Athletes Who Use Pilates

by pilates32 on May 6, 2011

[dropcap1]W[/dropcap1]hilst advertising campaigns try to sell us the new twist on Pilates, using celebrities that claim to have used it and change the shape of their bodies, I am more interested in those who use it not just to look better, but to perform better. Offering advantages such as increased strength, flexibility and muscular coordination, it is no surprise that strength and fitness coaches of professional athletes recommend it within a training programme.  This week, I have been reading some testimonials from professional athletes who have used Pilates and continued to use it because of the numerous effects.

Jason Kidd

Last night, Dallas Mavericks beat LA Lakers; with a clean sweep to move on to the conference playoff finals (although beat is an understatement). The point guard leading the floor, Jason Kidd; not only performs Pilates on a regular basis, he now swears by it. Introduced to it by his wife Joumana, Jason avoided the opportunity at first, put off by how easy it looked and probably by the low attendance of men. Once he tried it he was amazed at the improved strength and flexibility which it gave him as well as a burst of energy. “The more I got into it and the more I understood it, the better off I felt,” says Kidd. “And then the thing was, I just wanted to keep doing it.” Jason attributes much of his increased flexibility and his avoidance of injury to Pilates.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods is not the only PGA golfer to implement Pilates. From reading up it turns out that this method is widely used by many pro golfers. This comes as no surprise due to the nature of golfing movements and the benefits of Pilates which run parallel to each other. The rotation of the torso, both with great power; speed and strength combined, requires stability not only of the mutlifidus and transverse abdominus but also strong hip flexors, obliques and gluteals. The golf swing performed at repetition can cause imbalance down one side of the body. Pilates helps to balance out the body, counteracting the force of the swing. It will also help golfers to activate the core as the primary mover and not the peripheral limbs.

David Beckham

For Beckham, Pilates is a tool to lengthen and sustain his career. Introduced to him during his time in Europe, Beckham remained supple by doing Pilates for an hour a day. For footballers and other sportsman it can not only help improve flexibility but also balance and stability. This is not just in reference to the core, but also the joints at the knee, ankle and shoulder.

blog header athletes2 Athletes Who Use Pilates

Curt Schilling

Speaking of shoulders, for baseball players, protecting yourself from shoulder injury is a big concern. Pilates and corrective exercise done properly can achieve this. Curt Schilling of the Arizona Diamondbacks agrees; his own words speak for themselves;[blockquote]“The first three weeks, I was really disappointed,” says Schilling, who incorporated Pilates into his off-season training program last winter. “I wasn’t sweating. I wasn’t winded, which is what I associate with true exercise.

“Then in the fourth week I started to understand the Pilates terminology, the idea of working from your center. By the third month I was more powerful and flexible than ever before. And I’d lost 15 pounds.”[/blockquote]

So there you have it, I’m sure there’s plenty more examples. Pilates is much more than just looking better, it’s about living and performing better.

Author: Ian Harris

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