I have been teaching Pilates in Waterford for nearly 9 years and while my classes are attended mostly by women it’s always surprising when the occasional male  finds his way to class, often because I wonder will I ever see them again! I will never know what makes some men become ‘regulars’ and why some vanish, but I do know Pilates is hugely beneficial to men. Joseph Pilates was after all a man, he designed his workout for injured German Solider’s to help them rehabilitate.jpilates

Its only as ‘Pilates Elders’ (those who trained under Joseph Pilates) started to change some of his exercises and because many of them were ex dancers they started to use dance terminology  that the Pilates method has developed a more feminine style. But it is by no means just for girls! This is a tough exercise and while you may not burn many calories you can be seriously physically challenged in a class.

So boys, listen up!

 

1. Core Strength – Pilates focusing on your transverse abdominal, your deepest stomach muscle, which is also the main stabilizer of your back. Its not all about doing sit ups . Once you become aware of your core strength as a runner  you will run while keeping your pelvis under control, if you swim, you will swim while using your core not just your arms or legs, if you cycle the power in your legs will come from your core strength, especially going up hill!

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2. Flexibility – so this is where men always struggle. Men naturally have more muscle mass than women and so are less flexible. Men can be put off Pilates because the 70 year old women lying beside them can get her leg straight up to the ceiling while they can hardly lift their leg straight off the floor! Pilates seriously improves flexibility and not just in your hamstrings but improve movement in your lower back and shoulders

3.  Work other muscle groups– quiet often men will want to lift heavy weights and work on big muscle groups, when they in fact neglect the muscles that we use in every day life. Pilates will work those smaller muscle groups and challenge you in a way that lifting heavy weight wont.

4. Improve posture – . Most people have aches and pains or develop injuries due to poor posture. Every Pilates exercise highlights the importance of good posture. You will develop good muscles balance and strength that will improve your posture. You will become more aware of how you sit, stand , walk or run. Many people feel they leave a Pilates class an inch or two taller!

5. Concentration –  Pilates will teach you to focus your mind on movement. When you concentrate on your breath you will block everything else out and focus just on the muscles that are meant to be working. IF you have a busy schedule  it also may be the first chance you actually get to breath during your day!

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