Is back pain getting you down? Here's why it may be happening and how to fix it*

Sep 23, 2020

Getting rid of back pain is one of the most common reasons why  athletes start Pilates For Sports.


 So, what causes back pain and how can Pilates For Sports help to fix it?

One of the most common problem areas for athletes is a tight sore back.

Sometimes it is a constant pain, sometimes it occurs during training and sometimes the tightness occurs post training or competing.

This pain and tightness can prevent you from delivering your best performance and can even lead to an athlete having to stop their training or competing altogether. 

So what are the common causes of a non structural tight low back? The three main areas that can lead to back pain are:


A weak core – the core abdominals are like a big girdle that wrap around the torso and support the spine. If they are weak, then your back is not supported. Try this:

  • Bend forward at the waist and let your stomach hang out. See how this feels on your back... note the pressure in the...
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Common causes of tight hip flexors

Sep 16, 2020

Tight hip flexors are the most common form of muscle imbalance in the hips. So what causes this problem?

There are two main causes of hip flexor dominance; the first is poor technique and the second is lifestyle. We'll look at technique in subsequent newsletters but this week, let's delve a little bit into lifestyle.  

Ask yourself this question: What do many athletes do for hours every day?

The answer is that they sit at their desk at work.

Sitting, by its very nature, places you in a position of hip flexion. So this means that for a large portion of the day, the office working athlete is in a position of hip flexion, which serves to further reinforce the tightening of the hip flexors.

So what’s wrong if the hip muscles are unbalanced and the hip flexors are too tight? Dominant hip flexors can lead to injury and an inefficient pedal stroke.

Here are some detriments that can occur due to muscle imbalance in the leg:

Knee Pain – If the quads are dominant it...

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Good Form vs Poor Form

Sep 02, 2020

Awareness of movement and focussing on technique can improve your performance and reduce injuries.

As athletes become more serious about their performance, they will often look for ways to improve their power and speed, which will usually involve increasing the frequency and intensity of their training in order to achieve this.

Initially, increasing the volume will indeed correlate to increases in performance as their cardiovascular and muscle strength improves. However, the athlete will eventually reach a point of diminishing returns, and if overtraining continues to occur it can actually have a negative impact on performance.

So, if training volume is no longer providing the improvements required, where can an athlete go to get that extra increase in performance?

The answer is that they need to look at improving their technique.

This may seem obvious, but many athletes are unaware they even have poor form. Some athletes, such as runners and cyclists, are unaware that there are any...

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How Poor Leg Tracking Leads To Reduced Performance

Aug 25, 2020

Knees sticking out negatively impacts on a number of performance areas for any athlete.

You've probably seen those cyclists who ride with their knees sticking out to the side and athletes who run with their knees out to the side, but did you know that poor leg tracking such as this has a number of negative impacts on an athlete's performance?

Poor leg tracking can be seen when knees point out rather than tracking in line with the hip and foot. Poor leg tracking can also kick in when athletes become more fatigued and their form starts to deteriorate.

Why does this matter?

For cyclists, correct leg alignment is important to a good pedal stroke. While some cyclists will have slight variations, generally your foot, knee and hip should all track inline.

This alignment enables the most effective application of power down through the pedals, puts less strain on the knees and also happens to be more aerodynamic.

So, if someone is pedalling with poor leg alignment, this means they are...

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Is your posture impacting your breathing and performance?

Aug 18, 2020

The importance of breathing cannot be overemphasized.

On average, we breathe about 24,000 times per day, but how much attention does the average athlete pay to their breathing?

In order to perform at their best, athletes needs to be able to efficiently and effectively breathe oxygen into their bodies and exhale the waste products out.

Here’s how Pilates For Sports can help athletes develop this process.



When we breathe in we expand our chest and lungs, and our diaphragm contracts and is pulled downward to make room for the lungs to expand. Outside our body, the air pressure is greater and air is drawn in when we inhale. Thus, the diaphragm lowers the internal air pressure and increases the volume of air in the chest cavity allowing us to expand our lungs.

When our diaphragm relaxes, it moves up, the rib cage contracts, the lungs collapse, the cavity inside your body gets smaller the air is pushed up and out your body – we exhale.

