What do rock legend Ian Moss, swim star Eamon Sullivan and golf pro Tiger Woods all have in common? They all practice Pilates. The Pilates method was developed by a man, Joseph Pilates, who used it to train army troops, interned prisoners and men from all walks of life, as much or more than he trained females and dancers.
While Pilates has in more recent times been seen as a form of exercise that women tend to do, all over the world men are practicing Pilates for its health and conditioning benefits. Those that do will tell you adamantly that a Pilates workout is not for the faint-hearted. Many serious athletes include Pilates in their training regime these days, below are 5 good reasons Pilates is for men.
1. Build core strength. Every Pilates exercise focuses on using your core to power movement in your limbs. Without a strong core, when you move your limbs during sport or just in daily movement, some of the force generated is lost through not having a good stable foundation, decreasing power output and efficiency of movement.
2. Improve flexibility. As a general rule, the more muscle mass you have, the less flexible you are. Pilates while not static stretching uses specific dynamic exercises and techniques to increase range of motion in all joints and movements of the body.
3. Develop all over strength. Some of your muscles, like those that dominate your daily movements, are stronger than others. Pilates offers functional strength, meaning the body must maintain correct posture and muscle patterns while building strength. This brings the often neglected muscles in to work with the more common muscles trained.
4. Relax and Breath! Most Pilates exercises place a big focus on breathing while working through each movement and concentrating on proper form. After a Pilates session, you’ll feel refreshed and relaxed, which can even carry over into the next day if you’re lucky.
5. Prevent Injuries. Finally and probably most importantly, for all of the above reasons, Pilates, is one of the best ways to prevent injuries from occurring. Doctors and physios refer consistently to Pilates for rehabilitation and the results can be astounding.
To enquire about attending a Pilates class or to book a Pilates assessment, check out our PILATES PAGE or call the practice on 02 9976 3540 to speak with one of our staff and get on your way to better health.
Article by Jim Burke October 2014