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Jake Arrieta's Full-Body Pilates Workout

The Chicago Cubs pitcher transformed from a struggling pitcher to Cy Young winner by doing this routine.

Jake Arrieta's Full-Body Pilates Workout
Duration 1 Hour
Exercises 9
Equipment Yes

Jake Arrieta dominated in 2015, winning 22 games, on his way to receiving the National League Cy Young Award. Outstanding as Arrieta’s performance was, Cubs fans still sadly remember last season for the way it ended: in a sweep at the gloves, er, hands of the New York Mets in the National League Championship Series. That tends to happen when your team hasn’t won a World Series since 1908.

So what does the league’s best pitcher do to help bolster the championship aspirations of baseball’s most cursed franchise? Shake Weight routines? Jazzercise? Nope. Pilates, of course.

SEE ALSO: Hunter Pence Workout For Explosive Speed and Strength

“I feel like a student, always trying to put my body in different positions to replicate the way I perform,” says Arrieta, who pitched his second career no-hitter in April.

Pilates is similar to yoga in that it uses low-impact exercises to improve muscle endurance, strength, flexibility, and conditioning. The workout first gained attention among pro athletes when Tiger Woods and Jason Kidd started doing it in the early-2000s.

Considering the intense focus involved, Pilates lends itself perfectly to the skill set required to fire a 98 mph fastball across home plate. The 6'4", 225-pound Arrieta started doing Pilates in 2014 and now practices year-round, six to seven days a week with each session lasting 11⁄2 to two hours.

“The impact on your joints is very minimal,” says Arrieta. “I can do Pilates and come back the next day and get a solid workout in.”

SEE ALSO: 3 Ways Pilates Can Fine-Tune Your Training

Before discovering Pilates, Arrieta, 30, had never won more than 10 games in a season. So it’s fair to say that Pilates helped kick-start the Texas native’s career. However, a dedication to functional range conditioning, weight training, cardio training, massage therapy, and a healthy diet relying heavily on pregame smoothies didn’t hold him back, either.

Arrieta now expects to play in the Cubs’ first World Series since 1945.

“The added experiences for our young players and the new players we acquired are going to pay huge dividends for us.”

Well, that and habitual Pilates. 

Jake Arrieta's Pilates Workout (Workout is done while you stand on a Pilates box. You can use a low box or a mat). For 4-8, Arrieta uses a Pilates spring wall, but a resistance band anchored to a fixed object works too.

Exercise 1

Goblet Squat You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Goblet Squat thumbnail
3 sets
15 Each Leg reps
-- rest
Perform the squat with an abs twist. Alternate touching your elbow to your opposite knee on the way down.

Exercise 2

Dumbbell Shoulder Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Shoulder Press thumbnail
3 sets
15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Standing Dumbbell Biceps Curl You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Standing Dumbbell Biceps Curl thumbnail
3 sets
15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Lateral Stepover You'll need: Bench How to
Lateral Stepover thumbnail
3 sets
40 reps
-- rest
Row band as you step down with left foot while right foot is on floor and left foot is on box. Squat while pulling band.

Exercise 5

Reverse Lunge
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
20 Each Leg reps
-- rest
*With biceps curl. Perform a biceps curl after each lunge, alternating arms.

Exercise 6

Squat Jump Onto Box You'll need: Box How to
Squat Jump Onto Box thumbnail
4 sets
20 reps
-- rest
Row the band as you do a squat, jump and land with each leg on one side of box (so you're straddling the box).

Exercise 7

Diagonal Lunge You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Diagonal Lunge thumbnail
4 sets
20 Each Leg reps
-- rest
*Perform reversed.

Exercise 8

Plank Pikes You'll need: No Equipment How to
Plank Pikes thumbnail
3 sets
15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 9

Plank with Knee to Elbow You'll need: No Equipment How to
Plank with Knee to Elbow thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest
Bring lower knee to same side elbow in plank, then raise to single-leg pike position.
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