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Pilates Goes to the Olympics

Pilates trainer Tom McCook with Olympic gold medalist Natalie CoughlinTom McCook and Natalie CoughlinPilates may not be an Olympic sport, but it certainly has a presence at this year’s games in Beijing. It seems Pilates is a part of just about all the top athletes’ training regimens, including United States gold medal swimmer Natalie Coughlin. Coughlin has been working with Tom McCook of Center of Balance in Mountain View, CA, for five years on functional movement and exercises that will complement her swimming training. And it shows—she won five medals in 2004 and she’s won a gold, silver and bronze so far this year, with more races to go.

Other athletes with Pilates on their side include 41-year-old U.S. swimmer Dara Torres, U.S. sprinter Sanya Richards, British triathlete Hollie Avil and Australian sailor Tessa Parkinson. Canadian rower Tracy Cameron replaced weights with Pilates in order to cut weight to compete in a lower weight class, and top tennis players Roger Federer and Venus Williams have been know to practice the practice.

Do you train an Olympic athlete or team?
If so, let us know in a comment below. Go Team Pilates!

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Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 12:16PM by Registered CommenterAmy Leibrock in | Comments4 Comments | References6 References

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Reader Comments (4)

I was watching the Olympics and saw Natalie Coughlin carrying her roller to the stadium! This post confirmed my suspicion that she's doing Pilates. What a great advertisement for Pilates!

August 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Ah ha! I KNEW it! In fact, I have been using the Olympic Swim teams, bith Mens and Womens, as perfect examples in my classes of what a truly supported lower spine looks like! You can see on these athletes how 'skinny' around the waist they are and how supported the lumar region of their spines need to be to 'glide' through the water and to control the duel motion of their legs and arms.

August 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterOlivia

Ah ha! I KNEW it! In fact, I have been using the Olympic Swim teams, bith Mens and Womens, as perfect examples in my classes of what a truly supported lower spine looks like! You can see on these athletes how 'skinny' around the waist they are and how supported the lumar region of their spines need to be to 'glide' through the water and to control the duel motion of their legs and arms.

August 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterOlivia

If I am training swimmers, and specifically, young female swimmers, what exercizes in the repetoire will most benefit them?

March 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSalle Huber

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