We want to finally put an end to a stereotype: Pilates is not a discipline solely for women. Believe it or not, in the past few years it has been integrated into the workout routines of several male professional athletes, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Lebron James, and Tiger Woods.
“Pilates has never been just for ladies. It is true that today it is very popular among women, but there is nothing about pilates that makes it more for women than for men,” explains Xavier Peirels, Aspria group classes coordinator. “Pilates clearly has several benefits for men, and we are not talking about balance and stability only,” he adds. So here are seven good reasons why men should practice pilates.
Physical fitness is the first requisite to happiness.Joseph H. Pilates
1. Pilates was invented by a man
Pilates was invented by German former boxer and wrestler Joseph Hubertus Pilates. After becoming familiar with the classical Greek ideal of a man balanced in body, mind, and spirit, he began to develop his own discipline based on this trio. During World War I, he refined his ideas and trained internees in his system of exercise. Still today, most of the world’s top yogis are men with an incredibly healthy body structure.
2. Pilates prevents injury and pain
By constantly training your body with pilates exercises, you will improve your flexibility. And if you think that flexibility is something that only ballerinas need… Well, you’re wrong! Being flexible is fundamental for decreasing your chances of getting injured in any situation, from sport training to daily life. Flexibility is particularly important for large and/or muscled men as it helps performing smooth and fluid movements, which would otherwise be limited due to the muscular frame.
This is why a constant training with pilates can be the key to treat your ever-present back pain. In fact, it has proven to be just as effective as, if not more than, massage therapy.
3. A pilates workout can be as intense as a gym session
As opposed to what many people believe, Pilates is not just an over-glorified stretching session with some deep breathing involved. There are several other variants that can challenge yourself exactly as a regular gym program. And if you do not believe it, try to join a class of hot yoga, Ashtanga (power) yoga and Bikram yoga and you will change your mind! A plus is that you will improve your muscles’ strength while simultaneously working on your flexibility.
4. Pilates activates neglected muscles
During your gym workout routine, you probably activate the same muscles all the time. Pilates helps you become stronger in small body regions and joints that support your larger muscles.
5. Pilates reduces anxiety in young men
According to a study published in 2020, acute Pilates improves some psychological symptoms: It significantly reduces state anxiety, feelings of fatigue, and increases feelings of energy. Additionally, it improves mood among young adult males with and without analogue generalized anxiety disorders.
6. Pilates improves the reaction time
In elderly men, participation in pilates classes improves reaction time which occurs with aging. A study shows that improvements can be achieved in a time as short as 8 weeks of training.
7. Pilates improves your intimate experience
We probably should have mentioned this at the beginning… Pilates improves the strength of the core and pelvic floor, consequently enhancing a man’s sexual function. Time to sign up for a class?
Do you still need another reason to sign up for a pilates class? Then keep reading.
If you want to combine pilates with a bit of alcohol, why don’t you sign up for a “beer yoga” class? This new variant started in Germany and is now going viral all around the world. As the name suggests, participants basically drink beer while practicing yoga positions. Although this modern variant deviates from the original idea of balancing body, mind, and spirit, it is a fun way to get familiar with this discipline. And, needless to say, this combination of beer and physical activity is attracting high numbers of men to the classes, so be assured you will find many of your fellows!
Aspria exclusive fitness club offers several pilates classes open for both men and women. For more information about the classes available in your Aspria club, check out their website.