Pilates for Men: Uncovering the Essentials
May 23, 2016
Over the years, the stigma of Pilates being an exercise “just for girls” has slowly diminished.
Overtime, it has become respected and embraced for what it truly is—a sophisticated, intense, yet gentle overall body workout that can be done by anyone, regardless of gender and fitness level.
Nowadays, men doing Pilates has become the new norm.
Pilates for men has earned quite a following because of its many benefits. Men who try Pilates often get hooked, thanks to all the phenomenal benefits only Pilates can offer.
For the manliest of men, here are some of the Pilates benefits you cannot afford to miss out on.
- Pilates tightens and builds
Ever wonder how many male models seem to have well-defined muscles that are almost too good to be true? If you guessed Pilates, then you are right!
Pilates works the serratus anterior muscles. These are small muscles that you see on the lower ribs. The muscles of the inner core, also known as the transverse muscles are also given focus in Pilates workouts. Plank style exercises and Pilates abdominal workouts also help tighten the waistline.
To say Pilates can make your body look good is an understatement. If truth be told, Pilates can actually make your body look enviable—and that’s still putting it mildly.
2. Pilates helps prevent injuries
Conventional guy workouts often engage the outer and larger layer of the muscles. Pilates for men however engages the deeper and smaller muscles that are found underneath. This results to a strengthened core, stabilized spine, and a tightened “wrapping” for the internal organs. All of those things helps keep men safe regardless if they are engaged in sports or working out.
Apart from also enhancing movement fluidity, Pilates for men helps to develop the muscular strength of one’s rotator cuff muscles. This can help prevent injuries in challenging sports like golf and baseball, among others.
3. Pilates reduces stress and increases confidence
In essence, Pilates is the consummate choice if you want to enhance the mind and body connection. Breathing through each movement and learning how to identify the muscles you are using will not only help you stay in the moment (thereby reducing stress), it also helps you gain more control over your body.
Improving your spinal alignment and balancing the muscles in the upper back will also make you look and feel confident. And only Pilates can help you achieve all those.
4. Pilates helps you perform better in sports
The fact that Pilates is extremely popular among football players, golfers, swimmers, tennis players, and sportsmen in general is no coincidence. All those who have tried Pilates raved about the amazing benefits they are enjoying and how much it has dramatically enhanced their performance.
Case in point: Since Pilates works and strengthens the abdominals, many golfers credit their killer swings to their ability to twist with control—all thanks to Pilates.
Make no mistake about it, Pilates is an intense overall body workout that’s also considered a form of rehab and physical therapy. This combination makes it the ideal ally of many sportsmen as it not only helps prevent and rehabilitate injuries, it also gives them the strength and flexibility to stay on top of their game.
If you are looking to join your first Pilates class, the following tips should get you off to a superb start.
a) Take classes. In some cases, you will find that women will outnumber men, but that demographic will definitely soon change with many men and sports royalties (Tiger Woods, Dwayne Wade, and LeBron James to name a few) crediting their enhanced sports prowess to Pilates.
b) Be open to modifications. In general, Pilates is based on healthy movement principles so the method is the same for all, regardless of gender.
However, men might have tighter muscles compared to women, especially in the hamstrings and hips. Fortunately, since Pilates is a sophisticated exercise, it can be easily modified to meet the needs and fitness level of the practitioners.
c) Prepare for a different kind of challenge. Pilates entails more than just the “power through” kind of attitude most gym junkies might be used to. This becomes evident when working with a Pilates equipment. While designed as resistance equipment, Pilates devices like the reformer is deemed highly effective in challenging the core muscles. As far as Pilates goes, well-aligned and controlled movement is the practitioner’s sure ticket to a deeper fitness level.
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