than quick, intense movements, the idea of Pilates is to bring flexibility and alignment through low-impact exercises. With a particular focus on the core, you can do Pilates without equipment and it engages the whole body for improved performance both in sports and day-to-day tasks. As your pilates instructor will tell you, slow and precise movements are more important than speed. While performing these movements, you need to control breathing and stabilise the whole body.
Benefits of Pilates for Core Strength
So why are more athletes choosing Pilates for core strength? Because Pilates is all about engaging the core, keeping stability through movement, and retaining control at all times. With slow and deliberate movements, the core is often required to maintain balance and alignment. In many cases, the core is engaged without you even realising (and this is the perfect type of workout!).
At first, you might struggle with some of the exercises, but it’s important to work through the early issues and continue working on your form. With the right form, your core will strengthen, and you’ll perform all the Pilates movements correctly. It’s a positive snowball effect where a stronger core leads to more effective training, which leads to a stronger core, etc.
If you want to boost your core strength, it’s important to use good posture and controlled movements. With good balance and stability, you’ll engage the core and continually improve this area. However, there’s a difference between doing Pilates with no direction and doing it with an emphasis on core strength.
Example Pilates Movements for Core Strength
Even if you have no equipment or no money, you can perform these Pilates moves (and in the comfort of your own home!).
- The One Hundred
In this exercise, you’ll lie down on your back with your shoulders off the floor and your legs making a 45-degree angle with the floor. With the head curled upwards, stretch your arms parallel with the floor and start pulsing both arms up and down. Breath out for five counts and then in for five counts – do this ten times (hence the name!).
- Leg Circle
This time, you’re going to lie on your back with your head also resting on the floor. Bring your feet towards your body while flat on the floor so that your knees are the pivot in an upside-down ‘V’. While one foot remains on the floor, stretch the other out straight and make a large circle with the leg. Try reversing the circle and don’t forget the other leg.
As well as ab work in the gym, you won’t regret trying Pilates for core strength. With the whole body engaged, you’ll enjoy other benefits too; this includes muscle toning, stronger posture, and more. If you need help, why not follow a YouTube tutorial to start?
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