The Pilates Method is not a gimmick. It’s a functional movement practice and lifestyle coveted by a number of pro athletes around the world, including hockey players.
What started out as a rehab-based practice by Joseph Pilates is now becoming a key addition to the elite athlete’s training regime. The sophisticated method and equipment attracts athletes that want to improve their body control and awareness.
And now we’re ready to share this form of movement education with Goalie Nation.
AN INTRO: BY JUSTIN GOLDMAN
As we all know, goaltending is an extremely demanding position. The grind it can have on the body is seen in the rising number of young and pro athletes suffering from issues like back pain and hip impingement. Combined with the rising number of kids playing the game, we believe it is of utmost importance to educate the goalie community on movement and proper alignment.
Since our launch back in January of 2009, The Goalie Guild has been advocating the Pilates Method as a valuable off-ice training tool for goalies of all ages. Not only does this come from years of positive personal experience, but from the proven results of numerous pro athletes.
One of the top Pilates teachers in Colorado happens to be my sister, Gina de Soto. For years, we’ve not only discussed the vast benefits it has for goalies, but we’ve witnessed it first-hand. Surprisingly, only a few pro goalies (like Ed Belfour) have discovered Pilates over the years. But that’s something we’re really determined to change.
Starting in September of 2017, through a partnership with Body of Knowledge, Gina and I will be launching a new program dedicated to introducing the Pilates method to the goaltending community. Together, we will run small classes, clinics, and private sessions called Off the Ice, Onto the Mat throughout Denver and Colorado. These will be affordable, educational, and benefit any goalie looking to boost their performance. Players and parents are also welcome!
More importantly, Pilates is a great vehicle for movement education. Not only can you learn a great deal about functional movements and breathing, but since you’re working mostly with your own body weight through simple mat exercises and specialized Pilates equipment (many of which consist of springs, straps, and pulleys), your body awareness is naturally heightened.
Today’s pro goalies rely on precise positioning, skating ability, well-rounded athleticism, and physical preparation more than ever before. But with the butterfly and movements in the down position dominating much of the game, healthy hips and good body control are vital to proper development. Fortunately, Pilates is not only a great way to improve joint function and help you stay injury-free, it can also reduce the potential short and long-term damage to the hips.
Of course we know that there are many effective ways to improve your athleticism, but we’re strong believers in the Pilates method. Soon, we’ll be showing you exactly why. We’ll share videos and content in order to promote the practice and help you seek out more information from your local studio or educator!
OFF THE ICE, ONTO THE MAT: BY GINA DE SOTO
As a movement educator and Pilates instructor for over 13 years, I have been able to witness how valuable the Pilates method can be not only as a mind-body practice, but as an essential addition to fitness and professional sports training.
The Pilates Method is an exercise method originally developed in the early 20th century by a man named Joseph Pilates. Originally called “Contrology”, his work was created to strengthen and balance the body.
There is an increasing number of professional athletes participating in mindful health practices such as yoga and meditation. In addition, an emphasis on training the “core” (abdomen, low back, hips) has gained traction over the past few years. I am a huge proponent of the Pilates method as a great tool for “pre-hab” or injury prevention. Just a few benefits for hockey goalies participating in a Pilates training program include:
- A breathing practice for increased lung capacity and circulation
- Improved strength, flexibility, balance, and efficiency of movement
- Heightened awareness of proper alignment
- An education in movement: students understand basic anatomy and kinesiology
- Muscular AND mental coordination
- Improved posture on and off the ice
In Pilates, we work on the quality of movements performed rather than the quantity; students are encouraged to focus their mental attention on the exercises being performed. Pilates is also a great way to promote the joint health of younger students. As such, it can become a life-long practice: anyone, professional athlete or otherwise, can do Pilates at any age and stage of life.
It is my desire to spread the knowledge of this method and its practices to hockey goalies, skaters, and athletes who want to heighten their abilities, want to maintain healthy bodies, and want to add an “off the ice” practice as a cross-training method.
For more information, I urge you to visit www.pilatesmethodalliance.org. You can also learn more about my work at www.bodyofknowledgeco.com. I’m excited to team up with The Goalie Guild as we aim to provide a quality program that empowers young athletes in a positive way as they work toward their individual goals.
Gina de Soto
Body of Knowledge, LLC.
Certified Pilates Instructor
Nutritional Therapy Practitioner