Over the past seven years, I have watched the stigma of Pilates being a “girl exercise” change. Nowadays it is more respected by the general population for what it is: a hard workout for everyone, of all ages. That being said, I do still find myself being asked if men do Pilates.
Here is the truth of it: On average, 50 percent of my clients are men.
Yes, men do Pilates. Men LOVE Pilates because it is a great workout with many man-specific benefits when taught according to their personal needs and goals. Once men try it, just like women, they are hooked. However, it seems there is still an underlying fear of the unknown and disregard by those who haven’t tried it.
Well, here are some answers for you. Read on for some of the biggest benefits of Pilates for the manliest of men.
• Pilates works all the little, intricate muscles that are either ignored at they gym, or just not possible to safely and effectively strengthen there, especially for those who aren’t sure how to use all the equipment safely and efficiently. When Pilates is included into the weekly workout regimen, it makes every exercise at the gym more effective. When the abdominals are trained and strengthened to activate at the level Pilates brings them to, they make your body work in proper alignment. This alignment will increase how hard the rest of your body is working and make those gym sessions more worth your time, with better results.
• The intense and fine-tuned attention Pilates pays to the abdominal corset muscles helps the pelvis fall into its natural alignment. The spine is then able to lift up out of the pelvis and align into its natural curves. This can make people grow taller, as it alleviates compression within the spinal discs. It most definitely makes for better posture, which gives the appearance of being taller.
• Why is good posture important? Well, besides the obvious benefits of it reducing pain in the back, neck and shoulders and preventing future health issues, having good posture plays a key role in first impressions. Standing tall gives off an air of confidence. Confidence is SO downplayed in its key role in everyday life. Appearing confident, even if you don’t feel it, will make people perceive you as stronger, in control, and aware of what you want and how you will get it. This will reflect in a positive way in your workplace, on a date, you name it.
• It can increase your game in sports like golf, tennis, swimming and running. The physical contribution Pilates plays in increasing the body’s form in these sports has brought many a manly man back to my Reformer.
Many Pilates exercises work and strengthen the abdominals by deepening them for maximum strength while twisting with control. The twisting action of these exercises is key in building a killer golf swing. Over the years, I have had a steady stream of men coming in to the studio because one of their friends was taking Pilates and suddenly his golf swing got better than theirs. Next thing you know, in they walk. Once they realize what it can do for their bodies, they are just as hooked as the girls. Pilates is not a girly form of exercise. It is a major butt-kicker. It is also a form of physical therapy and rehab. The combination of this increases the strength of every sport you play and makes it safer and you look better while playing. It’s a triple win!
Pilates is not an exercise that women do because they like to stretch. (This is seriously a comment I have heard many times). It is a very intelligent form of working out. It prevents injury. It alleviates pain. It is widely regarded as a top form of physical therapy around the world. It increases physical strength and stamina. As an added bonus, it makes you look fantastic. Pilates in no way, shape or form, is a workout for only women. Don’t be scared of the unknown, men! You will be very happy you tried it.
A letter from a male client:
“Having played football from a young age and in college, my lower back took a beating. I was told that Pilates would be a great workout to help strengthen my core and ease my back pain. I was referred to Andrea Speir by a professional trainer and although Pilates wasn’t something I would typically try, Andrea’s positive attitude, broad knowledge of Pilates movements, athletic training method and sense of humor, helped me establish a weekly workout regimen. In one year, my back is feeling better than it has in a long time, my core is tighter, and I am standing straighter. Thank you, Andrea, I couldn’t have done it without you.”