Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman is touting the benefits of pilates for getting her mind and body back on track after years of pain and torture during traditional forms of exercise. The 26-year-old star took to Instagram over the weekend to share her experience with pilates, which uses low-impact flexibility and muscular strength, as well as endurance movements to target the core muscles of the body. Pilates is also credited with helping relax many muscles in the body as stamina is built through performing the moves.
Aly Raisman, who has been an athlete her entire life and trained at levels of endurance that most would not be able to handle, shared her story in a new social media post.
“Ever since I started training again in 2014 for a second Games, my body & mind have never felt the same. The 2nd time around was harder than I ever could’ve imagined. I’m still struggling to fully recover,” Raisman explained to her fans.
She added, “After 2016, some days I could barely walk up the stairs without my legs feeling fatigued & cramping.”
Aly Raisman admitted she was having a tough time dealing with the pain and suffering, especially after being so strong for much of her life:
“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.”
She continued that, “I’ve felt disappointed & frustrated because it’s been hard to find a workout that doesn’t leave me feeling depleted & sicker. I tried to remind myself to listen to my body & find what works for me.”
The retired gymnastics legend wrote that she used to attend pilates classes with her mom as a kid, and recently brought her mom back to a pilates class as she discovered the healing benefits of the popular exercise trend. Raisman wrote that:
“[You] can work on muscles individually & go at your own pace. It doesn’t matter what the person next to you is doing it’s all about focusing on yourself & doing your best that day. When I am struggling with low energy or anxiety, Pilates helps me feel more present & connected to my body.”
Through her newfound love of pilates, Raisman writes that she is finding what works for her at this stage in her life, and understanding that she doesn’t need to put her body through the punishment of a gymnast any longer.
“Today, I’m still on a journey to figure out which exercises my body responds well to & what helps bring peace between my ears. I am finally starting to be kinder to myself & accepting that I don’t have to be “perfect” like I used to try to be when I did gymnastics.”