Pilates for Men/Athletes

It is not common knowledge but Joseph H. Pilates created his Method of Body Conditioning for men! While it is true that Pilates is popular with women, dancers and Hollywood starlets, it wasn’t what he had in mind when he developed Contrology. The intended target group wasn’t female; it was male. Pilates spring based resistance exercise program was originally designed for men to help them gain greater flexibility and to aid in the injury recovery of soldiers.
In fact, one google search will yield plenty of archival footage of Joseph teaching men. The reason for this is simple; in Lament’s terms men as a generalization of course need the stretch to tap into their full strength potential while women need to build greater muscle mass to become physically stronger. Some of that may have to do with differences in anatomy and biology make-up (collagen production, bone structure etc.). But as far as exercise is concerned, Pilates works for guys because it challenges them mentally and physically. Lower back pain, tight hamstrings or tightness in the shoulders and hips are as common for men as it is for women. 

Pilates for Men/Athletes

Are you an athlete wanting to bring your game to the next level? Then you should read on! Pilates exercises offer athletes many benefits because it can give them an edge over their opponent. Increased range of motion, flexibility and balance are vital for any athlete male or female. Since male muscle fibers tend to be more dense than that of their female counterparts, they require more stretching.

A tight muscle limits muscle performance and for a runner a tight hamstring can make the difference between winning and losing a race. A linebacker as a defensive player in football uses his body to stop and tackle the running back. In this scenario, a compact and dense body type is desired. However, dense means tight and tight can mean weak. A tight/weak muscle simply does not function at full capacity. A long, lean and flexible muscle however allows for greater range of motion which reduces the risk of injury. Many professional athletes such as Pro Golfer Tiger Woods, former quarterback with the Indianpolis Colts Peyton Manning or Hines Ward, retired wide receiver with the Pittsburg Steelers to just name a few use Pilates to opt up their game.

pilates for men
What about the corporate warrior or men who aren’t professional athletes per se but still love to engage in the game? The answer is, it makes no difference because the same concept applies to the hobby athlete. In competition sports like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, greater flexibility means greater range of motion and that again can make the difference between winning or losing a match. Stepping off the mat without having sustained an injury should always be a priority in any sport but certainly in any high impact competition sport. Tendons and ligaments fulfill an important function in the body.
While tendons connect muscles to bones, ligaments join bones to bones. Tendons like the patella tendon or ligaments like the MCL and ACL are rigid and dense in fiber which makes them difficult to stretch. Ligament and tendon injuries are a frequent occurrence on the mat and often take a long time to heal. Half an inch of increased range of motion can make all the difference. And that is ultimately why Pilates is such a valuable and effective way to balance out any form of competition training – more core power, more stretch, more range of motion, better balance….
pilates for strength training

Pilates for strength training

Joint or ligament/tendon related injuries are also very common amongst tennis and soccer players. Any high impact sport increases the risk of injury. In Pilates the first measure is to build up and recruit core strength. Everything we do in Pilates is essentially a crunch of some sort!  We also refer to the Core as the Powerhouse because it becomes the engine that drives the motion. Tennis elbow syndrome and rotator cuff injuries are common injuries for even the occasional tennis player.

When we power through a weak back or sloppy forehand over and over again, it can lead to serious joint or muscle related injury. So how do you go about fixing the pattern? The answer is, Pilates is equally mental as it is physical. Before addressing a particular problem, we look at the movement pattern to work on breaking bad habits to replace them with healthier ones. While developing greater awareness about training anatomically correctly is crucial, it does take time, patience, consistent training and yes an intelligent mind to see results.

Pilates is so much more than just a ” stretchy thing” for women. It stimulates the mind and teaches the body how to move in a healthier, more efficient way. And who does not want that? We all want to live a healthier, happier and more abundant lifestyle. And yes, Pilates is a lifestyle and not just mere exercise.

Pilates for Men does require a different approach than Pilates for Women at least in the early stages of learning the technique. However utimately one of the goals is to get a good work in. Sometimes the price of a good workout is paid in sweat while at other times, the reward is to leave the studio feeling more relaxed. At Pilates Art Center we custom tailor your session to your specific needs and goals. Pilates tends works for every “body” – young or elderly, professional or retired, male or female, healthy or in recovery.

Are you intrigued what Pilates may be able to do for you? Then call us today or use our online booking system to schedule your first Pilates lesson. Experience the Pilates difference and you might just be on your way to reform your mind and body.

If you are intrigued about what Pilates can do for you and want to see how we measure up against other forms of exercises, call us today and set up your introductory session. Experience the Pilates Difference and change the way you look and feel…

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