Aly Raisman just melted many, many hearts while stretching it out in spandex. The 26-year-old Olympic gymnast and former athlete, who has openly battled her anxiety and struggled with reveals during the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal, was, ahead of the weekend showing she’s a comeback queen. Aly updated her Instagram for the New Year with shots that aren’t seen all that often on her social media – it was out with the plants and puppies and in with the stretching, but the post wasn’t a standard showoff. Check it out below.
Scroll for the photos. Aly, who was both the 2012 “Fierce Five” and the 2016 “Final Five” captain, shared various images of herself doing Pilates, a strengthening and toning practice frequently employed by both gymnasts and ballerinas, especially during injury recovery.
Aly, who was seen lying back and lifting a leg while in black ballet flats, tight leggings, and a top, was guided by a trainer in one image, also seen on her side and fixing up equipment akin to a reformer.
Keep scrolling for more photos. “Ever since I started training again in 2014 for a second Games, my body & mind have never felt the same,” Aly wrote, addressing her 2.1 million followers. “The 2nd time around was harder than I ever could’ve imagined. I’m still struggling to fully recover,” she added.
In fact, by 2016, the year that saw Raisman in Rio, she was “barely able to walk up the stairs” some days without her legs cramping and feeling “fatigued.”
It just got more and more raw. The Aerie partner, who also has deals with Amazon and is helping the homeless amid COVID, added:
“I couldn’t understand how I went from being one of the best gymnasts in the world to struggling to stand up while washing my hair.”
The caption then turned more uplifting as Aly told fans that Pilates had really helped her get back on her feet. In particular, she likes the “own pace” setup and the muscle targeting. See her stunning smile below.
Aly, who has been receiving all the love in the world, quickly brought in other Pilates lovers. The gentle, but deceptively-demanding exercise, is also one that 2008 all-around Olympic champion Nastia Liukin found her way with – the Russian retired aged just 22 in 2012.
“YES I love Pilates, it’s the best,” was one reply, with another saying Aly’s post was “insane to hear.” The star’s “journey” moved many a fan, although some were eyeing up the leggings.
For a cheekier gymnast, scroll for Simone Biles in her bikini!