First, check out American professional cyclist Katie Hall in this quick video. When we were filming Katie, we literally had a hard time keeping up with her — in a car! Her speed and power on the bike is simply astounding.
Katie is a fierce competitor with an infectious positive attitude. I met Katie in the off season, while she was preparing for a series of races in Europe as part of the brand-new Women’s World Tour, which culminates in the La Course race in Paris, France.
Katie heard about Pilates from a teammate and wanted to see how adding it to her training regimen could boost her performance on the bike. When Katie came into the studio she knew exactly what she wanted from Pilates and told me with a huge smile, “I’ve heard Pilates can improve my core strength, strengthen my small, deep muscles, give me greater mobility, and overall more power on the bike.” And with then we got down to business.
Pilates has become popular among professional athletes looking for an edge. The Washington Redskins and Pittsburgh Steelers have both incorporated Pilates into their training regimens. PGA Tour golfers and Major League baseball players are also benefiting from Pilates. After all, Joseph Pilates himself was a professional boxer.
Not only can pilates improve flexibility, balance and strength, it also emphasizes working in ways that elongate muscles, while simultaneously building stability and facilitating more efficient movement. In addition to helping performance it also helps to prevent injury and promote career longevity.
In order for you to build a clientele of athletes, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Train specific – Everything you say needs to relate back to their sport.
Work them in ways that challenge the strength required for their sport. For a cyclist they need strong legs i.e. quadriceps, hamstrings, gluts. Train that.
Work them in ways (planes of motion, muscle groups) that are entirely different than their sport. A cyclist also need strong core and deep hip muscles to balance out the muscles that dominate their sport.
Learn as much as you can about their sport. If you don’t know the sport, study up! You need to understand their habitual motions. Maybe even watch a practice, a swing, or have them bring in a video of them in action.
Speak the athletes language. If your working with a pro basketball player, try to cue more like their coach might. No “high heels” or “corsets” LOL.
Feel free to share this video with your clients so all athletes, novice to professional, can better realize the gains Pilates cross training can offer their sport!