Teven Jenkins

How Teven Jenkins sees Pilates work paying off on football field

It's become a *core* part of his workouts

NBC Universal, Inc.

Teven Jenkins’ biggest obstacle over his short Bears career has been his body. He’s never gone through a season entirely healthy, so he’ll have to prove sooner rather than later that he can stay on the field. To try to accomplish that this year, Jenkins has delved into Pilates in the hopes that it will strengthen his core and his back. In the process, Jenkins has learned about his body and improved his play on the field along the way.

“Just being able to understand why you can’t do certain movements right now because those muscles are weak and some are strong,” Jenkins said. “The smaller muscles get neglected because most people want to have a six-pack, get shredded, all that. They want to work the big muscles, not the small ones that actually keep your core strong.”

It was Jenkins’ back that derailed his rookie season, starting with his inability to get on the field at training camp. Jenkins had back pain that would shoot down into his legs. For days on end we heard that Jenkins was slowly but surely improving, until Aug. 18 when Matt Nagy announced he would need surgery to fix the problem. It seems to have worked, since Jenkins never appeared on the injury report due to any back issues.

Jenkins did miss time due to a hip injury, then needed to be hospitalized after suffering a scary neck injury against the Eagles late in the year. Even though neither of those instances had to do with his back, Jenkins says he’ll always be aware of it, to a degree. He knows it’s something he’ll have to maintain throughout his career as he continues to get older.

“Things are going to start wearing down. You've gotta keep things strong. That's how it is.”

Jenkins has shouted out his Pilates instructor, Chris, several times, not only because of the education she’s provided or because he feels stronger physically, but because he’s seen how his strengthened core has helped him win against opposing defensive linemen.

“Like when a D-lineman is trying to shed you off or throw you, you are able to engage that certain core non-consciously. Like the muscle just has that reaction to activate and you can just move yourself back into position, in a good position, and block the man.”

When he’s healthy, Jenkins has been the most consistently dominant blocker for the Bears over the past three seasons. Right now Jenkins is healthy, and he’s ahead of where he expected to be in his transition from right guard to left guard. It’s clear that his early success, and his health, has made him happy.

“I'm feeling like it's starting to pick up and now I feel like I'm starting to get going. I wish I had this my rookie year but things happen how they happen.”

Click here to follow the Under Center Podcast.

Contact Us