PILATES FOR MEN
Hello Everybody so Today Iam coming back with a VERY SPECIAL article and today it is about frequently asked topic when regarding Pilates practice : MEN. Let’s look closer at this specific question:
Is Pilates useful for men ?
First of all I think Men are afraid to practice Pilates because they don’t really know what it is. They have misunderstanding about the content so i will try to clear that up. Let’s look at the history.
Pilates came from Joseph Pilates.
Joseph Pilates who was an athlete : boxer, body builder, skier. As a child he suffered him self from bad health conditions and he started study self-improvement. He took a lot of inspirations from ZEN BOUDDHISM and ANCIENT GREEK IDEAL OF MEN PERFECTED IN DEVELOPMENT of Body, Mind and spirit. During WWI, J. Pilates has been interned in « jail » by the British – There in his cells suffered from very poor conditions of living and he developed floor exercise and body core reinforcement. That was first state of what we call today « pilates mat work ». Quickly his method has been spread out through jail’s detainees and they came to him to be trained and prevent their injuries. That helped them to build strength and endure terrible incarceration conditions, disease and bad shape that occurred from detention hard life conditions. When he was released from jail Joseph Pilates trained the military forces in Hamburg and when the german army forced him to train soldiers for wars he packed and left the country to establish him self in New York city. There was the big step into his life and career that brought Pilates where we know it stands today. In NYC dancers and many physical trainers get interests in Joseph Pilates’ method and made it popular in « women’s circles ». so That story to explain even originally speaking Pilates is a method developed by men for men. And which was nothing else than body’s training to survive. Now Let’s see why that suits well to men and how it can help them to build strength and power through exercises as we practice it today.
Core strength is one of the six major principles of the technique and maybe the most important one.
Core strength in Pilates is considered the heart of the body and the best way to get strong, deep and « real » muscles.
A musculature that will make you able to endure other kind of exercises.The integrative component of Pilates can be especially beneficial for men whose workouts often emphasize a part-by-part approach to muscular development, such as what what finds in weightlifting.Core strength principles means emphasizes movement from the center of the body called « powerhouse » and building strength from deep muscles to stabilize the trunk and protect the back. (especially lower back). That approach and technique makes Pilates a perfect train for whole body and a serious foundation for other sports. Pilates is often add to professional athletes in cross training, golf, soccer, swimming and skiing.
The word « stretching » typically brings in men’s mind : sweating in high socks with their foot up high reaching for their toes. it might have been part of bad understanding of Pilates technique and men’s fear to practice it.
BUT in reality : first of all Pilates doesn’t mean stretching, and second turns out that reaching your toes with head like a yogi is not the only way to improve flexibility. The routine in gym in general and in Pilates method can have drastic effects on your ability to touch your toes. After all being flexible is not only a « girl » matter but is actually essential for men in their daily life.
When it comes to desired physical characteristics, flexibility falls down the priority list, as most guys would much rather have killer abs and ripped arms than be able to touch their toes with ease right ?
However, a lack of focus on flexibility may be hindering results in the gym. Heavy workouts combined with the typical desk posture from the 9-to-5 grind can stifle strength gains and line you up for an injury down the road.
In fact, flexibility training is an important aspect of gaining strength and size. Average men spend most of their time over a computer further deteriorating any chance at proper posture. Outside of just preventing injury, having better posture helps to show off the muscular physique. Proper flexibility also goes hand in hand with full range of motion exercises like squats and deadliest which are massive deep muscles builders.
Increasing flexibility is a goal that Pilates addresses in a way that men often feel comfortable with. Pilates works toward functional fitness. That is, the ability to have the strength, balance, and flexibility that allows one to move through daily-life tasks with ease.
Develop neglected muscles
Some of your muscles, like those that dominate your daily movements, are stronger than others, and a big part of Pilates is focusing on those muscles that don’t typically get a lot of attention- Pilates is made that you will workout and build muscles you don’t hit when lifting weight only.
Not only that standing will makes you look, it also have various benefits on your health. Most of the men, like women, have office’s jobs, lots of stress and hours in front of your computer that cause terrible pain in the back at the end of the day.
