Watching international sport stars, I can't help but ponder their daily routines, their mental strength and movement mechanics. The Australian Cricket Team sports physician, Peter Brukner is one of my new heroes. Number 1, he's just lovely. Number 2, he has wonderful people skills. And number 3, an awe inspiring wealth of experience in Sports Medicine.
From the delight of the Members Reserve, I watched Australia play England at the infamous Melbourne Cricket Ground in a One Day International. Having grown up in the era of Alan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Jonty Rhodes, Gary Kirsten & Jacques Kallis, it was a real treat for the avid cricket lover in me. Spending the whole day watching play offers reminders and therefore renewed respect for their movement! Also, I'm a fairly astute touchy feely people person...so when I've had a conversation with/spent time with someone, I get a sense of them and their bodies. So there I was analyzing each player I had chatted to at some point...seeing their biographies in their biologies.
Wicket keepers...that intense concentration, focus and hip flexion!! I want to get those hips on the reformer - mobilise in all planes, offer release and ease for the joints to allow for that constant squat. Spinal extension to open up the hips, shoulders and free up the head on the neck. Offer a zone of "nothingness" for the brain, to stream the cortisol and adrenalin of concentration out of the system.
The fielders...something similar, but a little less constant, more periodically explosive and fun. They are agile, quick to react and standing for long periods. They need spinal movements in all planes, explosive leg and arm and abdominal exercises. A Pilates boot camp if you like. I watched one fielder remain quite static in between overs, walking forward and backwards and could see he was hyper mobile with the tendency to lock into his joints which is going to lead to aching, tired global muscles which should be used for the dynamic movements rather than simple standing stabilizing. Again, the reformer is going to do the trick there...building global strength but more importantly intrinsic control over the joints...revitalize the elastic springs that are our ligaments and tendons.
Fast bowlers...wow the end range they need from their flank is going to require some extra stretching, with reciprocal strengthening...finding the balance between the muscle pairs required for that movement.
Spin bowlers...adding strong dexterity exercises involving the hand, wrist, forearm, shoulder joints.
Batsmen...core power, strength, rotation kinetic chain, sprint speed & technique.
Over dinner I had a great chat to one of these sports heroes who had actually tried a very certain brand of Pilates before and just did not get much out of it. He said it felt restrictive, pointless and very much aimed at a dancer. UGH! WHY!!!??? Joseph Pilates did teach a great deal of dancers but his work originates in boxing, martial arts and yoga...it is not necessary for it to be taught like a ballet class! Unless it is being given to ballerinas!? There is so much value to the original philosophy.
Check out this clip from 0:40 - 3:00
The body has a natural ability to heal itself, we discover more about this every day. It therefore makes sense that an innate ability to stabilize and move is there to access, albeit with a touch of facilitation.
Pilates Teachers, let's truly consider the body and person in front of us. Use the method, according to their requirements and individual approach to their own bodies. It just makes sense. I'd love to hear how you have worked the method around your client rather than the client around the method!
P.S. As a participant in and the Cape Town host of Cereal Killers Movie, I have met some phenomenally progressive people! Book here to see the Aussie Cricket team in Cereal Killers Movie. Prime Movers have a head start in ticket sales!