Let us debunk a common myth: If you think Pilates is an exercise designed only for women, think again!
While often misconceived as too deliberate and slow, Pilates can actually be as challenging as any hardcore gym routine. Those who have tried it can attest to the fact that Pilates for men is ideal when you are looking to increase flexibility and muscle power.
What are the other benefits practicing Pilates for men has to offer?
Reformer Pilates for one incorporates diverse three dimensional movements in the sessions. These movements are expected to do way more than just challenge the length and elasticity of your muscles. As an added bonus, it also allows your joints to move through the best range imaginable.
Many aches and pains are often secondary to bad posture. Fortunately, Pilates exercises have been designed with your postural benefit in mind. And because it challenges your flexibility and strength, Pilates can dramatically help improve muscular balance in the joints. This will result to better posture and reduced chances of injury.
The combination of muscles that support both your torso and the spine is known as your core muscles. While unknown to many, these muscles form all your movement’s foundation.
That being said, you can expect reliance only on dominant muscles as well as instability if you have a weak core. If left unattended, this can eventually lead to issues like reduced movement range, limited flexibility, and in worst case scenarios, injury. Luckily, Pilates is big on core activation. That means all your postural muscles are engaged, resulting to more potent and stable movements.
Not all muscles have been created equal. Those often used in your daily movements for instance are built way stronger compared to the others. What Pilates does however is give focus to muscles that don’t often get the attention they deserve. Since Pilates promotes deliberate movements, you can effectively challenge those muscles that don’t get the loving they deserve when you run, hit the gym, or lift weights.
If you are a dedicated and competitive sportsman looking to significantly improve your game, Pilates can be just what you need.
Apart from rehabilitation and injury prevention, there are numerous other benefits Pilates offers to help you stay on top of your game.
Focus and concentration. Pilates encourages you to be in the moment and pay close attention to your body while doing the movements. It also entails that you focus on your breath as you work through each movement so you can activate the correct muscles and execute the right positions. In the long run, you will develop awareness and body control—two key elements needed to help you achieve optimum performance.
Coordination and balance. If you need help with your coordination and balance, it is recommended that you incorporate Pilates in your exercise routine. Pilates greatly enhances your core stability and muscle control as attention to both can eventually result to improved balance and coordination. Many golfers, including the legendary Tiger Woods have relied on Pilates to improve their balance when transitioning their body weight during their swings.
Now that you know the benefits of Pilates, your next concern should be getting the most out of your sessions. The following tips should get you off to an amazing start:
- Be mindful of your posture. Executing good posture only when you train just won’t cut it. As a general rule of thumb, it will work to your advantage if you remain mindful and observe proper posture outside of your fitness regime. Execute shoulder over hipbone at least twice daily and you are well on your way to a much better physique.
- Consider slowing down your movements. Speeding up can work to your disadvantage as this can result to incorrect executions. Slow down your movements so that you can perform the right moves, including the demanding ones.
- Incorporate the four spine movements in your workout. Your spine moves in four directions: rotation, lateral, forward, and backward. Include all four movements in your routine so you will get better results.
Pilates has been considered a mere recovery treatment for sportsmen at best and yoga for women at worst. However, taking into account all the benefits it has to offer, it’s easy to see it is a force to be reckoned with in the fitness world.