Pilates And Its Increasing Role In Rugby

  


Pilates is often classed, incorrectly, as women’s exercise.

You May therefore be surprised to learn that it was originally created for men.

Joseph Pilates was a boxer, and the legendary German heavyweight Max Schmelling was a regular at the founders New York studio.

A growing number of rugby players are now using Pilates as a way to improve coordination, mobility and flexibility, as well as for the prevention and recovery of injuries.

Wales and the All Blacks have incorporated Pilates into their training schedule, in an effort to gain the benefits that it undoubtedly offers.

Rugby demands rapid directional change, often at full pace, so an inflexible physique will hamper the movements required to achieve this.

Players are also required to deliver power from unbalanced body positions, at scrum and line out, and during tackling.

So as modern players get bigger, weights are an essential element of training , yet a body that has been bulked up in the gym can become rigid and restricted in its range of movement, and also leave it susceptible to injury.

Welsh international wing,Eli Walker ,has had endless problems with long term, and recurring hamstring injuries.

He turned to Pilates, focussing on the stabiliser muscles of the pelvis, the buttocks and the groin which goes a long way to preventing injuries of this nature.

 

Eli Walker

Adam  Kwasnicki, a physio and former England U18 coach says:

“From my experience as both a professional rugby player and physio, the majority of rugby players are lacking in both functional flexibility and core stability”

“Anyone who thinks Pilates is for girls, had obviously never tried it ”

So there you go, as summer approaches and fitness resolutions abound, you could do a lot worse than join a local Pilates class, if it’s good enough for the World Champions, then it might just be good enough for you.

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