So, if we...

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Pilates For Sports Joins USATF As Affinity Partner

Aug 05, 2020


Pilates for Sports is thrilled to announce it has signed as an affinity partner of USA Track & Field (USATF) – the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running, and race walking in the United States.

The long-term partnership, which will run from now until December 2024, will provide USATF members with several benefits to help them train smarter and go faster, including:

      • 20% discount off monthly memberships
      • Free 14-day challenges
      • Free weekly live pilates class online
      • Entry into competitions such as our current ICONS competition which offers a free trip to Australia to partake in an iconic sporting event of choice

“We are fortunate to partner with Pilates for Sports to bring added value to members with continued benefits and resources to support the USATF community,” USATF CEO, Max Siegel said.

Pilates for Sports online training is an innovative strength and conditioning program that can be done...

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Improve Your Pelvic Stability Through Pilates

Aug 04, 2020

When running, cycling or swimming, we want to ensure we’re working the right muscles and body parts equally to maximise our power output.

However, a common issue amongst athletes in all sports is pelvic instability, which causes overuse of the pelvis and consequently impacts on their performance.

This movement of the pelvis occurs when the core muscles are not strong enough to maintain stability as well as when there is muscle imbalance, which in turn has two main impacts – it can cause pain, and it can have an impact on an athletes performance.

Let's look at pain first.

Movement of the pelvis can result in overuse of the back muscles, resulting in fatigue in the back as well as back pain. Additionally, if the athlete can’t manage the rotation of their lumbar spine that is occurring due to pelvic instability, it will put pressure on the lumbar discs.

It is also important to note that an athlete may start out with good pelvic stability, however as they start to get...

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Wearable Data Integration

Aug 04, 2020

Sync your wearable smart device with the new Pilates For Sports app to automatically upload your fitness data to your Dash!

The Pilates For Sports app is the ultimate companion to your workouts.

By syncing your favourite smart device – be it Apple Watch, FitBit or even other fitness apps through your smart phone like Apple Health, MyFitness Pal or Withings – you can store and measure your fitness progress through tracking steps, sleep, calories burned, heart rate, lean body mass and blood pressure.

This data is crucial not only for you to help understand how you’re tracking, but also for us to use to ensure we give you the best advice and training to help you achieve your goals!

Once synced, all of this data can be found on the Pilates For Sports app Dash, which is also fully customisable so you only see the stats you want to see, and even comes with visual graphs to help you track your progress.

 With all this information at your fingertips, as well as the...

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Tight Hip Flexors and Posture Improvement Through Pilates

Jul 27, 2020

How does sitting for long hours at your desk weaken your glutes and impact on your running?

Weakness in the hips and glutes is common amongst those of us with a sedentary lifestyle. If our glutes aren’t working to their full capacity, then other muscles will have to overwork to pick up the slack.

Because of this, many runners I’ve met are told by their Physical Therapist that they have a ‘lazy butt’. So, why is this such a problem if, by evolution, we are actually designed to run?

 Let's take a minute to refresh our knowledge of the glutes. 

The gluteal muscle group consists of the gluteus maximus, minimus and medius. All three of these muscles have different yet very integrated roles in the lower body in relation to stability and mobility.

In summary, the gluteal muscles as a whole are responsible for:

  • Hip extension – think take off phase in running
  • Hip abduction – external rotation and internal rotation of the hip
  • They are important...
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The Importance Of Core Strength For Cyclists

Jul 03, 2020


Core and core strength are terms often talked about in regards to an athlete’s strength and performance, but what actually is the core?

The core can be defined as everything from your shoulders to your butt – so essentially the trunk of your body. 

To have a strong core is for the shoulders, deep abdominals and glutes to all be strong, while the muscles around these joints are balanced to enable efficient movement which results in maximum power and reduced injury.

Now that we have defined what the core is, let's look at why a strong and stable core is essential for the transfer of power from the legs to the pedal when cycling. We will also detail the impacts on a cyclist riding with poor form and how pilates can help the rider to achieve and maintain the ideal power transfer.

Generally, cyclists are very focussed on improving their leg strength to generate more power. To achieve this they spend many hours training on the...

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