Some of the most respected and well known Pilates master trainers are men. In fact, all of our instructors were trained by a male master instructor. Let’s not forget that Joseph Pilates was a MAN! So why aren’t more men doing Pilates? When prompted to try Pilates, most men say ‘I thought that was for women?’ or my favorite ‘That is too easy’. There is a common misconception that Pilates is an exercise method solely for women and dancers. To the contrary; in fact, when Joseph Pilates created the method is was formulated for men returning from WWII as a rehabilitative practice to restore function after injury.
Having a strong core is the key to achieving a more stable spine. Your core is not just your power house center or abs. Your core muscles consist of all of those muscles closest to your skeleton. Through dynamic breathing and pelvic stability Pilates scientifically trains muscle firing that supports the strengthening of these core muscles. Having a strong core helps prevent injury that traditional or “bootcamp” workouts tend to overlook and even compromise. Pilates exercises promote lengthening of the muscles, proper alignment and optimal function of the muscles in conjunction with the organs in the body.
There is the idea that ‘the more weight I can lift, the stronger I am’. That isn’t really true. While you may be able to use brut force to lift that 50lb weight, what are you doing to your joints, your neck, your wrists your spine? I can promise you, it’s not good things. All of our male clients have not only told us they see the difference in their physical appearance (they feel longer, leaner and taller), but that they feel inner strength, have more energy and feel less ‘compressed’.
Here is just a short list of why REALLY SMART Men should do Pilates:
-You will lean out and gain more definition in your muscles because the exercises create muscle balance. You aren’t just working the large muscle groups that traditional weightlifting focus on. You are working all of the tiny little muscles, which help to create that lean long and balanced physique.
-Your posture will improve. Who wouldn’t want to stand up straighter and appear taller? While not giving you actual inches; because of the lengthening nature of the exercises and the strengthening of the core. Better posture can also alleviate back and neck pain. By strengthening the posture muscles you will begin to stand taller.
-You won’t need to live by the motto of ‘No Pain, No Gain’ anymore. Pilates challenges your muscles without straining the joints so you can practice Pilates well into your Golden Years.
-You are protecting your body from injury. Why do you think so many male athletes do Pilates? They use it to rehab from injury and they also use it to prevent it. LeBron James famously tweeted a photo of himself training on a Reformer during the 2012 Summer Olympics. If a 7ft plus man can feel comfortable doing Pilates, you can too!
-It’s never boring. Traditional gym routines can get monotonous. Legs on Tuesday; arms on Wednesday… Same exercises, same reps, the only thing that may change is the weight. With Pilates, there is an infinite amount of variations of exercises that can be done on each apparatus AND you work the whole body each time you work out. Additionally, Pilates is the only exercise that moves the spine on every plane of motion.
-You will gain the flexibility and balance that you never thought existed. Most men have very tight muscles; especially the hamstrings. Wouldn’t it be great to touch your toes? OR, how about wouldn’t it be great to not pull said hamstring when bending over to tie your shoe?
-Pilates is wonderful for cross training because it helps build endurance and stamina. And the increased flexibility and improved range of motion will only increase your performance in other forms of fitness.
-You will move through your every day activities with more ease and less pain because of the emphasis on building a strong core.
-You may gain the ability to focus more. Because there is a strong emphasis on focus and doing the exercises correctly, you gain a certain kind of insight to your mind and body that traditional working out does not offer.
As Pilates instructors, we understand that it is really hard for men to break out of the gym mentality. Even if you aren’t a regular gym person, you have an image of what men and exercise should be like or look like. Pilates takes that image and turns it on its head. Pilates can be an amazing eye opener not only into the body but the mind also. So men, forget all the preconceived notions that Pilates is just for women and BOOK A CLASS TODAY!