Real Men Do Pilates
LeBron James, basketball player. David Beckham, former football player. Tiger Woods, golfer. Andy Murray, tennis player. Jeremy Piven, actor and producer. Justin Timberlake, music artist. Russel Simmons, music and fashion mogul. All Blacks, the New Zealand Rugby team.
These are only a handful of men who are proving that Pilates is not a style of workout exclusive to women, but using it as a complement to their weight training and as a method of strength training. While Pilates has been known to be a popular exercise option amongst the female community, its many benefits and advantages for men have proven that it is more than “just for girls.”
HOW PILATES CAN BENEFIT MEN
Pilates itself was developed by a man, Joseph Pilates, who founded the Pilates method and invented its exercise equipment. Originally called Contrology because the method uses the mind to control the muscles, Pilates is based on six principles – breathing, control, concentration, precision, fluidity, and centralization. It is designed to improve posture, strength, endurance, flexibilty, and balance.
Muscle strength and flexibility
“If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old. If it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.” – Joseph Pilates
Injuries often occur when the body cannot handle being pushed to an extreme due to poor posture, or weak or tight muscles. Some research has also linked Pilates to work toward functional fitness that stabilizes the trunk, protects the spine, increase flexibility, and increase range of motion, which leads to better posture and control over the body’s movements, as well as moving through daily-life taks with greater awareness and ease.
The Pilates method is the same for both women and men. However, men might find that their muscles are generally a little tighter than women’s, possibly due to the lack of sufficient stretching. Do not fret! Pilates movements can help to allow tight muscles to stretch out gradually.
Mindfulness and reduced stress
“Through the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning, this unique trinity of a balanced body, mind, and spirit can ever be attained. Self-confidence follows.” – Joseph Pilates
While physical progress can be expected with regular Pilates, one study suggests it also helps enhance mindfulness. The mind-body exercise forces you to slow down your pace and to pay attention to your breathing, movement, and form. The results of the study found that the participants who experienced increases in mindfulness “were more likely to experience enhanced self-regulatory self efficacy, lower stress levels, and improved mood.”
HOW TO START LEARNING ABOUT PILATES
Whether you decide on a group class or a one-to-one is up to your preference, but the best best way to start learning how Pilates can benefit you is by taking classes. With the Reformer, classic Mat work, and other Pilates exercises we offer, you can discover a new way to work your body with profound results. Challenge your own body and mind, and see the changes for yourself! As Joseph Pilates once said, “The mind, when housed within a healthful body, possesses a glorious sense of power.” Get more from Fine Body Pilates on Facebook and Instagram.
Caldwell, K., Adams, M., Quin, R., Harrison, M., & Greeson, J. (2013). Pilates, Mindfulness and Somatic Education. J Dance Somat Pract., 5(2), 141–153.
Ogle, M. (6 February, 2018). Pilates For Men. Retrieved 25 May, 2018 from VeryWellFit: https://www.verywellfit.com/pilates-for-men-2704623
Mullinger, J. (29 March, 2012). Why real men do Pilates. Retrieved 25 May, 2018 from GQ: http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/gq-sport-best-mens-pilates-workout