5 Pilates Moves for Athletes

Though it’s routinely patronized by the Lulu-clad, carefully coiffed, alkaline-water-drinking set, make no mistake: Pilates takes no prisoners. Adding this decades-old practice to your training protocol can help hone your competitive edge, enhance your sports performance, improve your movement patterns or simply connect you to your core. Here’s how to master the mat to take your training — and your physique — to the next level.

Woman doing Pilates

Pilates is not just an ab and glutei class: It’s a highly focused program that teaches your brain and body to work together to optimize movement and breathing from your center outward.

The Test of Time

Though it has become super trendy in recent years, Pilates has actually been around for nearly a century. Joseph Pilates, a physical trainer from Germany, originally developed a practice he called “Contrology” to aid in the rehabilitation of veterans. His methods were later adopted as the preferred conditioning protocol for dancers, and over the years, Contrology morphed into the current practice of Pilates. The original mat-based movements and fundamental tenets of Contrology developed by Joseph Pilates are still in use today, and the practice still works to coordinate and harmonize the body, mind and spirit.

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