Contrary to the popular belief that specialized training is only for dancers and those who yearn for a lean, slim waistline, Pilates, yoga, plyometric, and performance-based isometric training is reaching heights in many sports. Gone are the days of unsophisticated “beach body” training. Now, athletes are working smarter on their performance by using feedback from lots of different technologies.
From torquing the body to flexing and extending the spine, hips, and legs, the body is in a constant pattern of repetitive movements. As a result of these biomechanical movements, overuse, imbalance, and injury can develop much sooner by simply not understanding what muscles are capable of doing. A little education and a knowledgeable coach goes a long way in keeping your body prepared for the vigorous pounding junior athletics implies over the long run.
In sports, we understand the importance of symmetry, proprioception and dynamic movement. To use golf as an example, a tight hip makes a big difference in a person’s swing because each phase of the swing is broken down into specific angles and torquing of the whole body. In turn, the smaller muscles (such as the wrist flexors) take the load of the swing instead of the big muscles like the gluteus, hips, and core.
Many professional athletes incorporate pilates-themed exercises as part of their fitness training. For these professionals, coordination, control, flexibility, strength, and focus all play a unified role in a complex combination of joint mobility and stability. Playing a sport depends on a balanced composition of a kinetic chain of movements from the toes to the crown—a missing link in this chain can have a disastrous result like serious injury.
Being physically prepared to play a competitive sport requires constant training. We have to know how our bodies move, and then we have to understand how to prepare our bodies for those aggressive movement. This obliges us to work smarter rather than harder.