Is Pilates for Men as well as Women?
Author: John Marston, PMA Board of Directors
When I was first introduced to Pilates in 2009, I observed that the vast majority of people in the Pilates studio were female. Based on that observation, I concluded that it was an exercise regime best suited for women.
I have now practiced Pilates for close to 10 years and it has really helped my male body. An ideal exercise week for me includes two private Pilates classes. I do not always reach this goal, but I feel better when I do.
The significant changes I have seen since I added Pilates to my exercise regime are:
My whole body is stronger than it has ever been. For many years, I have attended the gym where my workout is a mixture of cardio and weights. After I added Pilates, I saw increased strength throughout my body. In 2017, I backpacked the John Muir Trail from Yosemite National Park to Mount Whitney, which is 220 miles. The trail is through the wilderness of the High Sierra mountains of California and it is necessary to carry your food and shelter on your back. I believe that a significant factor in my ability to complete the trail was my Pilates practice.
In the past, I found that I often tweaked muscles performing everyday movements, and as a result, I protected my body by avoiding certain movements. Pilates has exercised my entire body and given me the confidence that I can safely move in whatever way I like. This confidence has helped me experience much greater flexibility.
My daily commute and my office job result in me spending over eight hours a day sitting. Before I started Pilates, I would often find that I had shoulder or lower back pain. A mixture of a more conditioned body and the adoption of body-friendly office practices, like walking meetings (rather than meetings around a table), has significantly reduced and often eliminated any body pain.
Developed Neglected Muscle Groups
When I started Pilates, I discovered muscle groups I did not know even existed! These muscle groups were rarely used during my daily life and at the gym. I suspect that the muscles I tweaked were often part of these neglected muscle groups.
Pilates has helped me to adopt a better posture. How that has happened is part of the magic of Pilates, but some of the results I have felt are less joint pain, improved breathing, and less tension.
Feeling More Confident
The biggest benefit I have experienced is that I feel more confident in my body. My body is stronger, more flexible, and pain-free. That confidence shows in my posture and attitude whether I am at work or at the beach.
In conclusion, Pilates is for everyone and I encourage men to join women in the amazing world of Pilates.
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Category: The Method