A Man’s Pilates Journey and a Challenge for you.

It’s been a while since my last Blog.

I am still regularly attending classes, and loving it. 😉 The only week I have missed, was when I was in Spain for a family holiday…the commitment is paying off. I am starting to see the benefits.

I look forward to Wednesday evenings. It is a time where I can focus on my back, my posture, and relax from a busy day. It’s lovely to take part in a class myself and experience how the studio feels as a punter.
Firstly, as I mentioned in my last Blog, my Hamstrings are TIGHT. Jo reminds me of this, and it seems like the exercises are set to “…test James…” – or am I just paranoid? The sign of a good instructor – one who knows her classes well.

The Challenge:

I find that using the Bands are very useful, such a great tool for stretching.
I am going to set myself a challenge in the coming week – stretch each morning, to set me up for the day. Just a few minutes, but it will reduce my back pain, and loosen my muscles.
Will you join me in this challenge? Go on… you know it will make a difference. If you need a band then we have these available in the studio.

Hamstring Stretch
Band Hamstring Stretch

I banter with Jo, but ultimately, I know this is a part of me that I need to work on.
I probably drive more than I should do…definitely sit down more than I should (this is not a time for Priya to comment!), and sit on the wrong types of chairs, using my laptop for writing emails, social media updates, and suchlike…

So again – more walking to do the school-run, sitting square in the chairs, and generally being more active.
Today I was preparing some of the veg beds, so got some Vitamin D, some fresh air, and some exercise. Was only about 30 minutes, but it was 30mins more than the day before, so that is a bonus in my books. 😉

I have found that over the last few months, I have consciously thought about my posture more. And now I am training as a Massage Therapist, it is important I continue my focus on that.

I hear from others over the years, that the classes are ‘hard work’, and I can completely agree with that. What I knew before I started my Pilates Journey, was that the speed of repetition was not the key. It was the way the repetition was done. When I say that, I mean, 20 fast reps could be less beneficial that 10 slow reps. Core Strength is built in keeping the muscles engaged, and working.

I love the relaxation that class gives me and have been surprised by how much work Pilates actually is. That feeling the morning after when my muscles tell me Jo has worked them hard – it’s quite rewarding.

Have a great week, and remember, stretch those Hamstrings. 😉

PS – We sell Bands in the Studio – just ask James or Priya for one.

The story of a man taking up Pilates

We have run our home business for over 5 years now, and for several years, I have been badgered to take up Pilates regularly. This has come from both Priya and some of our lovely class members…I have always found reasons and excuses not to regularly take up a class.

But to be completely honest, I have needed it for years.
Before, I used to work, in a semi-active job and was on my feet regularly, and walking around campus.
Since 2010 I have predominantly been working from home, and helping bring up my two amazing children.
Lots of sitting, crawling, playing on the floor (and that’s just the children…)

About 3 months ago, I decided to stop procrastinating…

It’s tough. There you go. I admitted it…
I have chosen a class with Jo on a Wednesday evening.
I know where my core is, and in the past it has been in tip top shape, but over the years, I have become lazy, and taken short-cuts which has had negative effects on posture, core, and muscles.
I have found out (though I was not surprised) that I have tight hamstring muscles. Embarrassingly tight. My straight leg, is more 125 degrees than 180 degrees…

Though on the bright side of life, my best exercise (as quoted by Jo) is the Mermaid (or a theme of it)…
Yes, I said it, I am good at being a MERMAID!!!

My favourite exercise is…. I have not idea… I just do as I am told!


Pilates with Priya: James does Pilates
On a serious note, I love it. After a busy few days, I love my Wednesday evenings…
Time to wind down, chill out, and improve my Core…
If I could, I’d probably try to do it 2-3 times a week.
This has been on my doorstep for over 5 years, and I had previously only attended 3 classes. Ever.Why didn’t I start earlier….!?

Why Men need Pilates.

Pilates was developed by a man, for men. Joseph Pilates, a beer drinking,cigar smoking boxing man, devised it and used it to help soldiers rehabilitate after injuries. He even turned hospital beds into Pilates aids. Now all these years later somehow Pilates has fallen out of favour with men.

We have a steadily growing group of men coming to our classes and I can definitely say that those who commit to it really see the benefits. A few of the ladies who come are gradually persuading their husbands to come along for a trial class and it’s always great to show them that it’s not all about leotards, ballet moves and breathing.

Slowly Pilates is having a come-back with men, the All-Blacks, several football teams and tennis players like Andy Murray have been shown doing Pilates exercises. Personally I think it’s essential.

Pilates with Priya: Joseph Pilates Rollover

Why Do Men Need Pilates?

Pilates is great at strengthening muscles that you wouldn’t otherwise work on. There are big muscles that we use in day to day life that can take  become overly strong and tight leaving other muscles weak and lengthened. For example you may have tight hamstrings (back of the thigh) but weak gluts (in the bum). Balancing out these muscles will lead to less aches, pains and a better functioning body.

Improving flexibility may not be the top of most men’s list but if you are more flexible then you will move better and be less prone to pulling muscles and injuries.

Everyone needs core strength. It’s not all about amazing abdominals and a six-pack, although you can definitely get those from Pilates. Think more about how a stronger core leads to less back pain, more strength and movement in your limbs. It can also lead to you lifting heavier weights and help prevent injuries.

When done properly Pilates is flipping hard work! I’ve worked with a few men who have almost been in tears during a workout. It can really push you to your limits but also relax you too.

If you haven’t tried it, you really need to.

I’d love your feedback if you are man who does Pilates – how do you find it?