There's a misconception that Pilates isn't for men because the celebrities and social media accounts that promote it are perceived as being are predominantly women. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth, because the very inventor and developer of the exercise, Joseph Pilates, was male.
Back when Pilates was called “contrology,” the majority of its clientele were injured male war veterans who needed physical therapy to get back in shape. If you or other men you know are hesitant to join a Pilates class, here are compelling reasons why men should reconsider taking Pilates.
Pilates strengthens the whole body
Exercises that are traditionally associated with men, like weightlifting and high-intensity fitness training, focus only on developing either the upper or the lower body, leaving other areas underdeveloped and weak.
Related article: Muscles that Pilates puts to work
Pilates strengthens neglected areas of the body, particularly your core, by activating all muscle groups through isometric exercises. With Pilates, you get stronger abdominals and internal obliques, giving your back, spine, and internal organs better protection. For total body fitness, consider incorporating Pilates with strength or speed training.
It improves your flexibility
Men generally carry themselves differently — they walk with more swagger and less sway than other sexes. This habit leads to relatively tighter hip muscles and hamstrings, something that regular Pilates sessions can fix. When you start Pilates, some modifications in the exercises might be necessary to loosen up these inflexible areas, but as your muscles get used to the movements, they will gradually stretch out, and you can start doing the normal (or even advanced) exercise positions.
It enhances your mind and body connection
All human beings need to exercise both their mind and body. Unfortunately, some exercises forego engaging the mind in favor of more physical routines. Pilates offers balance. It’s physically challenging, but its pace allows you to think about about how you’re moving your body:
- Is your center aligned?
- Are you putting more weight on one side of the body than the other?
- How’s your breathing?
Instructors will encourage you to think about how your movements relate to your environment: How is the equipment supporting or resisting your weight? How and why are you doing a certain pose differently than your peers? By tapping into your mind and body connection, Pilates promotes a more holistic approach to fitness.
It gives you functional fitness
You will not be running marathons every day; neither are you likely to find yourself in a situation that will require you to lift 130 pounds of weight. It’s good that you’re training for these special occasions, but are you also exercising for daily challenges?
Related article: The benefits of Pilates to your overall health
To face day-to-day tasks, you need functional fitness, or fitness for doing everyday tasks like climbing the stairs, cleaning the yard, or running with your dog. Pilates can help you achieve this by improving your endurance, breathing, flexibility, and even your posture. Armed with these improvements, you’ll also be able to do your other exercises with more ease.
C2 Body welcomes every body type. If you’re in Boston and Dedham, book a class with us today and start enjoying the many benefits of Pilates.