Pilates for CrossFit
Says Stanford University’s Nanci Conniff, who works with pros like Bademosi, Andrew Luck, and Jeremy Lin, “With Pilates, you’re strengthening the muscles that are closer to the bone. You’re always working in extension, to lengthen instead of shorten muscles,” which can counteract the tightening and stress of sport-specific, high-impact training.
Conniff recommends that CrossFitters add exercises like the Saw (read the how-to, here) and Swimmers to their warmup, as a way of prepping for big, explosive moves. “These build strong muscular connections in the intrinsic core, and greater flexibility in the hips, which helps protect the lower back,” she says.
Swimmer: Lie facedown, arms stretched overhead, keep legs together and straight. Reach through the top of your head for the most extension you can manage, chin tucked slightly, eyes looking down. Raise your right arm and left leg about 6" off the ground, floating your head and chest up off the mat. Hold this position for 10 breaths. Alternate arms and legs.