When NBA superstar LeBron James isn’t in the middle of another season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, you might find him at a secret location in Akron, Ohio, where he swims and takes yoga and Pilates classes. He credits these off-season pursuits for his flexibility and stamina during the season, which has allowed him to play upwards of 40 minutes a game without any problems.
“I just [try] to do stuff to stay above the curve,” James has told reporters. In his eleventh year in the NBA, James is showing no signs of slowing down. But don’t think you will be able to witness his workout routine any time soon. “I can’t tell you exactly where [it’s] at,” James says. “It’s a secret place. We hold a secret society over there. We don’t tell too many people.”
Pilates Helps Professional Athletes
When it comes to maintaining a superior level of fitness during the off-season, Pilates has a lot to offer. The exercises and positions of Pilates can be adjusted to give a good workout to even the most seasoned athlete. Because it works the core muscles, it helps increase flexibility and balance, qualities that can help an athlete excel in any sport.
Stamina and endurance are also increased with Pilates, which can mean the difference between a very good athlete and one that is at the top of his (or her) game. It seems that LeBron James may recognize this difference.
There are other benefits of Pilates for athletes as well. The exercises are well-balanced, working the core muscles of the body evenly. When some muscles are worked harder than others and the body’s core is neglected, injuries may be more likely to occur. The balanced approach of Pilates can reduce the likelihood of injury, an important consideration for professional athletes, who need their bodies to work long and hard in practice and in games.
Gaining a Competitive Edge
It is very possible that Pilates can provide a competitive edge for athletes of all types, compared to other types of strength and conditioning workouts. It certainly seems to be working for James.
“I feel like, personally, if I’m not hurting the team playing big minutes, then I should be on the floor. If I’m out there dogging it and not playing at a high level defensively and I’m playing these big minutes, then I should come out and sit on the bench.” James is almost universally viewed as the NBA’s best player.
If you want to reap the benefits of Pilates for your athletic pursuits, Pilates Sports Center offers a comprehensive schedule of classes for all fitness levels. The trained instructors at PSC can even help you adapt your workouts to assist with recovery from an injury and emerge stronger than before. Visit Pilates Sports Center to see our schedule and find out more about how the practice of Pilates can help you excel in all your athletic endeavors.