There are a few things in which I consider myself incredibly knowledgeable. Pilates, health and wellness and the NFL. Yep. It’s true! I probably have way too much football knowledge and find the game fascinating. There’s a possibility I know more about this sport than many men. And I am not ashamed!
The NFL has always been a highly physical game filled with players getting broken bones, torn ACL’s, concussions, pulled muscles and more. It’s a game where whoever has the least amount of injuries in the end, will most likely make a playoff run. It’s a game that requires high physical endurance as well. To play football you must be able to run, tackle grown, highly muscular men, take vicious hits, and so much more. It’s a game that players must be highly conditioned for.
There has been much talk in the NFL this year over many different things. But one subject that all of us fans are absolutely stunned by is the amount of injuries we have seen this year to star players. Superstar and pro bowl players are going down like fly’s week, after week, after week. More injuries than most have seen in other years. Some have been minor injuries where players are out for a couple of games. But most have been so bad that they have ended the players season and possibly careers. Which as a football fan, is really upsetting. We love watching legends play! We love a fantastic match up! This year those legends have been sidelined and put in casts.
So, what is going on?! Everyone is wondering what is happening. Is it because more players are becoming stronger, faster and more explosive? Or is it a lack of conditioning? Because I’m in the industry of preventing injury, I of course go right to the lack of conditioning. I’m sure the other reasons are just as valid, and nobody has the exact reason as to why 2017 has been one of the worst for injury.
Here’s my take on this. Pilates is still something that many men are a bit weary of. There are many that think it’s just for women and it’s like yoga (it’s not). Here’s the thing…Pilates was invented by a man for men! That’s right, men! It was made for you!
I could give you all the scientific reasons Pilates helps, but I’ll just give you the basics. And even though we are good at our jobs, we aren’t magicians. There are no guarantees but we can certainly help in the conditioning area as Pilates instructors for people of all sports, especially those involved in contact sports.
How can we help? Well I’m glad you asked! First off trainers are amazing at getting into the larger muscles of the body. I am a certified NASM personal trainer and we are taught all the basic exercises to build up large muscle groups. It wasn’t until I began training in Barre that I realized the importance of training the smaller muscles. Muscles which aren’t really known about or talked about. You don’t hear people really say “Wow! I just got the best Iliacus workout right after I worked out my popliteus!” I mean, if you do hear it, it’s really, really weird! Even from us Pilates instructors. But those are the muscles that %100 need to be worked out along with those really big muscles. That is what helps to prevent injury. Those are the muscles that help support those bigger muscles and protect the joints.
Pilates also creates balance to the intense training of bigger muscles and helps to stretch them out. Another way that injuries are prevented. And of course, the key component to any Pilates workout is focusing and strengthening the core. The benefits from this alone are countless. Better balance, more strength and agility and more control in all of our movements just to name a few. Most exercise programs these days have become incorporating some sort of core exercise into their routines, realizing the importance of this.
And it's not a client’s job to know which muscles have to be worked out. That’s ours. That is why we spend hundreds of hours in training sessions and we are constantly learning new things about the body.
Our instructors can create sessions just for you that can focus on strength and agility, balance control, rotational sports improvement, strengthening the body for skiing (Knees!) and so much more. But whatever your activity, we will customize the program just for you.
This is exactly how Pilates can help not just NFL players, but anyone who works in endurance sports, prevent injury. Athletes are beginning to see the amazing benefits that Pilates provides for their games but we still have a long way to go. I encourage our young adults, college athletes and our professional athletes to all adopt a Pilates routine. Try it for one month. See what your body begins to tell you. Notice the differences you begin to feel in your muscles and body. If it’s not right for you, that’s ok. But you’ll never know unless you try!