Core Training is all the rage because of its deep strengthening and back pain management. The Pilates Method, developed over ninety years ago by professional German boxer, Joseph Pilates, sets the Gold Standard for Core Training. When adding this secret weapon to increase whole body strength, flexibility, balance, and injury prevention, athletes see a profound shift in their sport.
Joseph & Clara Pilates' work has been embraced by athletes of every sport, including Venus & Serena Williams, the New Jersey Nets, and closer to home, the UC Berkeley Golden Bears, who all use Pilates as an integral part of their training. Specialized spring-resistant machines (Reformer, Trapeze Table, etc.) enable multidimensional, dynamic strengthening that targets the body's deep muscles that stabilize the joints. Pilates uses short reps, powerful eccentric (lengthening) muscle contractions, flexibility interwoven with strength and balance, and a focus on healthy body mechanics. Pilates uses an "inside out" approach to strengthening, which creates a new body awareness and an efficiency of movement that allows athletes to harness previously untapped power.
When training, an athlete's body should be challenged dynamically by utilizing many alignments. Athletic movements are not simple or two-dimensional. This means that traditional bicep curls, pushups, and abdominal crunches don't translate well into the multidimensional power, agility and injury prevention needed for hitting, tackling or tumbling (which require rotation or torsion in many planes with force). Add this to the speed increase that comes from accessing new power and flexibility, phenomenal Plyometric work, and correction of faulty body mechanics, and Pilates makes a perfect training regimen for athletes.