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Pilates For Athletes?, with Raphael Bender and Cloe Bunter

Episode 31:

Pilates For Athletes?

The idea of using Pilates for athletes to improve performance is pretty common, but the question is, can Pilates help improve your athletic performance and reduce injury or is that just another one of those Pilates myths that we’re committed to busting? Well, yes, and also no.

Listen in to find out which, and how. And what exercises.

What You Will Learn:

  • Whether Pilates helps improve athletic performance and reduce injury
  • The three mistaken beliefs around improving athletic performance with Pilates and why one of them may not be a myth at all
  • Why if you want to get good at moving explosively, you’ve got to move explosively, and how to recruit high threshold motor units in a Pilates class
  • What the research says about the correlation between core strength and sports performance
  • Why Pilates for athletes and improving performance is critical to understand
  • Why people are encouraged to practice Pilates to avoid injury and how their engagement with the discipline impacts long term outcomes

Fearless Teaching Skills

The Pilates community is a fantastic, inclusive place. However, many of the ideas it takes for granted are out of date or just plain pseudoscientific opinion. These are the elephants in the room in Pilates, and we’re here to talk about them openly and honestly. The Pilates Elephants podcast is all about debunking the myths and giving you science-based tools to become a better, happier, and more fearless teacher.

Improving Athletic Performance with Pilates

As an athlete can Pilates really help improve your athletic performance and reduce injury or is that just another one of those Pilates myths that we’re committed to busting? Listen in to discover whether Pilates for athletes is effective in helping athletes get better at their sport. We discuss why if you want to get good at moving explosively, you’ve got to move explosively, and how to recruit high threshold motor units in a Pilates class.

The Elephant That’s Not an Elephant

Raph and Cloe take a deep dive into the three mistaken beliefs that exist around whether Pilates helps athletes improve their performance — by improving core strength, correcting muscle imbalances, and practicing movements used in your sport. And, they reveal why one of the three isn’t actually an elephant at all and why. On Episode 31 of Pilates Elephants, they also give specific exercises to help your clients strengthen their core.

pilates for athletes

About Raphael and Cloe:

Raphael Bender, CEO, Breathe Education

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

Cloe Bunter, Training Manager, Breathe Education

With 8+ years in the industry, both teaching Pilates and nurturing new instructors, Cloe is passionate about empowering new and seasoned instructors to think critically and move fearlessly. Empowered instructors empower their clients, and in turn, change lives.

She finds great joy in building connections with clients, students, colleagues, and the broader movement and rehab community. Co-hosting the Pilates Elephants Podcast, with Raphael Bender, has provided an incredible platform to bust common Pilates, movement, and rehab myths whilst creating a worldwide community of critical thinkers who are elevating health literacy.

Cloe is fascinated by movement in general, and its ability to enhance our lives, at any age. Her own movement practice includes Contrology/Pilates, running, weights, and kettlebells. She has a Diploma of Clinical Pilates, Cert IV in Pilates, and Cert IV in Training and Assessing.

How to Connect with Raphael and Cloe:

Pilates Instructor Training Resources:

  • Have the butt muscles of the world gone silent? Here
    • Exercises that are most effective for strengthening the core muscles here and here.
    • TLDR: Rectus abdominis, external oblique, erector spinae: Free weight exercises e.g. barbell squat, deadlift, dumbbell bench press
      Internal oblique: unilateral core exercises e.g. stir the pot
      Transversus abdominis: Poor quality and sparse research 🙁
      Multifidus: Prone row, deadlift, back squat
  • Increasing core strength has marginal effects on athletic performance and is not a good investment of time for this purpose here and here
  • There is a relationship between the ratio of concentric internal rotator strength and eccentric external rotator strength, with shoulder injuries here
  • Sprinters with low hamstring strength relative to quad strength get more hamstring tears here
  • Side-to-side imbalances in erector spinae are not related to low back pain here
  • Imbalances between lumbar and thoracic erector spinae activation do not cause low back pain but may be an adaptation to low back pain here
  • Poor hip abduction strength may be associated with ITB pain syndrome in distance runners here
  • But greater hip abduction strength is a risk factor for ACL (knee) injury in basketball players here
  • Players who score higher on the functional movement screen (i.e. they move “better”) have a higher injury risk here

Our Pilates instructor training is 100 percent online, so you can study from anywhere in the world.

Earn recognition: Your Breathe Education Pilates qualifications are recognized by the Australian Government, Exercise & Sport Science Australia, and all major insurers.

Build your skills: with our pilates instructor training, you’ll learn the original Contrology exercises created by Joseph Pilates. Plus, you’ll learn the most current, science-based ways to cue and program those exercises, how to work with injured and pregnant clients, and nurture beginners.

Gain confidence: Learning is fun and easy when you engage with our state-of-the-art eLearning system, filled with straightforward, relevant content and structured to guide your training as you build skills and confidence.

Feel supported: You’ll learn world-class problem-solving skills, not just a list of answers. Our student success team and trainers will provide you with all the guidance, challenge, and support you’ll need to become what you want to become.

Take your first step to becoming a certified Pilates instructor by scheduling a 20-minute Discovery Call with us here.

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