I for a year, I worked for a Crossfit company in Kuwait. Yes, I did. They opened a Yoga studio and bought me in to teach Yoga, Barre and, of course Pilates. I didn’t get into Crossfit because I was still healing from M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) but I learnt a lot about it and spent a lot of time with some really accomplished Crossfit athletes.
After almost 9 months of banging on about my obsession with Pilates, I was invited to (okay, I asked to) take over our quarterly training and development session and teach the ‘coaches what Crossfit’, about Pilates.
Here’s what I told them
You can only develop larger muscles to the point that the stabilising muscles can cope, otherwise you run the risk of injury. By strengthening these stabilising muscles, Pilates can help you to reach new performance levels.
Pilates can increase your Crossfit game by:
- Connecting mind to body to better understand your own unique movement patterns and how to better control them, correcting imballences that slow you down and how to bring balance back to the body
- Connecting mind to body also teaches you how to better fire the correct muscles, retraining the body to operate optimally
- Pilates is functional movement, so is Crossfit. But by moving in the precise way we do in Pilates, you up your functional movement game and you can bring this control into your training
- Understanding of core muscles. Bracing the core muscles, is not always a good thing, particularly for women, because you can ‘strangle’ your internal organs. Pilates teaches you how to have an awareness of this area, and be in control of turning the core up AND down as load is added to the body. Learning how to turn the core down is hugely important for you Crossfitters!
- Healthy spines. All those heavy lifts compress spinal vertebrae, Pilates lengthens the muscles in the torso and realigns the body, relieving compression in the spine
- Postural Correction and understanding neutral. Pilates corrects your posture, when our bodies are ‘stacked’ correctly in neutral posture it means there is no energy wasted on compensation for imbalances, which means.. minimum impact, maximum efficiency my friends!
Rebecca Koch, Regional Athlete and Head Coach, Women’s Facility Circuit+ Kuwait and my room mate. Check her out: Instagram @rebeccaakoch