Pilates is for men too? whaaat?
The common myth I hear all the time is that Pilates is only for women. This could not be further from the truth. Pilates was first introduced by a male; Joseph Pilates. He spent his childhood battling rheumatic disease, asthma and rickets and was determined to become physically healthy. He done this by creating his own system of exercise – Pilates. He started off teaching Scotland Yard detectives in self-defence but due to unfortunate circumstances he was imprisoned in Germany during the first world war. He began to teach physical exercise programs to his fellow compatriots, using springs and the camp bunk beds. Following this he returned to Germany and taught the German Police Force. He then migrated to the USA and set up a studio with his wife which grew in popularity.
It appears over the years that this popularity has taken the interest of women and less men. From experience I think most men believe Pilates is ‘easy’ or ‘stretchy’ or just too slow paced. It might be intimidating if they don’t feel as graceful or flexible as their female partners (my boyfriend would agree with this). These things come with practice and dedication to the craft and each of us are still working at this in our own way. Rome wasn’t built in a day as they say.
Pilates for men can provide countless benefits for your body and mind, more than just stretching and breathing. I try to remind myself that the best swimmers are those that swim with their core, the best runners are those that use their control and stability and the best weight lifter is one that can combine it all. Many male clients may not want to lie on a mat and use their body weight for exercise. They may prefer to lift weights, so as an instructor seeing a client 1:1 this can be challenging to break down. I try to make Pilates as functional as I can to their specific activity or sport and as a physiotherapist, I am able to incorporate Pilates into nearly every patient’s exercise program and try to adapt the exercises to their individual needs. This is where 1:1 Pilates is useful or small group settings so you can get to know each clients goals and level of ability. It is easy to feel swallowed up in a large class setting, which may be another reason males feel put off.
I hope that this inspires more males to take the plunge and book into a class, no matter what your sport, level of strength or experience. Remember, Pilates was created by a man for MEN and women 🙂
Joseph Pilates once said; “In 10 sessions, you feel better, 20 sessions you look better, 30 sessions you have a completely new body.”