Volleyball: If you’re looking to improve your ‘kill’ rate or your efficiency at digging, you either want to become a mafia kingpin or a better volleyball player. Pilates, when practiced consistently, can give you power, precision and control to dig for, hit and spike the ball. Olympic gold medalists Kerri Walsh-Jennings and Misty May-Treanor incorporated Pilates into their conditioning programs to gain deep core strength, postural muscle stability and flexibility. Strengthening the deep core muscles helps prevent injury and improves balance and endurance. Pilates also boosts focus by requiring concentration for improved mind/body control and coordination.
Research studies reported in the Journal of Sports Sciences showed a 12 to 21 percent improvement in muscular ability level of the legs, posterior strength and jump components after athletes adopted consistent Pilates training as part of their conditioning program. Walsh-Jennings and May-Treanor, who took home their third consecutive Olympic gold at the 2012 London games, say Pilates contributed to their success on the beach. Walsh-Jennings told the Wall Street Journal that Pilates improved her flexibility and strengthened her core. ‘It’s really given me an extra 20 percent in my performance on the sand,’ she said.