What do Chicago tight end Martellus Bennett, wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens, Michael Campanero, wide receiver for the Pittsburg Steelers, Antonio Brown, 2003 Buffalo Bills Pro Bowl offensive guard Ruben Brown, Jason Kidd, the Nets superstar point guard, golfers Rich Beem & Tiger Woods have in common? They all use Pilates as a part of their training regime.
Developed in the early 1900’s, Pilates consists of over 500 exercises, plus all of their variations, which initiate muscles in the abdomen, lower back, hips & buttocks. Pilates is designed to increase strength, flexibility, improve posture, balance and coordination. For the professional athletes the benefits include more efficient movement as well as speed, quickness & endurance.
Jason Kidd started Pilates as as part of his rehabilitation program for a broken ankle. He estimates that 30% of his flexibility training comes from Pilates and it made him more explosive & quicker on the court. The Nets strength coach has introduced Pilates into the training program for the entire team. “Pilates is rejuvenating, restorative, and invigorating because it gets blood flowing through every inch of the muscles. It puts you in tune with your body. It puts you in a different state.”
For Ruben Brown, offensive lineman for the Buffalo Bills, Pilates is all about preventing injury. The 6’0”, 300 pound lineman was always battling back pain. Pilates has helped him to come out of the football season injury-free. He used to “feel like crap” after practice and the games, but not since adding Pilates to his exercise program in the off season as well as during the season.
Nate Burleson, of the Detroit Lions says that Pilates has made his muscles more flexible, with “more give”. Marcellus Bennett, tight end for the Chicago Bears is convinced that Pilates has dept him free from injuries sustained during the game. “I really want to keep myself as elongated as possible, because an elongated muscle is a strong muscle. When you fall, or someone falls on you, that’s when you end up breaking things. So, by gaining flexibility through Pilates, I’m able to go with it much more when I’m hit, and it helps minimize any injuries.” And with Pilates, he’s able to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints, which, in turn, gives the joints more support & stability.
Antonio Brown wide receiver for the Pittsburg Steelers claims that Pilates helped with overall body control & “knowing how to get my feet where I wanted them to go!”. Pilates emphasizes elongating the muscles and creating more space in between the joints. By increasing the range of motion, it helps prevent injury and facilitates more efficient movement and, therefore, promotes career longevity.
So, you see, real He-men do Pilates.