Swimming and Diving: Whether swimming with the ‘sharks’ or ‘ripping’ an entry off a spring board or 10-meter platform, you need strength, total body control, flexibility and breath control. I should know. I did just that for the PSU Lady Lion Diving team. How I wish I had known about Pilates back then! For the diver, explosive power off the board fast and efficient spinning and twisting come from flexibility as well as strong abdominal, back and gluteal muscles (the Powerhouse). Pilates develops the body uniformly for balance and control and strengthens the muscles around the joints so the body can withstand impacts of up to 50 miles an hour off the 10-meter platform. Since every exercise includes a stretching and strengthening component, the body becomes strong and supple.
Swimming is a total body sport requiring strength, power, efficient breathing and endurance. Practiced consistently, Pilates also increases flexibility in the shoulders and hips for improved range of motion and fluid stroke. It’s no wonder Olympic athletes Natalie Coughlin, Nick McCrory, Ariana Kukors and David Boudia have made Pilates an integral part of their cross-training.