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.
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?