Although many view Pilates as a women’s exercise, when Joseph Pilates invented it in the 1920s, he did so in an attempt to support men’s health, specifically veterans. He developed a series of exercises that support core strength, flexibility, and many other key facets of physical health. That’s why Pilates is no longer targeted towards veterans and has been adopted by a wide range of people, from professional athletes to those bound to office chairs for most of their day. You might see a lot of information about how Pilates supports women’s health, because it does. However, it is also an exceptional tool to help support men and their overall wellbeing. Here are some reasons why men should consider Pilates, based on their various health goals.
Support for Chronic Pain
Many men suffer from chronic pain, whether it’s caused by sitting at a desk all day, performing repetitive motions at work, or persistent old injuries. Pilates strengthens the core muscles, which are needed to support the back and prevent poor movements that exacerbate certain kinds of chronic pain. When you have stronger muscles to rely on, you put less strain on injured muscles. You can also develop better posture which can help to prevent chronic pain, particularly in the back and neck. Pilates can help with the knees, arms, and any other spots in which you might experience chronic pain. Your physiotherapist can show you which Pilates movements will help with your specific problems, helping to minimize pain and better manage chronic conditions.
Balance Weightlifting Exercises
Men who lift weights develop mass, but they may neglect their flexibility and smaller muscles groups. Pilates helps you to build strength in smaller, potentially neglected muscle groups. Strengthening these stabilizer muscles helps significantly with posture, and it can improve your strength and performance when executing compound lifts to a surprising degree. It will also help you to maintain or improve flexibility as you bulk, which is critical for safe movement and performance. Pilates encourages you to move in ways that you don’t typically move while weightlifting, and by diversifying your movements you create a stronger body and improve your overall fitness.
Faster, Better Injury Recovery
Whether you play sports professionally or simply for your own enjoyment, you may eventually face injury. Even those who don’t partake in organized sport are at risk for injury through the strains of everyday life! The core strength, balance, and flexibility developed through Pilates can help you to avoid these injuries in the first place. However, if injury does occur, Pilates can provide a safer outlet to begin moving the affected muscles and slowly restore strength, balance, and flexibility to the area. Your physiotherapist can help you to tailor Pilates exercises to your specific needs, based on the type and location of your injury.
Improve Sports Performance
Depending on your specific sport, you may focus a disproportionate amount on the major muscle groups involved and not enough on the more minor muscles which have the potential to enhance your performance. Pilates will help you to focus on the muscles in your core, which are neglected in many sports but which can significantly enhance your performance by supporting the other muscle groups.
Develop Pelvic Floor Muscles
Men may not use the pelvic floor muscles in the same way as women, but they are still vital to your overall health. A strong pelvic floor helps you to maintain control of the organs in the area, and pelvic floor exercises may even improve sexual performance.
Ready to Try a Pilates Class?
Men are more than welcome at the Pilates classes hosted at ABsolute Pilates. Please feel free to reach out to us for more information, or take a look at our class schedule here!