TRIPILATES The perfect machine

In the last few months the TriPilates has become very fashionable, being included in the training and offering a clear improvement in the competition results for all those who practice Duathlon and Triathlon.

The TRIMAD Triathlon shop, which is located very close to the Casa de Campo, where every year several tests of this sport are hosted, has bet on it, offering weekly sessions of this novel system.

Today we show you an article written by Billie in collaboration with Anais, where she will explain in detail what this "TRIPILATES" consists of

If you have any questions, you can come this Saturday June 16 at Casa de Campo where the first of the appointments of this 2012 will be held, WILD WOLF Triathlon Series by POLAR, and consult with them directly in their tent or in their store on schedule commercial any day of the week.

TRIPILATES The perfect machine

by Billie Pérez Pilates instructor at TRIMAD

The Pilates method has been rooted in the Anglo-Saxon world for decades and although in Spain it landed a long time ago, it is still necessary to fight against the generalized perception of substitute "gymnastics" or method of training of famous people.

In the USA or Australia nobody is surprised to hear great triathlon champions like Emma Snowsill or Craig Alexander talk about their Pilates workouts.

Although most triathletes include gym sessions as part of the weekly routine, this article explains the reasons why you should decide to try Pilates and include it in your weekly chart. The way to find the improvement you are looking for may not just be more meters or more gym. Test. The prize is considerable: fewer injuries, greater movement efficiency and greater performance in the three disciplines thanks to "the perfect machine".


The term "Tri-Pilates" is not official. You can find it in your Internet search especially in countries like the United States.

In this article, we refer to Tri-Pilates as a series of Pilates exercises that take into account the specific needs of the body of the triathletes.

We take as reference an analysis and initiative carried out in TRIMAD, a triathlon center located in Madrid next to the Casa de Campo, a meeting point for numerous international and popular triathlon events in Spain. In TRIMAD, triathletes and athletes who are part of their training groups can incorporate Tripilates classes in their weekly plans.

The exercises carried out in this program are based on the biomechanical study carried out on a group of triathletes by a team of physiotherapists and Pilates instructors.


The Pilates method takes into account the physiognomy of each person, their injuries and needs. Thus, the tennis or basketball player will obtain greater benefits if the specificities of his sport are studied.

The case of triathlon is not different since the body of what we call "triathlete type" has characteristics as a consequence of the peculiarities of that sport (combination of three disciplines, transitions, etc.).

The biomechanical study carried out on a group of triathletes in TRIMAD using functional and postural tests indicates more than thirty points that help to draw the type triathlete. We highlight some of these points of the analysis led by the team of physiotherapists and instructors of Pilates of TRIMAD:

  • Rigidity of the foot: the lack of mobility is a very common feature among triathletes and athletes from the three disciplines (athletes, swimmers or cyclists). The foot is one of the great forgotten among so many sessions of muscle building, series, technique, etc.
  • Inhibition of the gluteus: being one of the most powerful and fibrous muscles of the body, in the case of many triathletes does not exercise its function correctly. This negatively impacts other muscles (eg hamstrings) that tend to be overloaded to absorb gluteus deficiencies.
  • Scapular waist dysfunction: consequence of the large number of repetitive movements associated with the upper body (ie, running, swimming).
  • Blockage of the lumbar area and cervical instability due to forced postures in the swimming and cycling segments.

Taking into account the characteristics of the body of the type triathlete will allow to establish the most suitable training, always respecting the individual physiognomy of each athlete.


But what is "the core"?

Many of the most recent articles on Pilates focus on the "core" since, effectively, one of the great benefits of Pilates is its strengthening.

Visually imagine that it is "the center", the control panel from which the rest of our body is handled. More technically, it is the region where the abdominal and lumbo-pelvic area connects, the place that connects the abdominal muscles and the lumbar region with the gluteus.

The core allows the triathlete to be "well armed", stabilize, correctly link the movements of the upper and lower train and thus transmit efficiently the strength of each stroke, pedaled or stride. Thus, thanks to its strengthening there are spectacular changes in the way of swimming, cycling or running.

Consciousness of our body: when the detail makes the difference

Imagine a house whose facade attracts our attention. If we enter and the foundations are not solid we will conclude that this house is not the ideal one: the practice of the Tripilates looks for the economy in the posture and the gestures ("what is seen") but also the strengthening of the smaller muscles ("what that is not seen ").







Triathlete Anais Tommy-Martin performs an exercise following the instructions of the instructor Billie Pérez during a class of Tripilates at the TRIMAD facilities.



