KinetiCode® for Sport

logoIf you are an athlete, either professional or recreational, you are probably always striving to improve your personal best at the sport. You may be wondering, can KinetiCode® Pilates exercise help me to improve my athletic performance? The answer is, most definitely, yes!

The answer lies in the inherent nature of KinetiCode® Pilates exercise. First and foremost, KinetiCode® Pilates works on developing your body awareness so that you are always working out in optimal postural alignment. Standing in good alignment is challenging, but maintaining good alignment while you move is even more difficult. However, no matter what kind of athlete you are, you can simultaneously increase your power and minimize your risk of injury with KinetiCode® Pilates training.

KinetiCode® Pilates also works to balance the body and develop muscular symmetry. If you play a racquet sport such as tennis or golf, or even if you are a recreational bowler, you probably have developed muscle imbalances due to the one-sided nature of your sport. Since such a key part of KinetiCode® Pilates is focused on postural alignment, these imbalances will become more obvious to you, and you can work to release the overworked tight muscles, and strengthen the weaker ones with asymmetrical exercise. Again, balancing the body will help to prevent injuries that might otherwise occur when stress is placed on an unstable structure.

If you are a swimmer, you may be strong in the water, but you’ll need to develop more core or abdominal strength, as swimming doesn’t work this part of the body. Many swimming movements can be mimicked on the KinetiCode® Pilates apparatus, but they feel different on land, and performed against the resistance of springs rather than in the water.

Unlike weight training, which can be very useful for gaining strength in individual muscle groups, KinetiCode® Pilates movements are generally more complex and therefore recruit a higher number of muscle groups within each exercise. KinetiCode® Pilates exercises also require a greater range of joint motion, and therefore work to stretch as well as strengthen muscles. Who couldn’t benefit from a greater range of motion, especially as we age?

Finally, but never to be forgotten, KinetiCode® Pilates has an aesthetic component. A  KinetiCode® Pilates teacher is always coaching the students to concentrate on performing each and every exercise with fluidity, control, and grace. This aesthetic component is more important for some sports — such as ice skating, rollerblading, basketball, or gymnastics — than others. However, it is important to remember that a fluid, concise movement requires far less energy expenditure than a jerky, stilted one. And with less energy spent on extraneous movements, the more energy you will have left in reserve to pursue your favorite pastime!

 

If you are an athlete, either professional or recreational, you are probably always striving to improve your personal best at the sport. You may be wondering, can KinetiCode® Pilates exercise help me to improve my athletic performance? The answer is, most definitely, yes!

The answer lies in the inherent nature of KinetiCode® Pilates exercise. First and foremost, KinetiCode® Pilates works on developing your body awareness so that you are always working out in optimal postural alignment. Standing in good alignment is challenging, but maintaining good alignment while you move is even more difficult. However, no matter what kind of athlete you are, you can simultaneously increase your power and minimize your risk of injury with KinetiCode® Pilates training.

KinetiCode® Pilates also works to balance the body and develop muscular symmetry. If you play a racquet sport such as tennis or golf, or even if you are a recreational bowler, you probably have developed muscle imbalances due to the one-sided nature of your sport. Since such a key part of KinetiCode® Pilates is focused on postural alignment, these imbalances will become more obvious to you, and you can work to release the overworked tight muscles, and strengthen the weaker ones with asymmetrical exercise. Again, balancing the body will help to prevent injuries that might otherwise occur when stress is placed on an unstable structure.

If you are a swimmer, you may be strong in the water, but you’ll need to develop more core or abdominal strength, as swimming doesn’t work this part of the body. Many swimming movements can be mimicked on the KinetiCode® Pilates apparatus, but they feel different on land, and performed against the resistance of springs rather than in the water.

Unlike weight training, which can be very useful for gaining strength in individual muscle groups, KinetiCode® Pilates movements are generally more complex and therefore recruit a higher number of muscle groups within each exercise. KinetiCode® Pilates exercises also require a greater range of joint motion, and therefore work to stretch as well as strengthen muscles. Who couldn’t benefit from a greater range of motion, especially as we age?

Finally, but never to be forgotten, KinetiCode® Pilates has an aesthetic component. A  KinetiCode® Pilates teacher is always coaching the students to concentrate on performing each and every exercise with fluidity, control, and grace. This aesthetic component is more important for some sports — such as ice skating, rollerblading, basketball, or gymnastics — than others. However, it is important to remember that a fluid, concise movement requires far less energy expenditure than a jerky, stilted one. And with less energy spent on extraneous movements, the more energy you will have left in reserve to pursue your favorite pastime!

