The list of celebrities who do Pilates is almost endless, from Julia Roberts, Sharon Stone, Uma Thurman, Danny Glover, Liz Hurley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sting and Madonna to Martin Amis, John Cleese and Ian McKellen.
• Madonna is probably the most famous and devoted Pilates practitioner, but many other familiar faces are showing up in Pilates studios.
• Gisele Bundchen, whose amazing body has earned her well over $38 million a year, keeps her body looking great with diet and exercise, including surfing, Pilates, yoga and dancing.
• LeBron James, NBA Rookie of the Year in 2004, has adopted a victory gesture known as “Thrown Up the Rock,” named after one of his Pilates Reformer exercises.
• Oprah Winfrey practices Pilates two to three times a week because she says “moving out from the center [core], awareness, harmony, balance, and control help me embody where I’m going with my life. I’m moving from my core. I move differently. Pilates really has changed my life.”
• Olympic volleyball champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh credit their trainers with developing a hybrid training program which includes Pilates.
• Brandon Routh, who portrayed Superman, used a mix of Pilates and yoga designed by his trainer. “It’s all about core training so I could be flexible on the wires [used to make him appear to fly] and endure long hours.”
SOME PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES USING PILATES
Golfers: Tiger Woods, Rocco Mediate, Rich Beem, Charles Nardello, Annika Sorenstam, David Duval, Kelli Kuehne, Andrew McGee, Grace Park and Carin Koch.
Basketball: Jason Kidd, Kobe Bryant, Greg Oden, Ben Gordon, Lebron James, J.J. Reddick, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the New Jersey Nets, the Orlando Magic and the Washington Wizards.
Baseball: James Loney, Curt Schilling and the Milwaukee Brewers.
Football: R.W. McQuarters, Ruben Brown, Rodney Harrison, Calvin Johnson, Al Wallace, the Detroit Lions, the Green Bay Packers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders.
Olympic Athletes: Kerry Walsh and Misty May-Treanor [Volleyball Gold Medalists], Sanya Richards [Running], Dara Torres, Natalie Coughlin [Swimming], Andre Ward [boxing], and Julia Mancuso [skiing]
HERE IS WHAT SOME OF THEM SAY ABOUT IT
• “I do Pilates now, early in the morning. It wakes you up, and it’s kind of refreshing.” – Ashley Greene star in the “Twilight” movie franchise.
• “I do a lot of Pilates. An immense amount of Pilates.” – Megan Fox star of “Transformers”
• “I have been going for 13 years… How do I measure the success of Pilates? Certainly, I emerge with a tremendous sense of wellbeing, and even if I do call at the coffee shop for a croissant afterwards, I still feel my health has been served. I remain active and relatively agile.”
“Pilates is not just for the fit. It is wonderful for injuries. My damaged shoulder was taken in hand, special exercises prescribed, attentive care always available. A younger member of our group recently had a hip operation and Pilates helped her recovery; another broke a leg and arrived for classes encased in plaster. Already she’s back on her feet. I stop short of making medical claims. I merely report what I have seen.” – Joan Bakewell, writer and broadcaster, on the secret of her health and agility at the age of 70 – from an article in The Guardian.
• “These [Pilates] exercises are really very necessary when you do a lot of sitting… They keep you flexible enough to pull on your socks as you get older… When I get out of the car now, I don’t go arrggghhh…” – Martin Amis, novelist and twice-a-week Pilates devotee
• “I do Pilates four or five times a week. The benefits are subtle, but it increases your flexibility and really tones you up. It also straightens your spine and improves your posture. In the past eight years, I’ve grown more than two and a half inches. I am 5ft 7ins and I am very pleased with that.” – Belinda Carlisle, singer and pop icon
• “Now I have muscles of steel and could easily deal with giving birth.” – Hugh Grant, actor and film star
• “I’m a Pilates person. It’s great. I had a chronic back, a pinched nerve and a hip problem and it’s completely solved all of it. I love it. It makes me feel like I’m taller.” – Jennifer Anniston, TV and movie star
• “I’ve been using Pilates for many years. It’s the best system I’ve found for isolating and strengthening individual muscles without stress to the joints.” Patrick Swayze, deceased movie star
• “Pilates is the only exercise program that has changed my body and made me feel great.” – Jamie Lee Curtis, movie star
• “What do I like most about Pilates? The fact that I can really feel my body working. I might do 250 crunches but my body is so used to them that I don’t really feel them. With Pilates, I can really feel [my abdominals] even if I only do six or 12 repetitions.” – Joan Collins, actress and writer, who first started doing Pilates over 20 years ago
• “You have turned me into a Ferrari; my husband thanks you.” – Ruby Wax, actress, writer and TV personality, to her Pilates teacher
• “It helps with a lot of injury prevention. I’d recommend it to anyone.” – Elena Baltacha, British tennis player
• “Lying down doing breathing exercises for one and a half hours a day is not easy. But I believe it is making a difference.” – Seve Ballesteros, Spanish golfer with a chronic back problem
• “I don’t like to waste time. I want to spend it doing the best possible thing for me. Pilates has given me the greatest returns. It sucks your butt up, tones the legs and shoulders. Nothing else gives you definition like it.” – Lucy Lawless, best-known for portraying “Xena, Warrior Princess”