Why Pilates is great for Blokes!
The word ‘Pilates’ may stir up images of lycra-clad women who order double macchiatos with hot milk, and no foam, and discuss the status of their pelvic floor muscles…
But did you know that Pilates was invented by a man, for men?
Joseph Pilates was a german trainer who dedicated his life to improving physical strength. He developed the pilates programme during Word War I, when he was stuck in a British internment camp. The exercise programme built flexibility, strength and stamina for his fellow inmates. Following the war, Joseph moved to the United States, where he opened a Pilates gym on 8th Avenue, New York. Soon there was a strong following of athletes, particularly from the performing arts and dance community, whose performance was enhanced by Pilates.
Over the years, Pilates has developed with evidence based practice, but the key principles of flexibility, core strength, posture and breathing have remained.
So why should I do it as a man?
- Improve Flexibility
- In general, men naturally tend to be less flexible than woman.
- This may be due to the female hormones which prepare women for childbirth, the differing angles of joints, gym programmes that focus more on bulking up than on lengthening muscles, or a reduction in activity
- Pilates is a balance of strength and flexibility. Flexibility of muscles can help to prevent injury and strains, and make everyday tasks easier due to increased range of motion of joints.
- Increase Core Strength
- Pilates focuses on overall core strength
- The “core” is a word used to describe almost everything on your body which isn’t your legs and arms. This means your back, hips, abdominal, inner abdominal, pelvic floor, gluteal and scapula muscles. It is important to recognise that while abdominal and inner abdominal muscles do play an important role in core stability, they do not make up the core all by themselves.
- The core is activated in almost every movement of the human body, acting as a stabiliser and force transmitter during movement.
- Research has shown that athletes with higher core stability have a lower risk of injury.
- Think of developing your core stability as pouring the concrete base for your home!
- Relieve Stress
- All exercise releases endorphins! These are the ‘happy hormones’ which help to improve mood and reduce stress
- Pilates also focuses on moving with your breath, and encouraging correct breathing techniques, which can help with relaxation, energy levels, and sleep.
- Reduce Pain
- A great deal of the soft tissue pain we see comes from stiffness or loss of range of movement, in particular in the lower back. Pilates works to increase movement in tissues and joints, and improve strength of stabilisers, which in turn places less pressure on joints.
- Pilates is a great way to rehabilitate whilst injured, or leading up to/following surgery.
- Improved Sex Life
- Pilates helps men to control and strengthen their core and pelvic floor muscles. In turn, this can lead to more long lasting and intimate sex.
- Improved Posture
- Good posture is important because it reduces the load on muscles and joints by spreading forces throughout the body.
- People with poorer posture don’t tend to move as freely or as fast, and are predisposed to injury.
- There is some evidence which shows that people who walk with a slouched posture have a higher predisposition to depression than those who walk more upright.
- Pilates is all about moving well and with ease, and improving your posture can help to boost mood and energy levels.
So why not give it a try?
Our Blokes Pilates class is taken by our lovely instructor, Lauren, on Wednesday nights at 6.15pm. Mat classes cost $100 for a block of 6 classes, but this goes down to $90 if you come regularly. Or you can come casually for $20 a classs.
Afterwards, most of the boys head next door to Rhyme and Reason brewery to sample a couple of their great craft beers!
Call 03 443 1711 to book in with one of our friendly reception staff!