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Why Professional Athletes do ELDOA and Pilates

We always think professional athletes are in outstanding condition, and while they are unequivocally in great shape – their bodies take an absolute beating from the rigours of training and competition. Ask any athlete and they will tell you it’s really all about the prolonging the longevity of their career, not just improving their performance, but keeping them free of injury and helping their body heal quicker if they do get hurt.

In today’s modern sports landscape, professional athletes understand that their competition is as fierce as ever, with incredible demands for them to perform every single day. It’s why we as the audience are so amazed with how they can handle this intense pressure bearing down on them, having the constant spotlight always shining, and the incredible toll that being a modern athlete can do to you mentally and physically.

Let’s start with Pilates –

Why does Pilates resonate with professional athletes?

Short answer: Athletes are more interested in preventative exercises now more than ever before.

Pilates elongates and strengthens your muscles, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. So a body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured – hence the shift with athletes.

Ten years ago we would never have seen professional athletes doing Pilates, but it’s become so mainstream now with big name athletes incorporating it into their daily regimen. It’s a sign that the times are changing with the way we describe our health, and people are more in tune with that. We’re more aware of fascia, the interwoven connective tissue that supports and protects our muscle groups, organs, and the entire body as a unit.

Both ELDOA and Pilates help you become acutely in tune with your body, and you actually learn how to control movement better, your body becomes smarter. Pilates and ELDOA go hand in hand – it’s a no brainer for athletes. They’re both there to make sure that the body can heal itself better and to help transform the mind and body.

When you consider, for example, the rotational force that the spine withstands in sports like golf and tennis, the ELDOA method becomes indispensable. In fact professional golfer, Ben Crane implements the ELDOA method into his daily exercises. By creating space between the vertebrae of the spine through extreme contraction and fascia remodelling, the ELDOA exercises work to counter the effects of compression. The exercises are so specific that you can target the exact levels of the spine where the rotational force is the greatest.

Some of the biggest and most fierce athletes in professional sports get taken to task with a little bit of Pilates and ELDOA, but they’re becoming wise in targeting smaller muscle groups, in order to improve their core strength, and enhance their flexibility.

How often are athletes doing ELODA and Pilates?

In general, these exercises should be conducted daily – but it doesn’t mean it needs to be done constantly. Two or three ELDOAs need to be done everyday, and then one to two sessions of 45 minutes per week. A few ELDOAs daily to counter the effects of a particular sport is very important, but it is still very athlete specific.

Take for example, Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs. What does he do to follow up a record-setting rookie season? He took up Pilates to alleviate back pain and improve his overall balance.

“I focused a lot on body posture this summer,” Matthews said. “I started doing Pilates, just kind of opening myself up more a bit, being more upright and (with the goal of) avoiding other injuries”.

“Pilates transforms your mind and body, and changes how you look at the little things,’” says Michael Davis, a Cornerback for the Los Angeles Chargers. “I never knew how it could benefit me as a person and an athlete.”

ELDOA as the new frontier for athletes

When Guy Voyer started teaching ELDOA to Osteopaths, they would initially teach it to their clients – but they weren’t always athletes. So the movement didn’t really spread until he started teaching personal trainers in North America, many of whom had a much larger network of professional athletes.

It’s becoming more mainstream because the trainers that are certified in ELDOA can teach it, and they’re connected to RMT’s, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors and Osteopaths who have also learned the ELDOA method and have seen the difference in their own body. Once this practice started to be shared within these high-profile networks, the word of mouth naturally snowballed from there.

ELDOA has made its way to professional athletes such as Connor Hellebuyck, starting goaltender for the Winnipeg Jets. Being a goalie is such an unnatural position, and it took workouts that incorporated everything from resistance bands on the ice to ELDOA in order to highlight the correct (and counter the incorrect) biomechanics in order to create space and balance throughout his body.

Conor

Connor is such a big guy with long legs and arms and trainers could see the movement was from the outside in, not the inside out. His sequencing wasn’t proper, so his responses didn’t line up with what was needed from the play or movement pattern. It required a lot of reprogramming for him to get dialled in and feel connected from the inside out.

His workouts focused on teaching the brain and body to activate specific muscles, in the correct sequence for more efficient movement on the ice.

“This year I finally feel like I am taking the next step in control of my energy levels and being in shape to a next level and I can still skate as much as I want to,” says Connor Hellebuyck.

Take a page from the pros and see how incredible your entire body feels in just one Pilates and/or ELODA session!

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