Men and Pilates

Pilates is most certainly also for men. It was pioneered by a man - Joseph Pilates - and the technique has been used to train elite athletes for over 50 years.

Over the last two decades, Pilates has been dominated by female instructors, which has left the impression that Pilates is only for women. Hopefully you will see that the benefits outweigh the myth.

This extract from About.com explains all:

Why Pilates works well for men

Core strength, flexibility, balance, uniform development and efficient movement patterns - all are hallmarks of Pilates training and highly relevant to men's fitness. The integrative component of Pilates can be especially beneficial for men, whose workouts often emphasise a part-by-part approach to muscular development, such as what one finds in weightlifting.

Pilates, by contrast, emphasises moving from the centre of the body, the powerhouse, and developing core strength in the deep muscles of the centre to stabilise the trunk and protect the back. This kind of core training makes Pilates an excellent technique for whole-body fitness, as well as a foundation for cross-training with other kinds of sports and exercise.

Increasing flexibility is a goal that Pilates addresses in a way that men often feel comfortable with. Pilates works toward functional fitness. That is, the ability to have the strength, balance, and flexibility that allows one to move through daily life tasks with grace and ease. To this end, Pilates exercises do seek to increase flexibility and range of motion, but one won't find the kind of pretzel stretches in Pilates that one might find in gymnastics or yoga.

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15 May 2014

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Testimonials

  • 22 March 2012

    "I have been doing Pilates on and off since 2005. Ever since I started with Pilates my motto was ‘Pilates till I die’, and it still is. I believe you can still be 100 years old and do Pilates. It will keep your body flexible and your mind alive.

    I started with Pilates classes because I wanted to do some form of exercise (and I am not the athletic type) and I suffer from tension in my shoulders, upper back and neck, which leads to tension headaches. The kind and number of classes I have taken per week over the years have varied according to circumstances, but one thing is always the same: miss a class and your body knows it. At the moment I only take one group class a week, and if I miss a class, my upper body is one big spasm the following week. Pilates does not take my condition completely away, but it helps me manage it in a way no medication or physiotherapist can.

    The other thing is that Pilates really is the thinking man’s exercise. I think this is great, as your brain also has to concentrate very hard to control your muscles.

    Furthermore, Pilates has kept my core strong during my first pregnancy (I failed to go to class during the second and it still shows!), and it helped me to strengthen my pelvic floor and core again after I’ve had my children.

    If I could force them, I would have made my mom and all my friends go to Pilates classes to strengthen their bodies and see what amazing things they will actually be able to do when their mind and body work together! Pilates till I die!"

    Anneline Du Preez
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