Why we all need a Pilates class. 

Having had a baby just a few weeks ago my body is not what it used to be and I am in the rehabilitation phase. Moves I can usually do with ease I can currently not do with proper technique. Harder moves I know I shouldn’t even attempt until I am stronger. So instead of teaching them, I am attending some of our postnatal classes. It’s actually something I’ve never done before as we’ve never had a teacher who was able to cover those specialist classes for us.

It’s made me think about the benefits of  being in a class. When I’m fully fit I usually attend a teachers Pilates class. Why? Well to be a good teacher myself I still need to continue to be a student. I need to be challenged t

o work harder and do exercises I am unsure about. I need someone to watch me and correct my technique. I need to work my body in different ways. I need to learn how someone else teaches and pick up tips from them. I need to be inspired.

Yes you could do Pilates using a book, a DVD or an online video. Those can all work but personally I think the class is king. A DVD or online class is great if you know what you are doing. A book is good to read but I don’t see how you can properly do Pilates from a book!Pilates with Priya: Class in action
What you get out of a class:
1. A teacher who watches your body, corrects you, gets to know how your body works and what needs strengthening/stretching. Some of my clients have been with me for years and I can tell them exactly how their body will respond to a certain exercise or give them an adaptation before they even start.

2. Teaching points that are designed for you. I may not hands on correct you but may talk to you about the exercise to get you to think it through and use your body to respond. Self correction can be better than teacher correction. It builds that body awareness but with feedback from someone who has a different view. I can see if someone’s gluts are working hard when they shouldn’t be and coach them to switch them off at each repetition.

3. If you don’t get an exercise a teacher can explain it in a different way, give you an adapted version or physically move your body. Sometimes we all need a hand to adjust us.

4. A class is designed for you. I have a lesson plan but adapt it as I go along for each class. I may give different people in the class differing levels, give them equipment or a completely different exercise. It’s more personalised.

5. You can ask questions and get answers.  I still do this myself. It’s how I learn. Some people in my classes ask heaps of questions and want to know exactly how an exercise works. Others just want to get on and do it under a watchful eye. However you work that’s fine!

6. Any aches and pain can be taken into account. Our bodies differ week to week. A good teacher will ask his you are and adapt accordingly. I’ve had people unable to put weight on their knees, wrists or who have fallen over and broken a bone – but are still in class!

7. You are accountable to others and in community. Doing exercise with others makes its more fun and encourages you to attend more often and to keep going for longer. In our classes people make friends and really support each other. It’s a lovely
Vibe.

8. There are less distractions. With 3 children I have a lot that can distract me and stop me from doing exercise. Often it’s only after the children are in bed I have time to myself and by then exercise is not the first thing on my mind, the sofa can be more inviting!

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?