Pilates classes may seem to be filled with women more than men but it was not made to be gender specific. Pilates is for everyone, men and women alike!
Whether you are a weight lifter or recovering from an injury, Pilates can help men target muscle groups they may be leaving out of their routines or daily lives. Men have a tendency to overdevelop large muscle groups, which can lead to injury and stiffness. Pilates on the other hand, will lengthen and strengthen deeper muscles so that the body can function at its maximum potential.
The main concept of Pilates centres on the abdominal muscles. Who doesn’t want a stronger core? Men are more likely to develop fat around their abdomen than women, in fact, often leading to the ‘beer belly’ type look in the midsection. Not only does Pilates help you tone your abs, but it also helps to create a center you can move efficiently from.
Pilates uses a unique method of contracting the abdominals through slow, steady, and static positions. Crunches only target the superficial abdominal muscles, which do not play a big role in supporting the spine. When your core is strong, you may find that lifting heavy objects (such as back at the gym) or bending and standing actions are easier in your day-to-day activities.
Tight muscles are often a cause of pain and muscle soreness, especially if you already frequent the gym or work at a desk all day. Pilates gently stretches the body as you move through the exercises. This will help to prevent injuries and increase your overall range of motion. Men are typically less flexible than women - use Pilates to play catch up in your flexibility game!
Pilates is something that requires very little downtime in between sessions, unlike more intense strength training. It is something you can do every day, or even in between other workouts. It will help to enhance your mind and body awareness through conscious breathing and movement. Pilates can help you understand where you are weak and gives you the tools you need to develop your strength. Your posture will improve along with this also. Knowledge and a strong mind are just as important as a strong body!
Men in sports have been turning to Pilates to enhance their game for years now. Tiger Woods is known to use Pilates to help his golfing, while LeBron James uses it for better basketball performance and many football teams train in Pilates these days. This is because Pilates not only works on the body, but also increases your mind’s ability to focus, it can help any athletic performance and even work performance through a sharper mind.
Pilates can still be a kick butt workout, you just have to give it a chance. Easing your way into a class is a good way to start. Start slow by either hiring a teacher for one-on-one lessons or learn a few exercises at home to prepare you for your first class.
Pilates teacher training is also a great addition to your portfolio of exercise disciplines. Have a look at our Pilates diplomas here.