Pilates workout will get you rid off these back like pain in the back, neck and shoulders which are the most common ones. You will find stronger framework and straighter posture.
Live more conscious of your body
Pilates forces you to pay attention—you’ve got to focus on your breath while working through each movement and concentrating on proper form. not only that is going to cool you down and make you retreat from your daily stress and problems but also will make you create a proper consciousness of your whole body’s functions as well breathing functions and unconscious mechanism. After a Pilates session, you’ll feel refreshed and relaxed. One of my male student told me once «Pilates class might be the first time I actually take a conscious breath in an entire day ». Speaks for it self right ?
Balance and Coordination
If you have ever felt like a klutz, clumsy, pilates may be the answer. Increased muscle tone combined with the yoga-like control required to complete Pilates exercises give the body more stability and coordination.
This may not be number one men willing but having balance, ease and coordination of your body is important in your daily life basis. It will bring you more confidence, better walk and prevent most injuries.
Less Body Fat
Increasingly, our sedentary lifestyles have made us heavier. Hours in front of the computer makes more difficult loosing weight and tend to accumulate stored fat.
Fat accumulation in men is different than in women, but also significantly more dangerous. Because men’s fat areas tend to accumulate around the belly area, it poses a much greater risk for heart attacks and strokes. Pilates is a great muscle toner that also helps reduce body fat. Pilates workout movements like abs, criss cross legs and butt boosters combined with stretches are good way to reduce stored fat in your body. It will activates micro circulation blood and will eliminate body’s fat as well as helping eliminate orange-peel skin aspects (not only a girl’s problem).
Have Better Sex
I have hesitated to put that one as a « perks » for practicing Pilates, that can be a borderline subject as well as indelicate and private one BUT there is a several studies and researches about it and they are all unanimous : Pilates exercise will increase your body’s function control and awareness and will conducts to better sex life.
After all that makes sense :
Pilates strengthens the core and the pelvic floor, and men who practice it have greater control of this region of the body. Need we say more?
I have asked different different men that already practice Pilates and asked them about their point of view regarding Pilates practice and men’s frequent opinion about it.
Jey : why do you think men are intimidated by or not interested in Pilates ?
–Thierry 38 years old – from Lyon France biker, runner and swimmer and swims. Training for his first 50-mile trail run. He added Pilates to his workout routine recently :
“I think men probably feel like they have such limited time, so why work on muscles they haven’t heard of and can’t see when there are biceps and pecs to be pumping? It’s also probably intimidating when those Pilates girls make it looks so easy and smooth, yet men aren’t as flexible or graceful most of the time.”
–Guillaume 25 years old – from Marseilles France Practice Pilates time to time – combined with running, soccer and weight lifting.
“I’m sure it varies from guy to another, but I think the number one reason is probably just that it doesn’t seem « manly » enough. classes are full of women in tight spandex lying on the floor and seemingly not doing much at all beyond stretching and flexing into « girly » positions that often have « girly names » “Mermaid stretch, anyone?”
–Danny, 30 years old – from NYC Salsa teacher, Soccer player, Gym weight lifter
“Men may be intimidated by Pilates due to the exercises that seem popular. Guys don’t want to lie on the floor and exercise with their body weight.”
Jey : Why should men do Pilates?
“Where do I start ? I have finally learned that the best swimmers swim with their cores; the best runners have stable hips and can train harder without injury; and there is cycling power in a strong core, especially as the ride gets long and hilly. Pilates helps with all of that. Oh, and it usually has a great female-to-male ratio. Need to add any more convincing argument ? “
“When i first came to your class i didn’t expect that much workout and sweating. And what I would tell those guys is that Pilates can be VERY challenging. That is definitively a great workout and can benefit the other types of sports that you do. Also, I would tell them that it is like any other exercise: “
« Because I’m already salsa teacher and sport player i incorporate Pilates training in my routine because i can feel the benefits of it. For example i can lift more weight because i know how to activate my core, thanks to Pilates. So many lifters compensate when lifting heavy and then injure themselves. I feel relaxed lifting weight and thanks to you make it injury free workout”