I can only assume that most people reading this have tuned into the Olympics – even just for a bit! So I feel that I can only – even more safely – assume that everyone has been a bit curious/inspired/(and okay, envious) about the nearly unbelievable amounts of tenacity and strength visible within these athletes. Not to mention muscle tone. Of course these athletes train for hours on end to perfect moves for their own sport, but did you know that cross-training plays a major role in contributing to that perfection? Announcers speak of the Russian gymnasts who cross train with ballet and volleyball players who run sprints. What I’m loving most is hearing of the many athletes, like swimmer Dara Torres and hurdler Lolo Jones, who have been vocalizing Pilates as a mainstay of their cross training regimens!
Whether it’s the main event of your fitness routine or your cross training tool, Pilates is a wonderful method of choice for so many reasons. At the studio, we encourage both athletes and non-athletes to regularly visit the mat, Reformer, chair (or what have you) due to Pilates’ capacity to build core strength, endurance, flexibility, recover from and prevent injury. Torres has said, “In swimming, speed comes directly from the core so Pilates helps immensely.”* The mind body connection is also a major (major) point for why I love the method so much; it is crucial for competitive athletes to learn to center their focus within and not let external factors alter performance.
There is nothing quite like watching this level of athleticism and drive to inspire oneself to get moving. Allow that inspiration to come to life and head to the studio. So perhaps dreams of being “ripped” like an Olympian may or may not come true. But strength, flexibility, endurance and muscle tone are all within reach – Pilates will help you get there!
*Check out this interview with Dara Torres, where she speaks to her training, past and present!