July marks the start of the Summer Olympics, inspiring the world with the athleticism and prowess of the participating athletes. How do these Olympians train? In addition to practicing their particular sport, athletes cross train to improve their endurance, strength, agility and flexibility. Often Pilates is part of their regimen.
2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Andre Ward and Joseph Pilates were both boxers. Joseph Pilates trained professional boxers in England. Ward used Pilates and stated “I use Pilates to strengthen my core, which creates balance and leads to velocity.”
Julia Mancuso who has been deemed “the best American female skier of her generation,” took home a gold-medal in the giant slalom at the 2006 Torina Olympics and was a silver medalist in the 2010 Olympics. Julia used state-of-the-art Pilates equipment during her daily workouts.
Pilates was part of performance enhancing workout preparing Olympic Gold Medalist Sanya Richards for the 2008 Olympic games. A gold medalist in the 4-by-400 relay at the 2004 Olympics and named 2006 athlete of the year by the International Association of Athletics Federation.
Olympic swimmer and gold medalist Natalie Coughlin practices Pilates as part of her training regimen and has been a spokesperson for Balanced Body’s Pilates Arc. “In swimming, speed comes directly from the core so Pilates helps immensely” stated Olympian swimmer Dara Torres.
Olympian Beach Volleyball player Kerri Walsh proclaimed “My favorite core workout is Pilates, which covers the entire core area. Pilates is a must do exercise for volleyball. We need to have very strong core muscles (abs, back, etc)”. Misty May-Treanor has also incorporated twice weekly Pilates equipment training into her training regimen in prior Olympics.
The secret ingredient that gives many Olympic athletes the edge to be the best they can be, keeps them looking great and has enabled them to play long and strong is Pilates and the principles of Pilates. Whether you are a seasoned athlete or a weekend warrior, incorporate Pilates into your workout routine today.
Patricia Massey Welter, PMA®-CPT, Lolita San Miguel Pilates Master™, Second Generation Pilates Teacher – Suncoast Pilates – 34080 U.S. Hwy 19 North – Palm Harbor, Florida 34684 - Phone: (727) 772-6772 - www.SuncoastPilates.com