Many men have the misconception that Pilates is an exercise program designed exclusively for women. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Pilates is a great form of exercise for men, offering a range of benefits and workouts that can help them stay fit and healthy.
Pilates is for anyone regardless of gender and age. Pilates helps strengthen core muscles and improve flexibility and balance. Doing regular Pilates can help men reduce stress, improve posture, prevent back and joint pain as well as develop better body awareness.
In this article, we’ll explore why men should consider adding Pilates to their fitness routine, as well as when they should start.
Do guys do Pilates?
Yes, guys can and should do Pilates. While there is a misconception that Pilates is only for women with ballerina bodies, this is not true.
Pilates incorporates breathing, posture, strength, balance, flexibility, and coordination to create a full and healthy form of physical exercise.
Everyone can benefit from Pilates, regardless of age or gender andit helps massively with rehabbing sports injuries and injury prevention.
Many men return to the practice after finding its benefits as chiropractic or physical therapy patients, so you don’t have to worry about stereotypes or rumours about who should do Pilates.
In fact many of the world’s top professionals, such as Lebron James and Cristiano Ronaldo have incorporated Pilates because it can help to improve flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination. It can also help athletes to better focus on their bodies and become more aware of how they move.
Ready to give it a try? Give this 20 minute standing routine a go:
What are the benefits of doing Pilates if you are a guy?
Pilates is an excellent form of exercise for men, offering a range of benefits that can help them stay fit and healthy.
Not only does it help strengthen core muscles and improve flexibility and balance, but it also helps prevent back and joint pain, develop better body awareness, and reduce stress.
Let’s explore the various benefits of Pilates for guys so they can make an informed decision about whether to incorporate it into their fitness routine.
1. Increased Strength and Stability
Pilates helps increase strength and stability in men by developing core muscles and stability, lengthening and strengthening muscles, saving money on equipment, and improving performance in other workouts.
For example, Andy Dalton says one of the specific reasons he took on Pilates was to improve his core strength.
“It works all the small muscles in your body and there’s so much core that comes with it -and core is so important for a quarterback. … It’s become a big part of my routine.”Andy Dalton via si.com
2. Improved Posture
Pilates focuses on aligning the entire body, bringing awareness to postural alignment and strengthening postural muscle groups.
This helps to correct any imbalances that may have developed due to sustained unnatural positions for prolonged periods of time. It also helps to reduce pain and discomfort in other parts of the body.
3. Reduced Back Pain
By far one of the most common reasons male clients come to see me is due to back pain, usually caused by having a sedentary desk job. Pilates helps reduce back pain by strengthening and increasing flexibility in certain muscle groups. It also teaches them how to support their lower back, so they are better able to manage any pain they may be experiencing.
By practising Pilates regularly, men can expect improved low back pain, strength and flexibility.
4. Increased Flexibility
Hand in hand with the above, a desk job can lead to very low flexibility.Having low flexibility can lead to a number of problems, including:
- Poor posture and alignment, which can cause pain in the neck, shoulders, and back.
- Reduced range of motion in the joints, which can lead to decreased performance in physical activities.
- Increased risk of injury due to lack of muscle elasticity and joint mobility.
- Impaired circulation due to tight muscles that restrict blood flow throughout the body.
- Decreased energy levels due to reduced oxygen delivery throughout the body.
By incorporating Pilates into your routine, you can improve your range of motion and prevent injuries caused by decreased flexibility.
Studies show that Pilates can increase muscle elasticity, improve posture and balance, and reduce pain from chronic conditions such as arthritis.
5. Improved Core Strength and Power
Pilates is an effective way for men to develop their core strength and power. It can help them improve balance, stabilize the body, add tone and definition to their abdominals, work out harder and get stronger in the gym, and make physical activities easier.
Pilates focuses on strengthening the deep abdominal muscles that are essential for good posture and overall health.
It also targets other key core muscles such as the transverse abdominis (trA), quadratus lumborum (QL), internal oblique (IO), and external oblique (EO). These muscles provide support for the spine during physical activity while also helping with proper breathing techniques.
