PilatesStyle Magazine - Natalie Coughlin

July/August 2012

Pilates Style July August 2012 Natalie CoughlinCoughlin is the poster girl for adding Pilates to your training regimen. “I started doing a kind of hybrid of yoga and mat Pilates as part of my team training regimen,” when she was a freshman at the University of California at Berkeley, Coughlin recalls. “I noticed that it helped me a lot in my swim training, so eight years ago, I started seeing a private instructor, Tom McCook [at Center of Balance studio in Mountain View, CA], one to two times a week.”

Every one of her Pilates sessions is different, she says. “Tom does such a great job of showing me how to apply Pilates principles in the water,” says Coughlin. “And I really enjoy it.”

Without her Pilates training, she might not have been so successful at the Beijing games. “The Olympics are such a stressful time,” she explains. “They’re emotionally stressful and they’re physically exhausting. When I first got to Beijing, I was about a week away from my first swim, and I really wasn’t feeling great in the water. So Tom gave me a 20-minute series of breathing and relaxation exercises to get me aligned before bed every night. I really think that was one of the things that got me in the right mental as well as physical state for my Olympics.”

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