Frustrated by what he considers a lost season last year, Brandon Sutter decided to take a different technique to training over the summer.
The veteran Vancouver Canucks centre missed out on 30 video games in 2018-2019 with a right-shoulder sprain suffered in October. He went back to the lineup only to be knocked out again in February with a lower-body injury. That led to a hernia surgery on his best side that sidelined him for the last 26 video games.
"When you miss too much time it seems like you lose out on a lot," stated Sutter, who had 4 goals and two assists in 26 games last season. "I keep in mind last year when I learnt I was having the surgical treatment in March I was quite distressed.
"At the very same time, I was already type of motivated to come back for this year. I was anticipating what this year would bring."
As part of his summer training routine, Sutter, 30, invested one day a week with a Pilates instructor.
"I just wished to try something different," said the 12-year NHL veteran. "Doing the exact same things every summer season ... I was getting tired of doing the very same 5 days in the health club weekly. I desired to find a way to change it up a bit.
"After having a couple of hernia surgeries I type of felt my lower core and my groin were things I needed to deal with to remain healthy."
Sutter formerly had sports hernia surgery on his left side in 2015.
Emphasis on balance
Pilates was established by physical fitness instructor Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century.
It's a technique of exercise that includes low-impact versatility, muscular strength and endurance motions. Pilates stresses proper postural alignment, core strength and muscle balance.
Mairin Wilde is the owner of Vancouver Pilates Centre. She's worked with competitive and leisure professional athletes consisting of swimmers, gymnasts, figure skaters, tennis players, snowboarders and skiers, plus Cirque du Soleil performers.
"It's about the whole body," stated Wilde, who has advised Pilates for over 30 years. "It's great for stabilizing the body.
"A lot of sports, specifically when you get up to high levels of competitors, there is so much repeating, really particular movements, so it will develop imbalances in the body. With time, those are the important things that can truly get athletes in problem."
Conventional weightlifting can cause wear and tear on the joint structure.
"The method Pilates works is to reduce the compression in the joints by training your muscles in systems and doing the motions properly, so your co-ordination is much better, your focus is much better, as well as strength and versatility," said Wilde.
"It works for all activities because it's based upon how the human body is designed to move. You can apply it to anything where you are moving."
VIEW "When you miss out on too much time it feels like you miss out on out on a lot," stated Sutter, who had 4 objectives and 2 assists in 26 games last season. In 9 video games this season Sutter has 2 goals and 3 assists. Sutter looks like the Canucks variation of a Swiss Army knife. A third-line centre, Sutter often works with a turning cast."It's good to have a day where you stretch things out," Sutter stated.