Think Pilates is just for women and too light-weight for you? Think real men don’t do Pilates? Think again. Pilates is becoming increasingly popular among men and here are some of the reasons why.
ENHANCES SPORTS PERFORMANCE
Many premier league football and rugby teams including the New Zealand All Blacks (and you can’t get more macho than that!) include Pilates in their fitness programme. In addition, tennis players such as Andy Murray, golfers such as Rocco Mediate, the English Cricket team and many professional athletes all incorporate Pilates into their routine. Why? Because they recognise that Pilates focuses on developing a strong core, improves posture and balance, stabilises and strengthens the joints, improves flexibility and rebalances muscles. This in turn helps them to move more efficiently and helps prevent injuries. For example, football demands rapid directional changes often at near maximum pace. It’s important to have a strong core and agile physique to cope with those moves. Pilates therefore helps to prevent injury and optimises performance. It also speeds up post match muscle and joint recovery.
DEVELOPS A FLATTER STOMACH
Men are more likely to develop fat around their abdomen than women often leading to the “beer belly” effect. Doing lots of crunches in the gym often involves engaging the superficial muscles of the abdominals only whereas the Pilates methodology teaches you to engage the deeper transverse abdominus muscles and works the muscles closest to the spine. Control of the core is achieved by integrating the trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle. So not only does this encourage flat abs but it helps to create a centre you can move efficiently from.
HELPS TO ALLEVIATE BACK PAIN
Those core muscles which Pilates targets so perfectly can help alleviate back problems and many health professionals recommend Pilates for that reason. Pilates also focus on correct alignment of the spine so improves posture
Men are generally less flexible than women but Pilates can help to improve your flexibility which in turn will help to prevent injuries and increase your range of motion. Generally speaking, the more bulk you have the less flexible you are and Pilate moves will help stretch those muscles.
ENHANCES YOUR GYM EXPERIENCE
Adding Pilates to your training could see you getting fewer injuries and lifting more weight. Why? Because Pilates concentrates on building a solid trunk which will support your body more effectively. Working out in the gym you tend to concentrate on the main muscles of the body and sometimes over-develop some parts of the body and neglect others. Pilates classes build strength, flexibility and lean muscle tone with an emphasis on lengthening the body and aligning the spine, rather than on bulking and shortening of the muscles.
CAN ENABLE BETTER SEX
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?
The best news of all for men is that you don’t have to be a sportsman, professional or otherwise, to enjoy the benefits of Pilates. So why not give it a try?