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Top 5 reasons men should take Pilates classes

For some reason, there are people who have the misconception that only women take Pilates classes or that it’s a workout specifically designed for them. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Not only was the founder of this unique exercise form a man, Joseph Pilates, but the reason he created it was to train for boxing and gymnastics. To this day, many male boxers and gymnasts incorporate a Pilates practice into their regimen to enhance their overall performance—as do male athletes who play football, basketball, baseball, tennis and other competitive sports. Below are the top five reasons that these athletes and other men choose reformer Pilates workouts and mat classes as an integral part of their exercise programs.

Increased Flexibility. Pilates classes incorporate stretching and flexibility-enhancing exercises that elongate muscles, improve range of motion and target smaller muscle groups that don’t get used in typical weight lifting and strength training moves. This helps to create balance and synergy within all the muscle groups, which improves overall fitness and performance in all other sports and physical activities. The stretching element is key to muscle recovery as well. In fact, many people follow their other workouts with a Pilates session. For example, some students practice Pilates directly after gymnastics classes, body building or boxing training sessions.

Decreased Body Fat. Regardless of our gender, most of us work out with the goal of reducing body fat. A consistent Pilates practice definitely results in a more toned physique while decreasing body fat, which leads to an array of other health benefits.

The Powerhouse. Pilates emphasizes core strength by initiating movement from the center of the body, and working the deep muscles of the trunk area. This helps to stabilize the entire body and protect the spine from injury. Training with reformer Pilates workouts and mat classes provides an excellent foundation for all other types of sports and physical activity, from dance, yoga and gymnastics classes to running, basketball, football and swimming.

A More Balanced Physique. The integrative approach of Pilates helps to balance out resistance training, which is comprised of working out muscles in a part-by-part manner. Pilates targets muscle groups that are often overlooked by men in other forms of training. This is why it is very helpful for men to start their practice under the supervision of a Pilates studio.

Improved Posture. As we grow older, our posture starts to suffer and we may begin slouching.  Since Pilates builds our core while strengthening and protecting our back, it can help correct our posture and even diminish pain from back injuries. However, if you do suffer from back pain, it’s imperative that you work with either a physical therapist or under the supervision of a reputable Pilates studio before beginning a new practice in this integrative, dynamic movement form.

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