Olympians use Pilates – The secret is out!

athletes

With the Winter Olympics over, many of us are left feeling inspired and amazed by what the world’s top athletes can achieve. As we look forward to Tokyo 2020, we thought we thought it timely to look at the role Pilates plays in the preparation, fitness and rehabilitation of Olympic athletes. More and more high-level athletes are incorporating Pilates into their training, for the same reasons that anyone seeking to increase their fitness, strength and wellbeing should.

 

Rehabilitation and Prevention of Injury

  • Retired British track cyclist, Victoria Pendleton, credits Pilates with helping her relieve sports-related injuries and back pain. “I’ve been doing Pilates for more than a year, and for me, it’s been a real breakthrough in managing back pain and building my postural muscles.” – Victoria Pendleton
  • Olympic gold medalist and Wimbledon and US Open Champion, Andy Murray, used Pilates to recover from lower back surgery in 2013, and subsequently went on to win a second Olympic gold medal (Rio de Janeiro 2016), a second Wimbledon championship, and reach an ATP No. 1 ranking.
  • USA 3 Day Eventer, Robert Costello, feels Pilates has improved his flexibility and therefore prevented injury.
  • Synchronized platform diver and former gymnast, David Boudia, uses Pilates to increase his flexibility, in order to prevent injuries.
  • Retired British rower, Toby Garbett, did Pilates for 7 years as part of Great Britain’s rowing team. When he suffered from a prolapsed disc, he was able to rehabilitate himself using Pilates and went on to become a Pilates instructor.

 

Mindfulness

USA track star Lolo Jones says she practises Pilates to improve strength and flexibility, and to sharpen her focus and concentration. Focus and concentration are not only critical skills for athletes, they are also vital for everybody to help with daily stresses and challenges that are so prevalent in the modern day. Lolo also uses Pilates for its rehabilitative aspects, to help reduce the toll that repetitive running and hurdling has on her body. She has called Pilates the ideal training regimen.

 

Core strength

USA beach volleyball players and three-time gold medalists, Kerri Walsh and Misty May Treanor, use Pilates to train for high-intensity volleyball matches, in order to maintain core strength and improve their reach and flexibility. Both Kerri and Misty said that Pilates helped them stay in shape during their pregnancies and return to physical fitness after their deliveries.
Olympic swimmer Dara Torres credits Pilates as providing her with her speed advantage in the pool. “In swimming, speed comes directly from the core so Pilates helps immensely.” – Dara Torres

 

Increased Body Awareness

USA 3 Day Event Rider, Will Faudree, credits Pilates with creating amazing changes in his competitive and personal life, including better body awareness while riding.

 

Look Great and Feel Well

Retired Australian Swimmer Stephanie Rice has revealed that she attends 4 reformer classes a week to maintain her toned and trim physical shape.

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