by Amanda Smith Breon
Pilates IS for men. Contrary to a stigma that Pilates is for women, the Pilates Method of body conditioning is an exercise system that was created by a man for men and women of all ages and fitness levels. At Excel Pilates Annapolis, men as well as women are practicing and thriving on the benefits of Pilates. Professional male athletes and professional sports teams are incorporating Pilates as a fundamental component in their training. Pilates is an extremely physically challenging, mentally engaging and athletic workout for ALL bodies. Men specifically can benefit from the flexibility aspect of the exercises as men are anatomically predisposed to tight hamstrings and lower backs. Pilates also creates a connected, balanced, integrated body and improves your reflexes to prepare you for the unexpected. It will help you improve your sport, help you to sit through long meetings and recover from traveling. It will help you move through life.
It’s a lifestyle and one that includes energy, resilience, grace, and finesse.
Do you want to be able to play soccer or kickball on Tuesday nights and still be able to
walk on Wednesday morning? Would you like to become more coordinated and integrated so that you can improve your golf game? Do you want to be able to sit at your desk and
accomplish tasks without aches and pains? Or, would you simply like to be able to run and play with children or grandchildren without fear of injuring yourself? Perhaps you would just like to stand taller with better posture in your next group photo at work or at home. If you can answer yes to any of these questions Pilates is something that you should try.
The Pilates Method has been around for over a century and has out lived just about
every fitness fad. It is a complex exercise system comprised of mat work and exercises on
several pieces of apparatus that utilize metal springs for support and resistance. Pilates
strengthens your abdominal wall, back muscles, inner thighs, and gluteal muscles, all of
which are commonly called “your core” or as we like to say, the powerhouse. Every exercise is comprised of equal aspects of flexibility and strength to create balance in the body. The exercises strengthen the weaker, less used muscle groups while stretching the stronger over used muscle groups. Pilates also improves posture and alignment, balance and efficiency of movement.
Anatomically, men are built with a pelvis that is tipped slightly back which often
results in tight hamstrings and lower backs. Popular activities such as running, cycling, hiking and weight lifting can increase this hamstring and lower back tightness commonly leading to pain and/or injury. The Pilates exercises help to strengthen muscles while also increasing flexibility. Many men comment on how much more flexible they feel after incorporating Pilates into their life. They move more freely in their day to day routines as well as when they are more active in sports that they enjoy.
Many professional male athletes include Pilates in their training regimes and attribute
it to injury free seasons, longer careers and more powerful, agile bodies. Because Pilates
focuses equally on strength and flexibility it uniquely benefits the professional athlete by
preventing injury, developing mindfulness of their body, and increasing their control. Pilates
also addresses imbalances that can be created in the body with repetitive one-sided
movements such as golf or pitching. Athletes who are accustomed to a “no pain no gain”
mentality where they work and sweat to the point of nausea and fatigue are taken by surprise by the effectiveness of this mindful approach to conditioning. “The Beast," Chicago Cubs Cy Young winning pitcher Jake Arrieta, does Pilates nearly every day and uses it to warm up before every start. “It’s an incredible experience,” Arrieta says.
“Pilates has been around a long time but maybe was taboo in this sport. I think it’s only a matter of time before you see a reformer in every big league clubhouse.”In fact, in the newly remodeled 1 Wrigley Field, there is a new training room with Pilates equipment. Professional athletes that incorporated Pilates into their training also include golfer Tiger Woods, New Jersey Nets basketball star Jason Kidd, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Curt Schilling, Buffalo Bills Pro Bowl offensive guard Ruben Brown, PGA Tour pro Rocco Mediate2, and Brooklyn Nets player Kris Humphries3. The Brooklyn Nets have invested in Pilates equipment for their weight room and have had Pilates equipment shipped to their hotel on road trips.4
Pilates IS for men and the benefits are vast. Pilates supports physical health and
activities from the day to day to the most demanding and athletic. Joseph Pilates proclaimed "In 10 sessions, you will feel the difference. In 20, you will see the difference. And in 30, you'll have a whole new body." Consider giving Pilates a try. You may achieve your best fitness goals yet. We offer classes for men, private and semi private sessions at Excel Pilates Annapolis. Our teachers are second and third generation classical instructors comprehensively trained directly from the lineage of Joseph H. Pilates. All you need is an open and willing mind—and a pair of socks. We hope to see you in the studio soon!
Experience our introduction to Pilates class, specific for men.
for details and registration.