Tag Archives: sport core strength

Olympic snowboarder’s rehabilitation creates a new Pilates teacher

Chris Hunt Pilates Pilates Rehab


Olympic snowboarder’s rehabilitation creates a new Pilates teacher

We all know that Pilates is great for rehabilitation from many different injuries and conditions.

I love a happy ending. Some people have accused me of being negative in some of my articles (it’s impossible to please everyone and of course when reaching such conclusions, people are often reflecting their own negativity). Life is not always fluffy and sunny, there are sometimes difficult issues that I feel need to be discussed and not avoided: not because I like negativity, but because I am not afraid to speak my mind and debate issues that others may rather avoid.

In fact I am a very positive person. I practise mindfulness meditation and I am Buddhist. So back to my blog today, which is about two of my very favourite things in the world: Pilates and snowboarding. One of the reasons that I moved to Barcelona was because it is very close to the Spanish Pyrenees.

Today I want you to know about the Olympian who broke her back attempting a snowboard jump, spent four years in rehabilitation, found Pilates, and now she’s a Pilates instructor.

Steph Prem had one bad jump in the World Cup finals in Italy in 2010 changed the Olympian snowboarder’s life forever. The 24-year-old from Melbourne fractured vertebrae, compressed discs, dislocated her hip, broke five ribs and tore her pelvis and hamstring. She is now 29, and having had to give up her snowboarding career she discovered Pilates and teaches others from her own studio.

During her rehabilitation she finally accepted that she would never snowboard competitively again but by then she had gained a love of Pilates throughout her long and arduous road to recovery. She tried everything for her constant pain including Valium, spinal cortisone injections and nerve ending operations but nothing worked.

After much trial and error, it was a combination of both traditional methods along with alternative measures that has worked for her. She says ‘I had to try a lot of different things and be open-minded to a lot of different treatments because I was finding I was in a lot of pain for a long time and not a lot was helping.’

But it wasn’t until she tried Pilates three years ago that she discovered exercises she could do without experiencing any pain. After that she says that her quality of life improved out of sight. ‘It completely changed my whole way of being because before the accident I was addicted to daily exercise as a professional athlete but I lost that with my injury,’ she said. ‘I had been so limited and restricted in what I could do that it was so awesome to discover Pilates because a lot of the work was protected using the machinery. But also the lower deeper intrinsic work that I was doing gave me back that daily outlet and there was so much I could achieve,’ she said. ‘It gives you strength from the inside out – it helped me massively mentally and physically because I could do something again.’

Whilst my own story is nothing as extreme as Prem’s, my journey of acute back pain due to a spinal condition I was born with to marathon runner, amateur snowboarder, surfer and most importantly professional Pilates presenter, does have some similarities as Pilates was the rehabilitation technique that also changed my life. This is why I will always be so passionate about it (read more about Pilates EVO from the heart).

I created Pilates Rehab Limited in the UK to give easy access to a range of people who want and need professional Pilates services they can trust and rely on. Still to this day nothing gives me more satisfaction that knowing that I am helping too provide people with the means for them to take responsibility for their rehabilitation and improve their quality of life. I also love to work with sportsmen and women in the UK and in Barcelona.

I am very interested to hear your personal stories of your own rehabilitation thanks to Pilates or those of your clients. The more we can share experiences and raise awareness, the more people we can help to help themselves to a better quality of life.

That was a happy ending and a positively sunny blog for a Monday.

Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also created Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona, as well as retreats. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

The World Cup: Coleen Rooney, WAGS, and Pilates

Sport Core Strength Chris Hunt Pilates


Any excuse to talk about football and I am there. I am a lifelong passionate fan of Arsenal and Barcelona. When I lived in London I was a regular at Highbury and then the Emirates, and now I am blessed to be in Barcelona watching one of the most beautiful football teams in the world. I played football for many years as a boy and young man, so applying my knowledge of Pilates to footballers is something I naturally enjoy.

Before the serious stuff, you might have noticed that the World Cup is almost upon us, and whilst the players are going through their final preparations, so too are the wives and girlfriends (WAGS). In the UK there is always s big fuss about the WAGS and their impact on the players.

Queen of the WAGS. mother of two and wife of England striker Wayne Rooney is Coleen Rooney. She took to twitter this week to tell us all about her fitness regime, which includes gym sessions, interval training and of course Pilates. She said “I always wear a bikini on holiday, they’re the first thing I think about packing. I have drawers full and I always take far too many away. But like anyone else I have to be careful about what I choose. There are certain shapes I’ve found that make me feel confident, so I stick to those. I tend to avoid anything too skimpy on the bottom half and I look for halter neck styles on top. My main problem area is my love handles so I don’t want to wear anything tight around my hips. Thin, stringy, tie-side briefs aren’t flattering so I always go for big bikini bottoms.”

With these inspiring words in mind, let me turn to the serious point of my blog today. I love to work with sportsmen and women. Whilst I get a massive sense of satisfaction when I see someone rehabilitate from injury or improve their posture, I also love to work with athletes to help them to improve even further their game. In Barcelona I am working with people involved in sports such as golf, surfing and rock climbing.

We are all very familiar with the benefits that Pilates brings, and specifically for football Pilates is relevant because it can help to: improve  flexibility, improve mobility, improve co-ordination, build overall fitness, improve endurance, build body awareness and focus, reduce the risk of injury, and help to rehabilitate after injury

Football demands rapid directional changes, often at near maximum pace, and the delivery of controlled power from unbalanced body positions. As our understanding of the demands placed upon footballers develops, so has the approach to training and injury prevention. The quiet revolution in training techniques is now not so quiet, with modern-day managers acknowledging the crucial importance that stretching, suppleness and flexibility gives their players. Pilates meets these demands perfectly, so an ever growing number of footballers use Pilates to improve their core strength, their co-ordination, mobility, flexibility and technique, as well as for prevention and rehabilitation from injuries.

Pilates is also a perfect form of warm-up prior to playing, and cooling down post-match. Any out-dated opinions of Pilates being a sedate pursuit for ladies only have long been extinguished, with many Premiership Football Teams including Pilates in their training schedule. The benefits are also used by other top sportsmen and women, such as the All Blacks Rugby Team, and individuals such as Tiger Woods.

Pilates is not only appropriate for the professional player. Youth players, semi professionals, and weekend players, whatever their age, sex and ability, would all gain enormous benefit from a regular Pilates’ routine.

I developed Sport Core Strength (http://www.sportcorestrength.com) in London and now in Barcelona to encourage more sportsmen and women to include Pilates in their regimes. Whilst working one-on-one is always a very effective way to teach (especially when most players will have their own specific issues), it is a lot of fun to work with whole teams as well, creating exercises in pairs and groups.

If you want to chat about Pilates for sports (including golf, football, cycling, surfing, tennis, skiing/snowboarding, running rock climbing etc), about Sport Core Strength, or about Pilates in Barcelona then please contact me.

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?