Pilates just for gals? Think again! Firstly, Pilates was invented by a man (Joseph Pilates) and secondly, plenty of male athletes use Pilates to complement weight training and cardio, and to maintain core strength, flexibility and function. Over recent years numerous AFL footballers have sung the praises of Pilates which has inspired more men to get involved. “The male Pilates faithfuls we see at our studios not only attend for injury rehab and prevention, but love how they progress each session” Pinnacle Wellness Founder & Instructor, Emma Stallworthy says. “In a typical Reformer session, you work the same muscles just in different ways and, as you get more advanced, so too do the exercises”.
As well as providing progression, what are the other reasons more men are taking up Pilates?
Improve Sports Performance
Pilates can have a profound effect on not only a competitive athlete’s performance but social sportspeople – regardless of their chosen sport. “Recently my 56 year old, golf-devoted client shared with me that he’d achieved a 30m increase on his drive after just two weeks!” Emma explains.
Reduce Stiffness and Back Pain
Pilates can be a serious ally when it comes to preventing or reducing stiffness and back pain. Most Pilates exercises help strengthen the stabilising muscles of the core, which support the alignment of the spine’s natural curve. Improper spinal alignment is associated with a wide range of aches and pains, from chronic issues to everyday joint pain.
Supplement Weight Training
Typically, when men workout at the gym they focus on developing the size & strength of their primary muscles. Conversely, Pilates focuses on developing the core and secondary muscles which power movement in the arms and legs. The result? Supplementing your weight training with Pilates offers greater potential to improve size & strength of those primary muscles!
Greater Core Strength
Core strength is one of the main points of focus with Pilates for men. As well as focusing on using the core to power movement in the limbs, specific Pilates exercises also hit the Transverse Abdominus – the stabiliser of the middle part of your body. “The reason men love exercises that involve the Transverse Abdominus is because when this muscle is strong, their back and stomach are strong which helps six-pack abs form!” explains Emma.
Pilates works toward functional fitness and exercises seek to increase flexibility and range of motion, yet you’re unlikely to find the kind of pretzel stretches in Pilates that one might find in gymnastics or yoga. Therefore, increased flexibility is achieved in a way that men often feel more comfortable with.
So, no matter what gender, age or ability, there’s really no reason not to give Pilates a go! Why not experience a Reformer or Mat Pilates as our guest in January as part of a Super Club Pass? You can activate in club or get yours here