6. Improved Balance and Coordination
Pilates helps improve balance and coordination by focusing on properly aligning the body through various exercises. It involves core strength, flexibility and uniform toning of different muscle groups which improves overall balance and coordination.
Studies have shown that Pilates can reduce falls in older adults by as much as 50%, increase ankle stability in young women with low back pain, and improve balance during movement in elderly people with Parkinson’s disease.
7. Stress Relief and Improved Concentration
Pilates helps reduce stress levels and increase concentration for men by providing a structured, breath-focused workout that encourages the release of endorphins.
Additionally, the focus on breath during a Pilates workout can help down-regulate the nervous system which further reduces stress over time.
Finally, doing Pilates regularly has been shown to improve sport performance as well as alleviate desk related aches and pains – making it an ideal way for men to improve their health and move better while relieving their everyday stresses.
8. Reduced Fatigue
Pilates can help reduce fatigue by improving cardiorespiratory capacity, which stimulates blood circulation and oxygen flow.
This increases energy levels and provides a boost of vitality. Additionally, Pilates places a strong emphasis on proper breathing, which helps improve overall health and wellness.
By increasing sleep quality through Pilates training, men can experience fewer symptoms of fatigue.
9. Improved Body Control and Muscle Awareness
Doing Pilates can help improve body control and muscle awareness for guys. It can help them become more aware of how their bodies move, which muscles to (and not to) engage, and how their breath can help with repetitions.
This increased awareness allows them to better understand how their bodies work, leading to improved performance in both regular gym or weight workouts as well as everyday activities.
10. Increased Self-Awareness and Empowerment
Doing Pilates increases self-awareness and empowerment for guys in a number of ways.
First, it helps them to become more aware of their bodies, how they move and the muscles to (and not to) engage.
This enhanced awareness can improve their performance in traditional gym or weight workouts.
Additionally, doing Pilates encourages proper breathing techniques which can help them focus on completing repetitions more efficiently.
Finally, practicing these skills can improve their quality of life by allowing them to become more aware of how their actions affect their bodies and minds.
In conclusion, Pilates is an excellent form of exercise for men to improve their overall health and wellness.
I have regular male clients who credit the regular workout with an improved quality of life as it can help reduce stress levels, increase body control and muscle awareness, empower them with increased self-awareness, and reduce fatigue.
With all the benefits that Pilates has to offer, it is no wonder why more and more guys are turning to this form of exercise.
What are the benefits of Pilates for men?
The benefits of Pilates for men include:
- Improved flexibility, control, and muscle precision.
- Greater command of new muscles.
- Reduced low back pain and discomfort.
- Increased strength and sports performance.
- Enhanced sexual performance through strengthening of pelvic floor muscles.
Check out this article for even more benefits:
What is the Pilates mat class?
Pilates mat classes are a form of exercise that focus on the physical function of the body. All exercises are done from the core and focus on the human body.
Pilates classes typically involve mat work, resistance training, and equipment work.
If you’re new check out: A step-by-step guide to getting started with Pilates
What is the difference between Pilates and yoga?
Pilates and yoga both offer the opportunity to move your muscles in new ways. Pilates focuses predominantly on anatomical and physical function, with all exercises radiating from the core, while yoga focuses on flexibility and strength from the root upward (base of the feet to the sky) with a focus of unionizing body, mind, and soul.
Pilates classes typically do not play music like traditional yoga classes do; instead they focus on form and function.
Learn more in this article: How is Pilates different from Yoga?
What are some common misconceptions about men and Pilates?
Some common misconceptions about men and Pilates include:
- Pilates is only for beautiful women with ballerina bodies.
- It’s just an over-glorified stretching session.
- It’s not designed for men.
If you’ve never tried it I highly recommend attending a beginners class, see if you still think any of these things are correct by the end!
How can Pilates help with chronic back pain?
Pilates can help with chronic back pain by strengthening and increasing flexibility in certain muscle groups. It teaches individuals how to support their lower back, which can help reduce pain and discomfort.