Why are more men taking up Pilates? Is Pilates good for men?
Or perhaps we should rephrase the question to ‘gents, if you haven’t tried Pilates, why not‘?
So how useful is Pilates for men?
Though many of us tend to think of Pilates as an exercise regime mainly for women, this is not how it was first imagined. Pilates originated as a training system in the 1920s for elite athletes, for both men and women.
Joseph Pilates, the ‘inventor’ of the system believed that physical and mental health were interlinked and developed his program and ‘apparatus’ to stretch, strengthen and improve body alignment and core strength.
Interestingly, Joseph Pilates preferred the name “Contrology” for his new methodology as it was based on the idea of muscle control to mindfully move the body and the apparatus.
Pilates remains a rapidly growing fitness trend and many men participate in the benefits that Pilates has to offer.
Core strength, flexibility, body coordination, balance and efficient movement patterns are all attributes of Pilates training and are important to any man’s fitness regime.
The integrative components of Pilates are especially beneficial as workouts often emphasis specific muscular development, similar to that of weightlifting.
The powerhouse of the body, the centre, and developing deep core muscles to stabilise the trunk and protect the back is the kind of training Pilates is excellent at focusing on. This cross-training style is a whole-body integration beneficial to all kinds of sport and exercise.
Pilates approach to functional fitness provides men with the ability to gain strength, balance, flexibility and move through daily life task at ease and with grace.
Here are 5 reasons why Pilates is good for men
- Develop neglected muscle groups
We all have muscles that we use daily that dominate our daily movements. Some are stronger than others, more stable.
A large component of Pilates is about creating functional balance throughout the body. Strengthening and focusing on muscles that do not always get enough attention. Unlike weight training, Pilates targets muscles that are consciously moved in a particular way to ensure full body integration.
- Improve flexibility
It is an established truism that bodies holding a greater muscle mass generally struggle with flexibility issues.
Inevitably, this affects men disproportionally. Pilates has a focus to increase the range of muscle motion and thus reduce strains and injuries. Pilates looks to lengthen and stretch muscles and enhance flexibility.
3. Build core strength
Always wanted a six pack? Pilates draws your attention deeper into the core muscles, into our TVA (Transverse-abdominals), through using your breath to work through each movement and concentration on correct form. You will leave your Pilates session with improved core to power movement to your limbs.
- Live more consciously
One of the six principles of Pilates is the use of breath. After your Pilates session you can leave feeling refreshed and relaxed, with the reassurance of deep muscles activation. Focus on form through fluidity of the breath, increases the efficiency of the muscles through movement. Therefore, increasing strength, muscles contraction and length through each muscle group.
- Have better sex
Men that do Pilates have strength through their deep core muscles and the pelvic floor. So, with more practice and greater control of this area, the better sex can be – need I say more?
So to all you men out there…if you want to have abs of steel, lean and toned muscle definition. More mobility, flexibility and a better sex life…Pilates (Reformer) is a great place to start.
If you’d like more information on the health benefits of Pilates for men, please see here.
And if you are looking at ways of working your muscles and improving blood flow and general flexibility, please take a look at our comprehensive guide to massage guns.