So what’s in store for our Movement Moment this week?
Pilates. And how it is a wonderful piece to add to the MMA puzzle.
Joseph Pilates founded and developed the exercise system Contrology which is now known today as Pilates. He was a man of many physical ventures including gymnastics, bodybuilding, yoga, jiu jitsu and boxing. With this, his education and keenly observing animal locomotion, he made his life purpose working with the mechanics of the physical body.
How does the WNYMMA community benefit from Pilates?
Last year, Pilates was introduced to the WNYMMA community with a great purpose. Not only is it a supportive system of exercises for everyone from all walks of life… yet there is a wonderful opportunity of adding the benefits of Pilates to the world of MMA. This connecting of dots has already begun gaining traction over recent years with more and more higher level fighters taking on Pilates as part of their training regimen.
Why are fighters starting to recognize the benefit of Pilates?
Pilates exercise’s main focus? CORE. And our core is our abdominal muscles, back muscles, hips, pelvic floor and glutes!
Almost every movement you do in Martial Arts begins in your core where the most muscular activation comes from. Thus, the weaker your core is, the less power you can produce in your fist or foot. Also, if your mid-section gives in during grappling, your opponent will take advantage. This is why high-level fighters are taking on Pilates to deeper develop their core musculature especially the inner stabilizing muscles.
Pilates is a combination of strength & balance so if you’re weak in one area, you will also be off balance in that region which is great feedback letting you know where your weakest links reside 🙂
Mental Game Changer
With Pilates focusing on lateral (intercostal) breathing, one breathes in through the nose and out through the mouth. In a Pilates class, you will hear your instructor echo “inhale, exhale” many times. This repetitive reminder to stay focused on your breathwork during the exercises is a great way to make sure you are getting consistent oxygen to your body throughout your flow. Naturally, this attention to breath brings awareness to being present which allows for the mind to calm.
The best part?
In the process of your Pilates journey, you will be correcting your postural alignment which striking and grappling can take a toll on. With good posture and a strong core, the body is less susceptible to injury. Proper Posture = physical longevity & sustainability.
So, as we’ve learned today… it sounds like a win win situation! That’s because it is. Pilates is there to build you up. And who doesn’t want that? 🙂
Below is a video by a very talented mind body movement instructor, Sean Vigue, who has compiled a wonderful series of Pilates exercises for athletes. Enjoy in the comfort of your home!
Hope to see you on the mat soon. Have a magical day in every way!
Life Coach and Pilates Instructor
Coach at WNYMMA