While women dominate my classes, the number of men taking part is definitely on the increase too. Andy Murray, David Beckham, the All Blacks and Tiger Woods have all used Pilates as part of their training programmes.
Why should men do Pilates?
Here are just 4 great reasons!
- Flexibility – It will stretch tight muscles and improve mobility in the joints, which will make your day to day movements feel much more comfortable.
- Core Strength – Precise and focused movements will help to increase your core strength and general fitness. The deep muscles are often neglected, and it’s so important to develop the muscles around the hips, pelvis and lower back as well as the abs so they work together to share the load. This would enable you to lift more, perform better and have less injuries.
- Combat stress and improve mental focus – In a Pilates class you don’t have time to think about the stresses of everyday life. The breathing patterns and steady pace means you must think about what you are going to perform with precision and control.
- Posture – General aches and pains can be due to poor posture. All Pilates exercises will benefit posture by challenging both strength and flexibility. It will develop muscular balance in and around your joints which in turn will improve your posture.
What type of Pilates training would be good?
Pilates can be performed both on the mat using pure body weight or with the use of small or large pieces of Pilates equipment such as the Magic Circle or Reformer. All have their own additional benefits and uses. You can train 1-1 for more specialised training and faster results, in a group class or online. As a complete novice some 1-1 training is recommended first as it is important to understand the Pilates principles. This will make sure you find and work those deeper core muscles and get the most out of your Pilates training.
Can it change body shape?
It will firstly improve posture; make you look taller and build a more balanced body, so you look more in proportion. It works the muscles that often get overlooked in gym workouts. Maybe because you can’t see them!
The Pilates Reformer provides a challenging work out and can really give your abs and obliques an intense workout. The sliding platform can be used to isolate muscles in a way that is difficult to replicate in any other type of workout. It will strengthen and lengthen the body giving you a more toned and lean physique, so not bulky muscles that you may get from a gym workout.
I am finding that more and more men are realising the benefits, trying it, and then loving it! I receive many referrals from health practitioners encouraging their male clients to take it up. It is not just for women; it is not just a trend. With the benefits being so widely recognised today it is definitely here to stay! So, to all the men out there who have been told it would be good for them, maybe now is the time to give it a go!Favourite?