In a departure from the "that's just for girls" mentality, the Pilates method has become popular among professional athletes looking for an edge and a way to cross train their bodies. The Washington Redskins and the Pittsburgh Steelers have both incorporated Pilates exercises into their training regimens. Like yoga, Pilates can improve flexibility, balance and strength. Unlike yoga, Pilates focuses mostly on strengthening the core and postural muscles.
Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett, enjoys Pilates as often as he can.
For Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, Pilates is an integral part of his training routine. Brown said that this whole-body approach, including the feet, has helped him become more "elusive." In other words, the exercises have benefited his overall balance control, and "knowing how to get my feet where [I want] to go."
Missy Franklin is a swimmer with multiple world records under her belt. In the 2012 London Olympics, she earned a total of 5 medals of which 4 were gold, and 1 was bronze.
Pilates is great for core building, and it is what helps her to be a stronger swimmer with stronger balance and body awareness. She sincerely believes that it is her Pilates work outside the pool that helps her dominate in the water.
*PopSugar Online article - Celebrities Who Do Pilates On and Off the Mat: 15 Starlets Who Choose Pilates June 1, 2011 by MICHELE FOLEY
*Google Images credited for celebrity photos
*Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock