Why is Pilates good for windsurfing?
Think about some of the positions you adopt on your board. For starters you’re in a half-squat position for much of the time with your arms reaching forwards.
You have to pick the sail out of the water, and depending on what type of windsurfing you are doing, there can be a lot of vigorous movements through your shoulder, elbow, hip and knee joints.
This all creates a lot of pressure on your lower back that if your lower back muscles can’t cope with, leads to you overcompensating with others muscles and joints. This equals increased injury risk while also guaranteeing you will be sore the next day.
Pilates is great for counteracting that in a number of ways:
1. Balance – you’re able to hold yourself in the best, correct position for longer, protecting your lower back, and executing any movement through that base. This means less pressure on arms and legs as you’re not heaving through other areas.
2. Strength – the strengthening and lengthening of muscles that happens in a Pilates workout means you’re more likely to be able to use that muscle for longer without it fatiguing.
3. Flexibility – the strengthening and lengthening process through Pilates increases suppleness and reduces the risk of overstretching and helps recovery.
4. Mobility – Pilates involves a lot of controlled, dynamic movements, which aid joint mobility in shoulders, hips, knees, ankles and neck and can help you better execute certain moves on the water.
5. Flow – Pilates classes encourage controlled transitions between movements. Sudden, jerky movements are more likely to lead to injury but if you’re more in control of these movements the less likely you are to hurt yourself.
“People don’t always realise an injury they are suffering from might have its root cause somewhere else in the body,” continues Bonnie.
“A lot of knee problems, for example, stem from not having strong gluteal muscles or tight hamstrings. Pilates helps to balance those sorts of issues out, which then contribute to improving all the factors listed above.”