No matter what level of sport you are playing, your body needs to be properly prepared. Whether you are an elite professional or you just enjoy a game of five-a-side at Bell’s – your body needs to be a well-oiled machine!
Injuries are part and parcel of sport regardless of the level you play at. It’s something I know all too well. Years of playing football, tennis and golf has meant that I have suffered many problems, from a twisted ankle to a dislocated knee, and I’ve always looked at ways of improving my chances of staying injury free. Recently, I wrote an article on the fantastic ‘Runner’s MOT’ which was geared at reducing the risk of niggling problems caused by running. However, one thing that seems to appear time and time again in the articles I read is the benefits of Pilates.
The low-impact exercise is often used by physiotherapists, GP’s and other medical professionals as part of a rehabilitation programme. It’s always widely used by many top athletes – Andy Murray, Gareth Bale and Ryan Giggs to name but a few – as part of their training regime to improve muscle strength, flexibility and tone.
Lorna MacDonald at Physiotherapy & Wellbeing in Perth runs classes from her base at the Inveralmond Business Centre, and knows a thing or two about the benefits Pilates can have on overall fitness as well as recovery and injury prevention.
“Pilates focuses on mind and body to improve fitness, muscle strength, flexibility and posture. It can complement sport-specific training as it helps to strengthen core muscle groups that are often neglected, while also targeting posture and control. I have worked with runners, triathletes, golfers and rugby players, all of whom have experienced the benefits of Pilates in their chosen sport.
"I have worked with runners, triathletes, golfers and rugby players, all of whom have experienced the benefits of Pilates in their chosen sport.Many top athletes use Pilates as part of their training to improve their sporting performance.
Pilates can also improve mental wellbeing too. It’s known for focussing the mind and promoting relaxation – which I’m sure a lot of people would find particularly useful! It’s probably exercises that many envisage as being for women; however men can gain just as much benefit from time on the mat. You strengthen muscles that don’t get the attention they deserve during normal gym routines, and it’s one of the safest forms of exercise meaning that if done properly, it carries very little risk of injury!
It’s perhaps that last benefit that makes it so popular with physiotherapists as a rehabilitation tool. That’s what Lorna’s classes are based around, and as well as group classes she can offer tailored one-to-one Pilates sessions too.
“In a physiotherapy Pilates class, we will be aware of the nature of your injury or long-term condition so we can tailor the exercises to you and your capabilities. Classes are always kept relatively small to ensure you are closely supervised throughout the session.
“The classes as mixed but rest assured guys, you wouldn’t be the only male attending! Alternatively, you could opt for a one-to-one or one-to-two session instead.”
So there you have it – Pilates could provide a whole host of benefits that will have a positive impact on your ability to perform your sport to the highest level. Whether you’re Andy Murray on centre court at Wimbledon or Joe Bloggs playing in the five-a-side pub league – it could be a game changer!
Check out the Physiotherapy & Wellbeing website for more information on the Pilates classes provided by Lorna MacDonald. Alternatively, you can call Lorna directly on 01738 646767 or 07535 263701 or email her on email@example.com.
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