In the body of the athlete, the big muscles and the small ones have their function: the former endow the gesture with elegance and print power while the latter stabilize the movement at all times. Without these stabilizing elements, the muscles that we all know and exercise in the gym (quadriceps, twins, hamstrings, etc.) will not work efficiently and the risk of injury increases.

Many triathletes, through gym sessions, work the most visible muscles, the big muscles. However, doing sit-ups or squats does not allow strengthening the small muscles whose importance is extraordinary, even if they do not "see": they are the foundations that stabilize the house.

Efficiency and flexibility: towards the perfect gesture

A benefit associated with the Tripilates is to achieve greater flexibility, coordination and fluidity of movement.

For example, we have pointed out earlier that the triathlete's foot tends to act "like a block". We are all aware of the importance of the stride's efficiency, we read articles, we like to do the tread biomechanics test, buy the shoe that incorporates the latest technology, etc. But how many of us do exercises to improve the flexibility of the foot?

The triathlete Anais Tommy-Martin and the instructor Billie Pérez in different phases of a plyometric exercise using the Jump Board during a class of Tripilates in the facilities of TRIMAD.


We are not going to perform the calculation in this article but we would be surprised of the energy saving during a marathon if we get a good stride. Stride stride there is a loss of energy and an increase in fatigue that can lead to injury. A flexible foot, that allows to accompany the movement in its different phases (support, impulse, take off), allows to save energy and avoid injuries. Pilates helps get that foot.


Your physiognomic characteristics, your origin (do you come from swimming, athletics or cycling?), Your most recent and objective injuries (short, medium, long distance?) Will make it necessary to adjust the general guidelines of Tripilates. Therefore, if you have ever attended a Pilates class, you will have seen that the classes have few students which ensures that the instructor can adapt the exercises to each person.

The attached table summarizes the benefits of Pilates for triathlon practice. It also indicates, depending on the personal characteristics of each triathlete, possible areas that should be affected (eg neck, hamstrings, lower back, etc.) when performing Pilates exercises.


Avoid common injuries / discomfort

Performance improvement

  • neck and back pain
  • overload of the shoulder girdle
  • more "elegant" and fluid gestures
  • gesture / breathing coordination
• more "elegant" and fluid gestures
• gesture / breathing coordination
  • Lumbar or dorsal pain arising from forced postures on the bicycle
  • greater connection and stability
  • foot-ankle game optimization
• greater connection and stability
• foot-ankle game optimization
  • hamstring injuries
  • imbalances in the pelvis
  • economy of stride
  • stability of the pelvis
• economy of stride
• stability of the pelvis

NOTHING, PEDALE, RUN, ... FLY! The practice of the Tripilates has an impact on (i) avoiding common injuries and (ii) improving performance thanks to more efficient gestures and body balance.


Much of the Tripilates exercises focus on:

  • Get more stability. For example, exercises centered on the lumbo-pelvic region and scapular area.
  • Get a strengthening of the back. For example, exercises that involve the dorsal and lumbar muscles.
  • Increase the mobility of key "pieces". For example, exercises that exercise and work the hip and foot.
  • Increase the flexibility of important muscles for each of the disciplines. For example, exercises involving the latissimus dorsi and pectoral to improve swimming technique and efficiency.

Two last tips:

(i) to obtain a real benefit, the habitual practice of Tripilates is recommended since a sporadic practice limits the positive effect.

(ii) if you decide to try Tripilates / Pilates it is better that you do it together with a professional who will assist you. The exercises that you will see in books / magazines can help you but poorly performed they can injure you.

The triathlete Anais Tommy-Martin and the instructor Billie Pérez using different elements (ball and reformer) during a Tripilates class at the TRIMAD facilities.

In case you still have doubts at this point, we insist: if you are a triathlete / athlete and you are thinking about what else you can do to improve, Tripilates can be your best ally. It will be the element that enhances all your meters in the pool, the kilometers in bike, the series or the technical work. Tri animas?

The author of this article, Billie Pérez, is an instructor of Tripilates and Pilates at TRIMAD, a triathlon and running center in Madrid. Around the idea "Equip, Train and Recover with us" as well as triathlon / running shop, TRIMAD has training groups, Tripilates / Pilates and massages / osteopathy.

TRIMAD is located in Madrid Río / Puente Segovia, a few meters from the Casa de Campo circuit which is a triathlon reference point in international and popular events in Spain. More information in and Facebook.


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