To become champions, athletes have to push their bodies to extreme fitness levels. To improve posture, avoid injury, and stimulate recovery, many of the UK’s top athletes turn to the mat for Pilates or Yoga.
British Olympic gold medallists who have used Pilates and yoga as an effective supplement for their training.
Andy Murray Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray has had to contend with his fair share of injuries during his career. In 2013 it was feared his career could be severely affected by a back injury and he wouldn’t be able to compete at the top level of the sport again. As we know, not only did Murray make a comeback to top tier tennis, but he did it by winning Wimbledon for a second time, collecting a second gold medal in the 2016 Olympics, helping Great Britain win the Davis Cup, and finishing as the world number one player at the end of 2016.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in 2015 when he was recovering, Murray said that Pilates was the key to his comeback. Pilates is great for injury recovery because it strengthens the core and improves movement.
Jessica Ennis-Hill Olympic gold medallist and British sporting icon Jessica Ennis-Hill has credited yoga as helping her stay in shape while she was pregnant. The track and field runner told the Yorkshire Post, “Yoga has been really good for me training-wise. It helps keep some level of fitness up through my pregnancy and also on the run-up to major championships”.
Yoga and Pilates are a fantastic and safe exercise choices for staying fit and healthy during pregnancy. As well as keeping you strong they can help with breathing and relaxation. Look for speciality pregnancy classes in your area or check your instructor is qualified to teach pre-natal – regular Pilates and Yoga exercises are modified for pregnancy.
Victoria Pendleton The 2012 gold medallist is now known for her horse riding skills as much as her Olympic success. After retiring from professional cycling Victoria Pendleton embraced a new challenge to become a horse racing jockey. In sponsorship with horse racing experts Betfair, Pendleton went from no riding experience to competing in the Foxhunters Chase at Cheltenham Festival. Pendleton stunned the racing community by finishing fifth. Fuse Pilates state that Pendleton credits Pilates as a huge influence on her career: “I’ve been doing Pilates for more than a year, and for me, it’s been a real breakthrough in managing back pain and building my postural muscles.” Maintaining a good posture is key in riding both a bike and horse and clearly the hard work paid off for the athlete in both sports.
Athletes use Pilates and Yoga as supplement exercises because they cover many different aspects of training from injury recovery, to staying in shape while pregnant, Pilates and Yoga are both great and effective ways to keep the body in top condition. So you don’t have to be an Athlete… everyone can benefit!
This is a collaborative Post