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Sport Pilates: How to Prevent and Overcome Sports Injuries

by By Paul Massey BA (Hons), MCSP SRP

listed in sports injuries

Pilates, as a discipline, has matured over the last ten years and has gained increasing support from within the western medical model. Perhaps the greatest number of these supporters comes from the ranks of Physiotherapists who have now adopted Joseph Pilates' principles and have placed them into their treatment toolkits. Physiotherapists now have the choice of many different Pilates training courses to provide them with the necessary skills to give a Pilates 'look and feel' to their exercise prescription.

Initially Physiotherapists have been attracted to the lighter end of Pilates exercise as it neatly dovetails into the post-injury/early rehabilitation treatment role of the Physiotherapist, but, Paul Massey, an Olympic, Chartered Physiotherapist and the Author of Sport Pilates, How to Prevent and Overcome Sports Injuries, seems to be ahead of the game and is looking at the role of Pilates in the prevention and treatment of sports injuries. Not only is he interested in the initial injury but in the eventual performance of the fully rehabilitated sports person.

The 240 paged, soft-covered book, attractively priced at an RRP of £10.99, is the result of Massey's thoughtful systemisation of many Sports, their common injuries, and a preventative and rehabilitative exercise program based on the Principles of Pilates.

The first section of the book is a brief overview entitled All About Injuries. This sets the style of the book: well laid out, usually with clear subheadings and concise, short paragraphs. It often leaves you wanting more, but he's picked a large topic with this book and packing in the information is a high priority. Thirteen Sports, from Basketball to Tennis and including Football, Horse-riding, Golf and Running, are discussed and the injuries peculiar to them are identified. Tables indicating the most appropriate exercises in the latter half of the book appear at the end of each sports section. Information is often repeated but sometimes with nuances relevant to the sport. There is an abundance of diagrams by Anthony Duke, most are good but a small number such as the diagram showing 'sites of pain of the knee' would have been better served by a photo as its base.

The second half of the book discusses the principles of Pilates and three ascending levels of exercise Core, Foundation, and, Performance are described. The divisions of exercise are logical and clear. The exercises suit the format of a book. Massey has decided, and rightly, that simple, relatively localized exercises are better suited to the specific injuries identified. Those looking for flowing classic repertoire have other books to turn to. The exercises are well described, and here, Duke's diagrams help convey the message well.

The two halves of the book cross refer and the reader, particularly following a sport, a specific injury and its rehab program will find the book easy to navigate. This is the strength of the book and the clear intent of the author. It is also easily readable cover to cover and will give lots of practical hints, tips and information to those with an interest in sports injuries.

Its target audience is broad, and is suited as a primary text on the subject. Sports people themselves, both professional and amateur, coaches and those associated with the treatment of sports injuries are identified as the audience in the introduction. Pilates teachers who see sports people can also learn from Massey's approach.

The book should not be the sole provider of information to someone wanting to start Pilates for themselves, though not through any fault of the book. A Teachers' eye and measured corrections are of high value. The book therefore provides a through line for someone who wants to initially find out about either a sport specific injury and related exercise program or augment concurrent Pilates classes.

Sport Pilates How to Prevent and Overcome Sports Injuries does fulfil its purpose. Unfortunately there are too many typographical, diagrammatic or anatomical errors but on balance they do not detract from the books success.

The book is concise and because of that uses anatomical language that will send some readers to the glossary or to an anatomy textbook. This broadens the appeal of the book to a wider audience.

This book deserves to run to a second edition with double the pages so brevity need not leave the reader wanting more.

Warrick McNeill
Published by Cico Books

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