Come on lads … Admit it!
You think Pilates is mostly a girl thing.
A bunch of Bendy Wendys in Lululemon prancing around the studio and then dashing off for a skinny latte and the chats thereafter.
And yet you’re intrigued because you’ve heard, many of the Irish Rugby Team swear by it.
Premiership Footballers have been doing it for years and Tiger Woods makes sure he has access to a reformer on every tour.
So why is Reformer Pilates high on the agenda of Male Athletes and why you need to make it part of your weekly fitness routine.
1. Pilates first and foremost was invented by a man-to help rehabilitate injured soldiers imprisoned during World War 1
Joseph Pilates (originally from Germany) was a self defense instructor in England but when the War broke out he was interned as “enemy alien” with other German Nationals. There, he looked after many of the injured soldiers.
He used the bedsprings from the hospital beds where these patients lay to help create resistance to get their limbs moving.
The Reformer Machine design is based on a bed frame with springs and pulleys replicating the prison beds, to create varying degrees of resistance and assistance.
His work was never gender specific and in fact, Joseph’s influence came hugely from martial arts techniques & study of animal movement, in particular cats.
It was not until he moved to New York and happened to have a studio in the same building as the New York City Ballet, that ballet dancers became obsessed with the Pilates method for
rehabbing them & keeping them injury free.
Fast forward 60 years and a media frenzy of top models, actors and singers tweeting photos of themselves bending and stretching on the Reformer and you could be forgiven for thinking it’s a girls only thing.
2. Pilates will keep you injury free
We get lots of male clients that take up Pilates because they have been injured lifting weights at the gym, playing five-a-side, running, or even playing golf.
It’s important to know if you want to stay physically fit and active, you need to have good levels of flexibility & mobility in the body and unless you diligently incorporate these elements of fitness into your workout
then you wont be supple and injury free for long.
The great thing about Pilates is that not only is it brilliant for helping you recover from an injury, if you keep at it for- even 1 hour a week, it will help to stave off further risk of injury.
3. Healthy Pelvic Floor Is Not Just For Girls
You might be surprised to know that you need to work on your pelvic floor health just as much as your female counterpart.
That’s right! Men have pelvic floor issues as well.
Our pelvic floor plays a vital role in the stability of our lumbar spine & sacrum (the base of your pelvis). We often find men who suffer from continuous groin & hamstring strain can really benefit from mobilizing exercises that help to stretch & strengthen the pelvic floor – eccentric & concentric movements done under really controlled spring tension. Working on your pelvic floor health can play a huge role in improving lower back pain too.
4. You will look better
It’s true – Incorporating Pilates in your weekly workout routine will have a dramatic impact on your posture & how you look.
Pilates will work you head to toe & inside out. Some of the movements are so subtle and yet when you are in the depths of a class you wont understand why you’re shaking like a leaf and sweating like crazy.
The control and precision needed to perform each exercise means the body has to dig a little deeper to make each rep. As a result you end up working your deep stabilizing systems along with your global moving systems and your body becomes more in balance and in sync with itself.
5. Most importantly – You will feel better
Your body has it’s own internal pharmacy releasing chemicals in the form or hormones as it sees fit. When you’re stressed or under pressure there’s lots of cortisol & adrenaline being pumped out and you know that these hormones wreak havoc with your health.
Breathing techniques & incredible movement patterns that we teach in Pilates will awaken your senses and leave you feeling challenged but very refreshed at the same time.
I’m looking forward to presenting my Pilates Workshop at Wellfest on the 19th of September. I’ll have lots of really cool Pilates Exercises you can take to the gym, onto the golf course or even the rugby pitch…Perfect to keep you injury free. =)