Julia on the slopes

Alpine ski racer, Olympic Gold medalist Julia Mancuso is one of us! And by “us,” I mean she’s an avid Pilates junkie, practicing the method often to help her cross train and feel great.

Trust me on this: competitive athletes often don’t feel physically great. Training hard takes its toll on everybody. Athletes who listen to their bodies and respond to those signals tend to be able to compete for more years.

To that end, Mancuso also incorporates sport recovery techniques into her daily regime, like active stretch and foam rolling. She lugs her foam roller with her when traveling and reports that using it on a daily basis has helped her prevent injuries. (You go, Julia! Smart girl.) She’s also keenly aware of her body mechanics, alignment and balance, and works with trainers to find and address asymmetries before they throw her off her game.

Slight tangent: yup, I have many clients who carry a few PFB tools with them when they travel. A foam roller can be a little cumbersome for short trips, but a couple muscle release balls and a flexband are easily do-able and can make a huge difference in the quality of your workouts and your quality of life.

Muscle, baby.

Muscle, baby.

I just had to throw this photo in — Julia in all her glory. This is how an athlete looks, my friends — muscular.  Strong = hot!  Can’t wait to see her in action — with more clothes on — in the Sochi 2014 Olympics.