A growing number of NFL players have discovered the secret to developing core strength, muscle balance, and increased flexibility.
It’s becoming so popular among these elite athletes, in fact, that teams including the Washington Redskins, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Detroit Lions, the Green Bay Packers, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have incorporated Pilates workouts into their training regimen. By building core stability, increasing range of motion, and developing muscle alignment, players have discovered they can run faster, move with more precision, and counterbalance the heavy weight lifting that builds muscle strength but leaves them feeling tight and inflexible.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown cites some additional benefits of Pilates: a focus on calves, ankles and feet – all of which receive little attention in a traditional gym setting. For a wide receiver, this focus creates an edge in precision and control, and allows players like Brown to develop the edge necessary to remain nimble and elusive on the field.
These elite male athletes are destroying the myth that Pilates workouts are primarily for women. For them, it’s a logical and necessary step to balance their more traditional weight-focused workouts. By concentrating on fine-tuning core strength and synergizing muscles, NFL athletes find themselves more competitive – and less prone to injury – on the gridiron.
Because Pilates integrates full body movement and connection, top-tier athletes have a better functional understanding of how all their muscles work together in synchronicity. Proper breathing techniques, pelvic alignment, and a focus on smooth and connected movement gives athletes better overall body awareness, increased control, and an unparalleled competitive edge.
And the Pilates craze is extending into many other areas of elite athleticism as well, including within the NBA, the MLB, and for individual runners, swimmers, cyclists, and triathletes. Pilates helps alleviate the pain caused by endurance training and strengthens often-overlooked muscles. Many of these athletes walk away from a Pilates workout feeling a muscle imbalance that indicates where their focus should remain – on the tiny muscles that support the dominant ones.
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