KinetiCode for Golf

Of all the professional athletes who have discovered Pilates, golfers have taken to it fastest and in greatest numbers. Devotees include Tiger Woood, Annika Sorenstam, David Duval, Kelli Kuehne, Andrew McGee, Grace Park and Carin Koch, among many others.
And maybe this should not surprise us.
Golf, like KinetiCode® Pilates, is about stability – the ability in the case of golf to hold a position long enough to play through a shot without the body buckling or twisting.
Golf, like KinetiCode® Pilates, is about focus and ‘getting in the groove’ – repeating similar movements efficiently, effectively and precisely no matter, in golf’s case, the distractions of weather, terrain or opponent.
Golf, like KinetiCode® Pilates, is about core strength, movement from the centre of the body, flexibility, precise movements and tiny margins – a small improvement in a golfer’s shoulder flexibility, for example, can be the difference between a drive from the tee veering into the rough or going straight onto the green. Often thought of as a game requiring little more than hand-eye co-ordination to hit the ball and stamina for a long walk round the course, golf is actually a whole-body sport in which the key movements – particularly when driving or chipping – come from the core.
KinetiCode® Pilates addresses the need for excellent rotation around the spine while maintaining stability through the transverse abdominal muscles. The shoulders and arms also need to be stable in order to control a shot – yet sufficiently strong and elastic to deliver power and send the ball 150 meters and more down the fairway.
Top golfers nowadays work on their fitness as much as their putting – a feature that is becoming more common among club-level players, too. Even Spaniard knows it can ease his perennial back pain: ‘I believe it is making a difference. It needs patience, but if it will help me on the golf course I will do it’.

 

KinetiCode®Pilates

Skiing  And Snowboarding

Most of us who ski take to the slopes once a year – and, after a first day of enthusiastic snow plough turns, need a forklift truck to winch us back out again. That’s because so-called ‘ski fitness’ classes target the major muscle groups, particularly in the legs.
Unfortunately, they overlook the core muscles that help to maintain the dynamic, balanced posture essential for safe and efficient skiing. ‘Most skiers overtax their big muscles because they haven’t learned how to use their core muscles,’ says Caroline Lalive, the Olympic downhill racer.
KinetiCode® Pilates challenges the deep abdominal muscles to support the core and creates a strong, flexible, resilient structure. This is essential to cope with the simple fact of having solid objects strapped to the feet that, for beginners, don’t always go in the direction you want them to. Not to mention counteracting the twists and turns of the slope, and the ability to get up unscathed whenever you take a tumble.
For advanced skiers, activating the body’s stabilizing muscles helps maintain balance and poise at greater speed or off-piste.

 

KinetiCode® Pilates Swimming     

KinetiCode ® Pilates exercises are performed at a deliberate pace, employing appropriate breathing patterns and attention to detail. This approach translates well to the pool, where many swimmers need to ‘slow down’, forget how many lengths they intended to swim and focus instead on breathing, body orientation and balance.

Particularly important is the need to release the neck in order to lengthen the spine, eliminating the muscular tension that affects the whole body when the head is pulled back. The head position adopted by most poor swimmers, particularly when performing the breast-stroke, would be impossible to hold for long periods out of the water. The challenge, therefore, is to ‘remember to remember’ the superior postural alignment and sense of lightness gained through KinetiCode® Pilates and apply it in the pool.
Swimming, meanwhile, has the image of being a sport for which the prime requirements are strength and determination, and success is measured in terms of ‘how far’ and ‘how fast’. The skill of learning to swim well is overlooked, with little attention paid to grace, elegance and economy of movement.
As a result, it is rare to find recreational or fitness swimmers demonstrating effortless, efficient strokes that cause barely a ripple on the surface. Instead, too many of them view swimming as a battle against a relentless opponent – the water; hence the number of head-out-of-the-water thrashers, expending energy but getting nowhere, both literally and metaphorically.
Swimmers who also do KinetiCode® Pilates, however, find it easier to focus on breathing, grace, flow and maintaining a steady pace.

