PILATES FOR CLIMBERS
Pilates is basically strength training on a mat and whether you are an indoor or outdoor climber, into bouldering, sport climbing or trad, Pilates is one of the best training programmes for all climbers.
Ever wished you were taller to make a big reach, more flexible for a high step or stronger to hold or prevent a swing? Not only does Pilates increase your mobility and flexibility helping you to make tall moves, high steps, and rock-overs easier, but it also improves your core strength, stability and balance.
Pilates works by engaging the deeper layers of your core stabilising muscles, increasing strength whilst enhancing control at the same time. It increases strength of shoulder stabilisers, neck & hip flexors too. Climbers tend to over-work shoulder joints in relation to the rest of the body. Muscle imbalances and lack of flexibility are a significant cause of injuries in climbers (especially injury to shoulders and elbows). Pilates corrects your muscle imbalances, giving you the equilibrium and power needed for those tricky moves.
Now consider this…Pilates is built on key principles which translate so beautifully to how our bodies act and move when on rock or an indoor wall.
Executing each exercise with intent and focus; by carefully focusing on technique sustained throughout each movement
Every Pilates move is done with complete muscular control; executing each move with deliberate exactitude is more important than completing more repetitions
Pilates teaches you to bring your full attention to each movement and do it with full commitment; obtaining maximum value from each movement
Physically bringing your focus to the centre of your body, the core or "powerhouse" area between the lower ribs and pubic bone. It’s basically teaching you to engage and sustain core strength throughout every movement
Sustaining awareness throughout each movement. Being mindful of body placement and alignment relative to other body parts
Pilates movements are done in a flowing manner. Fluidity, grace, and ease are goals applied to all exercises
Regular practice not only builds muscular endurance, it also teaches you to use your body more efficiently to stop wasting energy holding onto undue tension, and develop greater stamina as a result
Every move coordinates with the breath, and using the breath properly helps you execute movements with maximum power and efficiency
In my sessions I make it my goal to ensure these principles are applied to every movement my clients make.
In functional movements our muscles don’t work in isolation - movements in our bodies involve muscle groups working in a coordinated way. The beauty of Pilates is that it teaches you to engage (or release) muscles and move joints in an isolated way, which allows for a very high level of precision and control in every move you make.
A regular Pilates session as part of your climbing training can be extremely beneficial to enhance performance and help you reach new heights!
Still need convincing…?
Here are just a few features in Climbing magazines that encourage a Pilates training for climbers:
UK Climbing magazine
Rock and Ice Magazine feature
Contact me to try a taster session of my Pilates for Climbers programme.
I'm available for 1:1 or 2:1 private Pilates coaching sessions.