Pilates is so beneficial for many sports, but in particularly it can really help you strengthen your basketball game both on and off season. Pilates works your body from the inside, out. It lengthens and strengthens muscles you may not have even realized existed. It makes you stronger and leaner. Pilates also builds a very strong mind/body connection. This helps you literally brace yourself and stabilize when twisting, turning, jumping, lifting, etc. All of these sports-specific moves are key in improving your game. Other agility moves where Pilates can help is shuffling from side to side, pivoting, sprinting and stopping on a dime! Pilates helps strengthen your back so you’re less prone to injury when doing all of the maneuvers required for your sport. Not only will you be more physically prepared for basketball, but you will strengthen your mental focus as well. Below are some Pilates exercises using a basketball as a prop which were developed by my Pilates Mentor, Bernadette Giorgi (www.justbmethod.com).
Bridges with Feet on Basketball
Lie on your back and anchor your palms and shoulder blades into the mat. Bend your knees, aligning them with your hips, and bring your feet on top of the basketball. While maintaining neutral spine, inhale and engage your glutes as you lift up through the heels. Use your glutes and abs together, as you lengthen your tailbone toward the back of your knees. Exhale as you roll back down to the ground, articulating the spine to the mat as your upper back, mid back, low back, and finally tailbone comes back to the mat. Repeat six to ten times.
Roll Downs with Basketball
Sit on floor in an upright position with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bring your arms out in front of you holding the basketball. Inhale to prepare, then exhale and pull your navel in toward your spine. Work to round your spine into the letter “C” again keeping your gaze towards your navel. Inhale to prepare, than exhale engaging your abdominals and bringing yourself back up to your staring position. Repeat six to ten times.
Roll-Ups with Basketball