Pilates training is frequently discussed in post-injury or rehab settings. However, Pilates is even more effective for injury prevention, as well as cross training. In general, athletes as well as dancers, use large mobilizing muscles for strength and endurance of their sport. Particularly in repetitive movement sports, like running or cycling, this can lead to overuse injuries without adequate balance of muscles at the joint. Additionally, attention is required to maintain proper strength and recruitment of stabilizer muscles which support the joint and allow the mobilizer muscles to to do their job effectively. This type of training dramatically decreases the chance of injury and increases flexibility, agility, and subsequent performance.
One concept that sports trainers are embracing is LTAD—Long-term Athletic Development. This type of training progresses from general to specific, and from simple movements to more complex in multiple planes. The lighter resistance and multi-angular training of Pilates, makes Pilates training of athletes and dancers the perfect for LTAD, as well as anatomical adaptation, which focuses on developing muscle memory and patterning. This is often the key to healthy athletes and dancers.