“You will develop muscular power with corresponding endurance, ability to perform arduous duties, to play strenuous games, to walk, run or travel for long distances without undue body fatigue or mental strain.”
Joseph Pilates in “Return to Life Through Contrology”
Joe was definitely onto something here, and now the rest of the world is finally heeding his words of wisdom. Pilates is now considered a vital component of a professional athlete’s training program. Accomplished sportsmen and women are performing harder, faster and stronger than ever before thanks to the power, agility and stamina that comes with the regular practice of Pilates. AFL, Rugby League and Union athletes participate in up to three sessions a week to achieve a strong, flexible body that functions at it’s peak.
Serena William’s famous derriere has been turning heads and causing a stir around the world….for all the right reasons. Once famous for her bulky, muscular physique, Serena now possesses a slim, toned, athletic sihlouette, has improved her game and dropped down to a size ten. Her secret? A strict Pilates regime of course! She was determined to stretch and elongate her body to achieve a more streamlined, feminine figure. Mission accomplished, Serena!
DAVID Beckham incorporated Pilates into his training schedule to prolong his career. Thanks to the amazing benefits of Pilates, 34-year-old Beckham predicts that he won’t be hanging up his boots until the ripe old age of 40, which is outstanding in the professional sports industry. According to UK newspaper The Sun, the superstar soccer sensation recently stated, “I do an hour of Pilates a day. The medical set-up at Milan is fantastic and fitness-wise I am the best I have been for a long time.” His dedicated Pilates routine has drastically decreased his body fat from 13.7 per cent to an incredibly lean 8.5 per cent.
AFL player Jonathan Brown and cricketer Shane Watson both praise Pilates for conquering their chronic injuries and drastically improving their performance.
Shane Watson was a notorious gym junkie, throwing big, heavy steel around the weights room believing that strenuous, back-breaking exercise was the only way to go. Brisbane physiotherapist Victor Popov introduced Shane to the world of Pilates and opened his eyes to a whole new, pain-free world where stretching and Pilates were a top priority. Watson’s career was severely disrrupted 12 times within a six year period due to hamstring, back and various other injuries. Since commencing Pilates, Watson’s body has remained injury-free even under the gruelling demands of his sport.
Jonathan Brown’s AFL career has seen him encounter many hurdles. A suspension interrupted his 2004 season and during 2005 and 2006, Brown only managed a mere 24 games due to osteitis pubis and a hip complaint. Jonathan said at the time, “It’s been a frustrating three years, with one bad suspension year and two bad injury years, when you should be at the peak of your powers.”
He has a reputation as AFL’s bad boy, with his tough, ruthless playing style and pushing his body to the limits It took a hell of a lot of willpower, perisitence and determination to stick to a rigorous Pilates routine, however he credits the method for his exceptional comeback. Brown’s range of kicking enhanced drastically as the season progressed, regularly scoring goals from outside 50m.
If you want to run faster, hit harder, kick longer, look fitter and perform better in and out of the sporting arena, then Pilates is the thing for you. Even if you shy away from the field and just want to remain injury free in day to day life, give Pilates a go and find your inner sporting star!
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