Saturday, May 21, 2011

Reformer for Athletes

Athletes are a large client market.  They want to be pushed in their workouts and "feel the burn".  They want a challenge from the traditional Pilates style of exercises.  You want to make sure both their body and mind are working together in order to be productive in their sessions. 

Pilates is an excellent way to cross-train.  Your clients will see the results in their pelvis stability, torso rotation, coordination, endurance, and flexibility.

Make sure your athletes are constantly moving.  Try not to allow them any breaks and add in several variations to one exercise.  This allows them to build and grow with each new concept you teach.  As an example, once they master footwork progress them to one legged and than further to alternating legs.  However, make sure each progression is earned.  This ensures your client understands stability before mobility.

Exercise Examples:
  • Jump board Footwork (video)
  • Long Box Lying Shoulder Press (Push Ups on footbar)
    • Elbows tight or wide
    • Both arms, one only, alternating
    • Shrugs + Swan (video)
  • Seated Back Rowing w/pole in straps
    • Low/high rows
    • Add in alternating
    • Change palm position
  • Side Twist kneeling to standing (on floor) w/pole
    • Hold pole like a baseball bat, gaze at the top
    • Keep pelvis steady throughout both positions
  • Reverse Elephant
    • Regular, single leg, alternating
    • Angle to sides for obliques
    • Add in opp. arm/leg reaches in tabletop for balance test
  • Feet in Loops
    • Circle on ankles (bend/stretch, lower/lift, pulses)
    • One foot in strap for scissors

Cues should be directed toward ideas your athlete can relate to.  Also ensure each workout has varying tempos.  As an example, allow them to move quickly through Running than telling them to slow down and enjoy the stretch while they focus on alignment.  This forces them to concentrate on the control of each movement.

Keep workouts energetic and your clients will continue to return to rep the rewards of cross-training with Pilates!

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