Pilates in Football
A growing number of footballers do Pilates as a way of improving coordination, increasing mobility and flexibility, to help reduce injuries and to rehabilitate from injuries.
Many of the injuries sustained on the football pitch are unavoidable, resulting from the inherently physical nature of the sport, but many injuries which lay players off for several weeks are certainly avoidable if they have increased awareness of muscle in-balances and how to correct them through stretching, mobilising and core stability work – the very things that Pilates does best!
Some of the most common football injuries are:
- Groin injuries
- Hamstring strains
- Cruciate ligament injuries
- Ankle injuries
- Trauma injuries from tackles
- Back problems – disc-related when a footballer will kick the ball from the back instead of the hip
As mentioned earlier much of the problem lies with muscle imbalance in the body, those related to footballers are:
- Strong, overworked quadriceps
- Strong and tight hamstrings
- Shortened ankle muscles
- Tight calf muscles
- Tight hip flexors
- Overworked back extensors
- Weak gluteals
- Weak transversus abdominis
- Weak back stabilisers
The end result is a body with poor trunk and pelvic stability, as well as poor flexibility. With the nature of football, from professionals to amateurs, almost every footballer favours one leg or one side, so you will likely have a unilateral balance.