The word “pilates” definitely carries a certain stigma, or feminine connotation in the view of most men. It’s seen as the workout routine their girlfriend does to keep the tummy fat off, or something the desperate housewives will do over gossip sessions about neighbourhood infidelities. Its an exercise that most men have never considered for lack of knowledge, the over popularity of yoga, as well as the fear of social assassination from their male peers. Truth is, it’s a terrific workout and something all men should try – a man invented it after all, Joseph Pilates. So here are 5 reasons why every man should try pilates:
Increased core strength and muscle toning
Your core is the backbone for your body’s stability, and sets the tone for how the rest of your body and muscles operate. By improving your core strength, you’re not only going to see more muscle toning and better physical results, but you’ll also find yourself having an easier time with functional activities like helping a friend move, or taking out the trash. Pilates focuses on engaging your core by putting your body at a disadvantage. This results in a more stable core and stronger back muscles.
Shock new muscles
Like most men, I’m sure you’ve grown too accustomed to the same workouts and targeting the same vanity muscles such as your biceps, triceps, and pectorals. But pilates does exactly the opposite – it attacks those often-neglected muscles that are usually weak and unstable such as your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. By improving the strength of these weaker muscles, your body as a whole will become stronger and you’ll reduce the risk of injury and muscle imbalance.
Everyone is aware of how painfully inflexible most men are. We’ve all seen enough men reach for their toes but barely get to their knees to know this is a big issue. This has contributed to the huge uproar of men that are partaking in weekly yoga classes to try and compensate for their overly tight muscles. But pilates offers all the same flexibility benefits that yoga does, but without forcing you to twist and contort your body into a human pretzel (which can cause damage your spine if done incorrectly). Pilates requires that you keep a neutral spine while concentrating on specific movements, which improves flexibility and decreases the risk of injury. The classes are also set-up so you can “work at your own pace” and perform stretches and exercises within your own limitations.
Allow you to be more mindful of your body
What will be surprising to most that try pilates for the first time is that there isn’t any music playing in a class. This is so you can always be conscious what muscles you’re working with each exercise and make sure you’re targeting the correct ones. This will help you to become more aware of the muscles in your body and how to target each one effectively. It goes by a part-by-part approach, which is highly effective in isolating specific muscle groups.
The numbers are in your favour
If you think a yoga class is a good place to meet attractive women, then you’ve clearly never been to a pilates class. Often you’ll be the only guy in the class, which garners you special attention from the instructor and other participants. It’s the perfect way to get fit while drowning yourself in a sea of fit, attractive, and health-conscious women. Just be warned, the instructors have a habit of using female anatomy terms when describing exercise procedures, such as, “Okay, rest the bar gently below your bra strap ladies”. They aren’t trying to alienate you; it’s just a force of habit.
Pilates is often misunderstood and cast aside by men unwilling to venture out of their comfort zones. But pretty soon terms like “manlates” and “brolates” will be popularly used. Also with added benefits like becoming better at sex (through core strengthening your core and pelvic floor) it’s beginning to get more mainstream among the male demographic. So sign up for a class, and give it a try. And when you start touching your toes without wincing, and your abs become more ripped than they have in years, you’ll forget all the reasons why you knocked pilates in the first place.