If you know me, you know how adamant I am that Pilates is not just for women, and is such a great exercise for men as well—but you KNOW I am serious when I tell you about how Pilates can benefit football players!
We have trained current and former professional athletes, including several former football players. I recently spoke at the NFL Alumni Association-Indianapolis Chapter and tell a bunch of former players just how this kind of exercise could be beneficial to them and could benefit their quality of life.
Football players often focus only on increasing their brute strength by lifting weights and similar kinds of training. Pilates, while it may seem foreign to such big guys, is an amazing complementary exercise practice to all that muscle building. Pilates focuses on the core, as well as all the muscles throughout the body which can add a competitive advantage to a player who has been spending most of their time with heavy weight lifting. That will strengthen those large muscle groups, and Pilates will get to all those deep, often smaller, muscle groups. And we will surely work your legs, glutes and arms as well to get you faster and more flexible. More flexibility and paying attention to all those deep connecting muscles will also help you prevent injury and/or stay toned whether you are a current or retired player.
Pilates strengthens the core, an area that many football players may not focus a lot on—and a strong core can help prevent injuries to the back. Actually, the strengthening and increased flexibility that comes from Pilates is going to help prevent all kinds of injuries. I have had clients who have started Pilates with things like constant knee pain who now tell me they no longer feel any pain in that area since continuing a consistent Pilates practice. And check out this USA Today article from a few years ago discussing the benefits of Pilates for all types of athletes, as well as in particular, a football player discussing how Pilates has helped him remain injury free and feeling better in general, both after games and practices.
Here’s a few of the current athletes using Pilates:
And those are just a few of the individual athletes—many teams incorporate Pilates into their workouts routinely now.
So all you football players out there, don’t think Pilates is too girly for you—I have several football player clients (not to mention the whole Cathedral team) who would tell you while Pilates is very different, it certainly kicks your butt too! It is gentler than many form of exercise, but is by no means easy. And I even have a special machine designed for larger/taller clients which I have utilized extensively in training my athletes. You ought to come check it out too!