Pilates is often misconceived as being too slow-paced and gentle, and unfortunately this means that a lot of men believe that it’s an exercise just for women. But this couldn’t be further from the truth and Pilates can be just as challenging as working hard in the gym. In fact, most men will actually benefit even more from Pilates than lifting heavy weights or running on the treadmill…
So, whether you do lift weights in the gym, run marathons or if you’re just looking to improve your health and fitness then Pilates can be the perfect workout for you.
The benefits men can expect to achieve from doing Pilates:
- Improve your Posture – The origin of most aches and pains is bad posture. Every Pilates exercise you do will have a postural benefit; due to the combination of challenging your strength and flexibility, Pilates will develop muscular balance in your joints which will improve your posture and reduce your likeliness of injury.
- Become More Flexible – Reformer Pilates involves various three dimensional movements, these movements challenge the length and elasticity of your muscles and encourages your joints to be able to move through the greatest possible range.
- Strengthen your Core – Your core is the combination of muscles that support your spine and torso, these muscles form the foundation for all movements. A weak core causes instability and reliance on dominant muscles, overtime this will inhibit flexibility, reduce range of movement and ultimately cause injury. Pilates promotes core activation and engages all of your postural muscles leading to more stable and powerful movements.
- Reduce Stress – A stressful mind is often a reflection of how your body feels, so just by stretching and moving your muscles will relax and release tension, this will allow you to feel more comfortable. Naturally this will allow your mind to relax and unwind.
- Develop Neglected Muscles – Some of your muscles, like those that dominate your daily movements, are stronger than others, and a big part of Pilates is focusing on those muscles that don’t typically get a lot of attention. Pilates teaches you to consciously move in certain ways to challenge muscles that you don’t hit while lifting heavy weights in the gym, running or in your daily life.
If you’re a keen sportsman, I’m sure you’ll find that Pilates can also significantly improve your performance.
Injury prevention and rehabilitation are undoubtedly two of the key benefits that sportsmen can experience from doing Pilates, but there are numerous ways that Pilates can actually enhance your sporting performance.
- Balance & Co-ordination – Pilates enhances your muscle control and core stability, these are both related to improved balance and co-ordination. Numerous golfers including Tiger Woods have utilised Pilates to develop their balance while transitioning their body weight throughout their golf swing.
- Strength and Power – In order to generate the maximum amount of force while under control you must have stability in your core. Consider a Tennis player who has to return a ball while moving and contorting their bodies, for them to be able to generate the optimal amount force on their return they must have unbelievable core strength.
- Concentration and Focus – Pilates forces you to pay attention to your body, you’ve got to focus on your breath while working through each movement and concentrating on proper form and activating the correct muscles. This significantly enhances your body control and awareness which are both fundamental skills to maintaining sporting performance.
These are some of the benefits that men can expect to achieve from doing Pilates, so if you think you’re man enough then come and give it a try…
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