Pilates is an effective form of exercise because it enhances your core strength, improves your posture and spinal alignment as well as uniformly shape muscular tissue throughout your body giving you symmetrical and balanced definition – and that certainly is something that men can benefit from just as much as women. Joseph Pilates developed his exercise technique for both males and females and around 25% of those attending Pilates classes today are men. Most Pilates studios offer mixed Pilates classes and an increasing number offer men only classes. One to one classes are also available.
Mr. Pilates himself was a boxer and worked as a self-defence instructor and although dancers were among the first converts to the benefits of the Pilates Method, it’s interesting to note that legendary German heavyweight boxer, Max Schmelling, was also a regular at his New York studio.
As for the contemporaries, New Zealand All Blacks include Pilates as part of their daily fitness programme and Aussie rugby league clubs such as Canterbury Bulldogs and the Melbourne Storm have compulsory weekly Pilates classes to help prevent injuries. Premier League footballers, the England cricket team, Olympic athletes, to name but a few, are well versed in the benefits of performing Pilates. And if it’s good for them, why you as a sports amateur could not discover for yourself the benefits of Pilates?
According to the experts’ opinion, the best way for men to improve posture and develop muscle strength is to target the body’s core muscles – those around the trunk area. Exercises that will have the most positive effect without strain are Pilates, yoga and Swiss ball exercises: “The core muscles that fitness fanatics keep talking about act like a corset around your trunk, take pressure off your back and pull all the other abdominal muscles into the right place.”
Undoubtedly the fact that in Pilates exercises we use the pelvic floor muscles and this has contributed to this misconception as pelvic floor exercises are usually recommended after child-birth. However, it must be understood that men also have pelvic floor muscles that need to be maintained in good order, as strong pelvic floor muscles have been shown to reduce the incidence of impotency and incontinence in later life. Pelvic floor exercises are now often prescribed to improve your sex life instead of a well known medication.
Strong pelvic floor muscles and controllable engagement of them significantly aids in firing of the abdominal muscles – transversus abdominis probably being the most important to name. It contributes to uniformly developed core strength and provides an internal corset secreting your powerhouse.
Those core muscles which Pilates targets so perfectly can help alleviate back problems and help develop a flat stomach: Two things that top the list of many a man’s health and fitness wish list.
Many of my clients are male sportsmen or aspiring amateurs, who look for solutions to back pain or recover from common injuries. Personal sessions are often the answer to very specific requirements.
Please contact me for further details on personal programmes and individual training sessions.
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