Pilates and Enhancing Summer Sports: Specialized Physical Therapy in Denver
By Krista Elpers, MSPT

Summer recreational activities, such as hiking, cycling, rock climbing, golfing and tennis are upon us. Whether you are an avid sportsman or are planning to attempt one of these skills for the first time, Pilates may be your key to performance enhancement and injury prevention. Pilates is a series of exercises that teach you how to initiate movement from the core muscles of the abdomen, lower back, hips, buttocks and shoulder girdles.

By learning to move from your center and not from your limbs, your movement becomes more efficient, allowing for improved endurance and quicker, more explosive performance. Think how this can enhance your hiking or cycling abilities — giving your muscles the stamina for longer hikes and rides with more speed and power.

Although most people think of Pilates as a core training exercise, it is actually an equal balance of strength and stretching/mobility. It aids in lengthening the muscles and improves spinal mobility, allowing you to evenly distribute movement along the length of the spine. This again makes for more efficient movement. So when you consider sports such as tennis and golf, which incorporate a great deal of rotation through the trunk, Pilates helps balance the body against the forces of the tennis or golf swing to allow for maximum rotation without overstressing any one portion of the spine or involved joints.

This, in combination with the enhanced power and explosiveness mentioned above, could result in your best golf game or tennis season yet.