Fitzroy Football Club: Great football, Great community, Great culture.

Kicking goals with das Studio Pilates


Late last year Fitzroy Football Club contacted Helen Saniga at das Studio Pilates in Smith St, Fitzroy, to see whether it would be possible to introduce the senior teams to the Pilates method.

The clubs survey had indicated the players were keen to incorporate more alignment, flexibility and core work into their conditioning schedule. It also highlighted that it would be most beneficial to tackle some muscle tracking and recruitment issues that generally lead to hamstring injuries, groin strain, knee conditions and ITB (iliotibial band) related issues that are all so common amongst footy players. Pilates is already used by many AFL clubs in their training, conditioning and rehab programs.

Helen was delighted that there was such interest and together with Fitzroy co-coach Michael Pickering, devised a schedule of group mat classes. Beginning in pre-season 2016 and running on Saturday mornings over four weeks, the series attracted over 80 attendances.

Propelled by the success of these initial sessions, Helen agreed to sponsor the club throughout the season. The feedback from many players has been that they were not only challenged by the work but felt that the exercises targeted and strengthened muscle groups; not only their core but also in their shoulder girdle, hip and pelvis. Many were surprised by the intensity of the exercises and in the ability of Pilates to work on deep muscle structures.

The players cant get enough.

Backman Tom Biscaro said for a bloke whose flexibility has never been great and who used to cramp in the legs during almost every game, Pilates has been amazing. I was pretty worried the first time I went down because I had never even considered Pilates but Helen and the girls at das Studio Pilates have done an incredible job in not only helping stretch and improve my bodys flexibility, but also strengthening muscles I never knew I had or used. My Pilates practice to date has been thoroughly enjoyable and I can already feel and see the effects of it on my performance and ability to run out games come Saturday. I look forward to continuing my practice and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone giving it a go.

The womens squad has also taken advantage of the opportunity to incorporate Pilates into their routines.

Hannah said Attending the Pilates classes this season has been really beneficial. The instructors at das Studio have been really welcoming and supportive, and the classes have helped a lot with post game recovery and building core muscles. I think it has definitely benefitted my overall strength and flexibility and I would recommend that everyone give it a go!

Players now have ongoing access to complimentary mat classes throughout the week. In addition, over the 2016 season, das Studio is offering 20 players the opportunity to attend studio sessions to the value of $320 each with the full range of Pilates apparatus (including reformers, chairs, barrels and trapezius). The studio has a great team of fully qualified and highly experienced instructors leading the sessions.

Helen said We have very much enjoyed the challenge of working with the player group and the specific requirements of AFL football players has inspired some workshopping and discussion around the Studio. Its been a great experience for all./p>

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