Is Pilates for Men?

May 4, 2022

Men seem to be like unicorns in most Pilates studios -extremely rare! Why is this the case? I believe there has been a total misunderstanding about Pilates being too ‘feminine’ or ‘non-beneficial’ for men, which is absolutely not the case. Pilates was created by a Man for his own ailments and then was modified for injured soldiers of war. If that’s not enough to convince you to start practicing Pilates, maybe some of the following points will.

Assists With Other Forms of Training:

Yep, that’s right. Want to lift heavier at the gym? Want to run faster? Pilates can help you.

Firstly, Pilates is well known for its ability to improve mobility as well as flexibility. To perform an overhead press at the gym, the shoulders need to have enough mobility to allow the arms to reach over the head, as well as strong enough to hold the position while under pressure. If the shoulders have limited range of movement, the body will try to compensate through other means such as hinging into the spine which is far from ideal. Pilates works on strengthening and mobilising every joint in the body so that you’re able to successfully and efficiently carry out everyday tasks as well as assisting your body in your chosen workouts/activities.

Pilates is also fantastic for co-ordination and balance. Say you enjoy playing football or soccer but you struggle to catch/kick the ball accurately or even just want your reaction time to be quicker, Pilates can help!

Pilates is as mentally challenging as it is physically challenging. There is so much co-ordination required for even the simplest of movements. In most exercises, the arms, legs, and torso are doing completely different things which helps the brain to form new connections. When required to co-ordinate everyday tasks/sport activities, the reaction and process time for the brain becomes faster.

Correcting Muscle Imbalances:

Pilates takes a holistic approach to movement. Meaning that the whole body is activated and worked during a class. This can help with any muscle imbalances. This also helps with moving the body in ways which it wouldn’t normally do. For instance, generally speaking, gym workouts don’t move the spine in all directions, sometimes not at all. The spine is structured to be malleable and flexible so if you never train the spine to bend, extend or rotate, it’s no longer a healthy functioning spine, which can cause injuries to other parts of the body that compensate for the lack of movement.

In Pilates, the spine is trained to move in all directions safely with the use of the deep core and spine stabilisers, which actually make the spine stronger and more stable when performing exercises that require the spine to be stiff – loaded squats for example.

Supporting the Body as we Age:

Men age too! There is so much talk around women and ageing that men get left out of the conversation. As men age, testosterone levels slowly start to diminish which affects muscle growth/retention amongst many other things. Hardcore workouts are not a sustainable way to keep fit and healthy as men age as this can lead to injury. It’s more beneficial to focus on the deep core muscles, mobility and balance.

As Pilates places the body in different orientations in space (on your back, side and front), it not only challenges these deep core muscles but also teaches you how to change positions safely. For instance, if you’ve had a fall and end up on your back, Pilates teaches you the safest way to get back onto your feet. If you didn’t have the knowledge of this, you run the risk of worsening any injuries from the fall or creating other injuries.

With all of this being said, Pilates is fantastic for everyone in general. You don’t need to be a specific gender, age or profession to reap the benefits of Pilates. My father started Pilates over 10 years ago and has loved it from the very first class. It’s helped him through knee and shoulder surgeries and allowed him to stay mobile and strong as he ages. So, is Pilates for men? My dad would say 100%.

Interested in learning even more about why Pilates is the perfect form of exercise for men? Click here to read our previous blog.

Wanting to know if Pilates will benefit you? Click here to find out why adding Pilates into your exercise regime will give you the best results.

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