 

KinetiCode®Pilates  Running

Runners do Pilates most of all because it builds long, strong muscles, improves their flexibility and lessens their risk of injury. The way that KinetiCode® Pilates opens up the vertebrae in the lower back, in particular, helps prevent the sort of back injuries which can result from the constant impact involved in running.

Running and KinetiCode® Pilates, however, also complement each perfectly at what might called a deeper level.
Good runners run tall. They don’t hunch, lean, push with their hips or tighten through the neck and shoulders. They avoid pounding the ground with every stride. Their movement is smooth and light.

There is both an economy and an integrity to their form.
Good runners pay attention. Instead of seeing a run as an excuse to zone out with the iPod, they see it as a chance to develop their kinesthetic awareness – for example, to explore the feel of their feet on the ground, how balanced their head is on the neck and spine, whether a mild ache in their leg has caused them to run more heavily than they would wish, whether their ankles and knees are releasing in sequence, how their breathing patterns have changed as the workload becomes more demanding. This approach makes running as much a mental activity as a physical one – very much like KinetiCode®Pilates.
Just as you arrive at KinetiCode® Pilates with an expectation that the session ahead will be a process of learning and discovery, so a run should be viewed as an act of creativity: staying present, responding intelligently to the situation, finding alternative ways to achieve your goal. Every run is different – just like every KinetiCode® Pilates class.

 

KinetiCode®Pilates  Cycling

Cycling may be great cardio-vascular exercise but the modern bike is not a masterpiece of efficient design – or a promoter of healthy posture. Indeed, quite the opposite, which is the main reason that many cyclists do KinetiCode® Pilates and even more should.
Old-fashioned ‘sit-up-and-beg’ cycles were far better suited to a comfortable riding position, with the upper body held still and the spine lengthened. Modern mountain bikes require a more hunched posture with the head placed low over the front wheel. This causes excessive bending of the lumbar spine, a forward rotation of the hips and pelvis, and shortening of the back of the neck due to the need to look forward and see where you’re going. Many committed cyclists also suffer from a shortening of the hamstrings.

Just as runners can use KinetiCode® Pilates to enhance their body awareness and condition efficient patterns of movement, so many cyclists use it to restore postural alignment, shift the spine back into position, open up the chest, ease and prevent back pain and relieve the tension caused by sitting for long periods in a mechanically unsound position.

 

KinetiCode®Pilates   Football/Rugby

A growing number of top footballers and rugby players do Pilates as a way of improving co-ordination, mobility and flexibility, as well as for both recovering from injuries and preventing them in the first place.

In the quest for the winning edge, modern footballers and rugby players will latch on to any fitness technique that they believe will help them where it matters most – on the pitch. Both codes of rugby, in particular, exemplify this thinking, with KinetiCode® Pilates exercises long incorporated into both preparation for matches and rehabilitation after injuries. The Welsh Rugby Union is among the high-profile advocates of Pilates.

Football managers such as Arsene Wenger of Arsenal, meanwhile, have long preached the crucial importance of stretching, suppleness and flexibility – the very things that Pilates does best. Indeed, KinetiCode® Pilates exercises should be used more widely than they are in, for example, pre-match warm-up routines.

Both football and rugby can be physically grueling, draining bodies that may already be fatigued. However, recent years have brought a growing willingness to look outside the sport for ideas, in particular to address the injury toll associated with over-training of certain muscle groups.

 

KinetiCode® Pilates    Horse Riding

A growing number of riders use Pilates to build core strength, suppleness, flexibility, grace and balance, as well as to improve general body awareness.

The perfect riding position is called the ‘classical seat’. It requires the rider sit in such a way that each part of the body rests on the part directly below it, enabling the weight of the rider to reach the horse in a straight line. This minimizes discomfort to the horse, while giving security and comfort to the rider along with the ability to guide the horse with ease and efficiency. Done well, human and horse can work as one.
A KinetiCode® Pilates program will develop the necessary postural alignment and balance, while specific exercises can enhance the ability to move one body part – say, the legs – without the need for major readjustment of the hips and torso.
Since a rider must cope with a horse moving both vertically and horizontally, core strength is vital, as is resilience within the body to maintain the ‘classical seat’.

Betsy Steiner, a former member of the United States Dressage Team, is just one riding trainer who recommends Pilates. In fact, she includes a Pilates program in her book, ‘A Gymnastic Riding System Using Mind, Body And Spirit’ (equilates.com) and advises riders of all levels to do Pilates three times a week.