With Pilates typically being a women dominated form of exercise, we at Pilates Plus want to open the door and explore the benefits of Pilates for men.
Not typically associated with men the benefits and the uptake of Pilates by men is on the rise. With 2017 underway, there are some exciting sporting events to look forward to. As athletes are prepping their bodies for the physical demands of their sport, some have opted to swap gym sessions for Pilates sessions. Maybe you’re doing the same? If you have targets on PBs come spring or the new year had lead you to take up new hobbies then just have a look at the sporting teams and individuals using Pilates to help maintain flexibility, strength and core power. Sir Andy Murray turned to Pilates to help improve his form after suffering with back problems stopping him perform on court. We’d like to think that’s whats given him the edge to go on to become world number one!
The list of sportsmen and teams using Pilates is growing, Mo Farah, All Black Rugby team, Welsh Rugby team, Rory McIlroy, and premiership football teams. You don’t need more of a recommendation to give Pilates a shot and see how it can help your sporting performance.
Pilates didn’t always start as a women dominated field, the creator of Pilates was Joseph Pilates, a German fitness instructor, boxer and self defence coach. Joe felt exercises should provide a rounded and balance effect on the body and so developed what has become Pilates. Essentially there is roughly the same muscular anatomy and similar daily stresses and injuries on the body for men and women, so there is no reason Pilates can’t benefit both sexes. Pilates can work as a complementary form of exercise or training for other sports or as a means to improve flexibility and core strength. Benefits include improved posture, help in recovery from injury or low back pain and relaxation.
You might find some Pilates similar to exercises already carried out in gym classes or core work outs. The benefit of a class, especially taken by physiotherapists is the whole body approach, correct form and concentration on small less often worked but equally important muscle groups. The core works daily in movement and can be essential in prevention of injuries and pain. Weight training and gym training may often lead to muscle imbalances which Pilates can help to resolve.
Pilates can be an effective form of exercise at any age or stage of your life. If you’ve hung up the rugby boots or running shoes and are just still keen to keep fit and stave away aches and pains then Pilates may help. Certainly as you age, Pilates will help maintain posture, strength, balance and help in the prevention of falls. There is no set age to take up Pilates and you can enjoy the benefits of classes at any stage.
If your starting to use Pilates as part of your exercise programme or looking to keep mobile and strong why not try these moves?
Great for improving the strength of your postural muscles. Lying flat on your stomach have arms lifted to either side of your temples. Lengthen the back of the neck keeping the chin tucked into chest lift the forehead up from the mat keeping a strong position.
Great for mobility and control of your spine, also useful as a warm up/cool down following sport or activity.
Start in 4 point kneeling keep all fours pinned onto ground. Roll up arching the back spreading apart the shoulder blades and enjoy the stretch.
Starting in four point kneeling, set spine to neutral by having a straight neck and slight curve in the lower back. Engage the core by drawing in tummy muscles. Breathe out to glide one arm off the mat. Keep the back of the neck long and straight. Alternating arms to make this harder.
Everybody is different and it is important you are doing the best for your body so we would recommend speaking with a Physiotherapist or your Pilates instructor if you have any specific needs.
All exercises are carried out at your own risk. See your physiotherapist or Pilates instructor if you have any questions.