My Pilates For Sports Experience
My name is Nathan and I have been playing hockey for about 10 years. I have been part of the Camberwell Premier League squad since I joined the club in 2013 and incorporated Pilates into my training about 3 years ago.
I started Pilates primarily as a form of injury prevention; I went through a couple of hockey seasons where I was plagued by injury resulting in two serious hamstring injuries. During my rehab for a hamstring tear, I was introduced to Pilates to aid my recovery and haven’t looked back since.
My body has always been incredibly tight and lacked range of movement, but it wasn’t until starting Pilates that I became more aware of how greatly this impacted my form and was putting my body at far greater risk of injury. I quickly realised that my body had a lot of imbalances; often the wrong muscles were getting utilised putting more stress on other parts of my body and stopping me from functioning at my best.
Since committing to Pilates I have greatly reduced my injuries and generally have less aches and pains. It has provided me with far greater core strength and my body is moving the best it has in a number of years. I have found that the Pilates programs have focused heavily on improving my form, which has resulted in a much stronger core, more balanced muscles and a greater understanding of my own body.
I have seen the greatest improvements in my running; Pilates has provided me with positive adjustments to my technique that has allowed me to run harder and faster for longer. I feel like I am running in a much more efficient manner and by developing a stronger core this has allowed me to train for speed and agility much more effectively. By improving my running, I feel more confident on the hockey field and am able to perform key aspects of the sport at a higher level.
Outside of hockey, I work an office job where I am generally sitting for long periods of time. Surprise, surprise, this also isn’t great for your body and contributes to a lot of my back soreness and tight hips/shoulders. Through Pilates, I have had a greater awareness of this impact and have made a conscious effort to move when I can and avoid sitting for long periods to avoid putting unnecessary stress on my body. The combination of these positive adjustment and the benefits of a more balanced body through Pilates has greatly reduced the tightness and pain I have previously experienced.
Overall, Pilates has had a very positive influence on both my hockey as well as general lifestyle and I would recommend it to anyone. For athlete’s, it is a great addition to regular training can translate to noticeable improvements in on-field performance. For those not as serious about their sport, Pilates still provides the perfect foundation to a more healthy and positive lifestyle with less aches and pains!