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Joshua Garnett has used some less conventional methods to get him ready for the NFL

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Preparing for the NFL can mean a lot of things. For Garnett it meant a little of what Condoleezza Rice does.

During Stanford University’s graduation, San Francisco 49ers rookie OL Joshua Garnett tweeted that he and Condoleezza Rice had something in common: pilates. To prepare for the NFL, Garnett used the technique to increase his body awareness and strengthen his core. He has noticed a difference how he feels as a result.

Garnett said he took both yoga and pilates for several months prior to joining the 49ers at camp. There were several football players, wrestlers and swimmers who participated in the workout. He did say, however, that he is not one to take a pilates class at 5:30 am like Rice, he’s more of a 10 am guy. That’s understandable.

I asked Garnett a few questions about the workout.

It was definitely a great work out we would have out there, really good for your core. It’s just funny seeing big guys on the pilates reformer.

So you were on the reformer?

Oh yeah, I did it on the reformer. Our yoga instructor, I mean the first day it was kind of rough but by month 2, month 3, I mean you really get into it and it’s definitely a great work out. It’s good, you can kind of control your body and do things you didn’t really think you’d be able to do.

How long did you do pilates?

I did yoga for about 3 or 4 months and I did pilates for about 2 or three.

How did that help you get ready for the NFL?

It definitely kind of gets you in tune with your body. I mean you can kind of feel every time you move one way or the other it really locks down your core and stabilizes you so if you get out of whack you can definitely tell a lot easier after pilates because you kind of know what it feels like to move each individual muscle and where each thing should be to be locked in because if you’re not braced on that pilates reformer or if you’re not locked in down the center you’re going to fall off and I did that a couple times so I learned.

Was it all football players together?

Yes, it was all football players. I know they had wrestlers and swimmers, anyone who wanted to give it a try. I know some guys were scared on the team to give it a try but I said “Hey, I’ll do it.” I trusted Nancy, our instructor.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with what a pilates reformer looks like, I’ve included the picture above. It’s a full body, low impact, but intense work out that really targets core strength. Even when you’re working legs on the machine, like Garnett says, if you don’t have your core contracted, you are susceptible to falling. I can vouch for this.