Pilates – Perfect Winter Training for Athletes

Winter training - women runners

The temperature has dropped, the days are much shorter and the weather is more unsettled, which means runners, cyclists and golfers may feel less inclined to train and practise outside than they did during the summer months.  There is an alternative and highly effective method of training for athletes who want to swap the cold and wet for a warm studio environment. Pilates is a proven way for sports people to improve their flexibility and core strength, ensure better movement patterns, decrease the chance of aggravating old injuries and developing new ones, and achieve optimal performance levels.

Fellow Pilates instructor and owner at Precision Fitness in Northumberland, Adrian Bell identified five key benefits runners, cyclists and golfers can achieve by including Pilates in their training programme…

Benefits for cyclists

1. Reduce spine stiffness and improve aerodynamic position on the bike
2. Improve functional core strength in the riding position
3. Improve shoulder girdle stability and reduce pain
4. Develop upper and lower body disassociation to reduce energy loss
5. Encourage hip, knee and ankle alignment

Winter training - cycling

Benefits for golfers

1. Reduce lower back pain
2. Improve upper body rotation to increase range of motion and increase club head speed
3. Encourage disassociation of upper body and pelvis
4. Develop shoulder mobility and shoulder girdle stability
5. Improve the ability to load the hips and reduce stress on the knees

Benefits for runners

1. Improve mobility in the hips and ankles
2. Develop flexibility in hamstrings, hip flexors and calves
3. Strengthen the core and improve pelvic stability
4. Help decompress the spine
5. Improve stability in the knees and reduce pain

To close, here’s a track for cyclists who like to train outside in the snow – Ride Blind from my new favourite performer, Circuit des Yeux…


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