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Is Pilates just for women? No…!

Men equally benefit from Pilates workouts. A man did invent the concept after all, so says VantagePoint.

Joseph Pilates came up with the idea that core muscles were key, way back in the 1920’s. Joseph Pilates was a professional boxer who was born a sickly child and he overcame his many disabilities by exercising. He developed his Pilates regimen over many years. Whilst he was held in a P.O.W. camp, during WW1, he started inventing machinery to assist and resist his exercises using the bed springs and other items available to make pulley systems. His exercise programme kept him and his fellow prisoners strong in both body and mind.

Pilates does involve a lot of mind over body processing, but don’t let that put you off. Engaging your mind allows you to be fully aware of your body alignment as you make subtle focused movements. You don’t have to get in touch with your feminine side, chant or wear a leotard!

This focus on perfect form (body alignment) and subtle controlled movements is what Pilates is about. What looks simple is in fact challenging to achieve. For example, a Pilates push-up might seem at first glance to be the same as a standard push up but the focus is different.

A healthy body is one that has an equal balance of strength and flexibility. Pilates develops long lean muscles that are strongest closest to the spine protecting your back, improving your posture and allowing more controlled movements of your arms and legs, in-fact providing the building block on which to base your strength and performance training. More and more athletes and sportsmen have turned to Pilates to improve their performance, be it body-builders, cricketers, footballers and, like Joseph Pilates himself, boxers. There’s nothing remotely ‘girly’ about it.

Men benefit from Pilates because:

1. It strengthens the muscles that count. The pelvic floor, deep abdominal and back muscles that form the protection for your spine and allow you to move more effectively without overloading your spine.

2. It develops flexibility. In Joseph Pilates’ own words “You are only as young as your spine is flexible”.

3. It allows your muscles to develop in balance with each other and supporting each other. This allows all your movements to be more powerful and controlled which helps with day to day activities as well as sports activities.

4. You are developing your pelvic floor, lower abdominal muscles so all the benefits that come with that control….do I need to explain this one? I’m sure your wives will understand what I’m trying to say!

5. It will help improve your posture. You will stand taller, hold your head higher and naturally look more composed. Once you start Pilates this will be the first thing people who know you will comment on.

Physio 1to1

We run lots of individual and ‘Men-only’ Pilates classes at Physio 1 to 1. All our Physiotherapists are also Pilates instructors. We offer both mat-work and equipment circuits. Everyone gets a pre-class screening session to allow us to analyse posture, flexibility and strength.

Our classes are small so that individual needs and progressions can be addressed. The small classes allow us to make individual corrections to ensure the exercises are being performed optimally. You don’t have to be injured to attend our sessions and you don’t have to be a fitness freak. We teach all ages and abilities and can focus on individual needs whether that is to be free from back pain or to be able to power-lift more effectively.

As Joseph Pilates said “I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.”

If you want to give Pilates a try call us on 01483 424470 and book in for an assessment. Bridge Mews, Bridge St, Godalming GU7 1HZ

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