In the early 20 th century, a boxer named Joseph Pilates found a secondary use for his knowledge of anatomy and exercise physiology. He came up with an exercise program for those who had become unwell. Influenza or injury often left people bedridden and set them on a path to even greater illness. Pilates designed a program to recondition the body and build core strength, flexibility and musculoskeletal support, helping people to return to health.
Isn’t Pilates for Women?
Despite its humble origins, Pilates is often seen as exclusive and as a women’s style of exercise. But this is changing. Men are now coming to understand the health benefits of Pilates and many are enrolling in classes.Pilates is the perfect complimentary exercise routine for men who are working out or keeping fit in other ways. It helps the body to become lean and it builds strength from the core. This can counterbalance muscle building exercises such as weightlifting by stretching out bulkier muscle mass. Preconceptions about what men and women should be doing are changing. Pilates is a valuable inclusion in any exercise program.
Pilates works on muscles that don’t often get used in our daily lives or exercise routines. So while certain muscles are built upon day after day, others can become neglected. If we examined the musculoskeletal system, we would see just how interconnected the small muscles, tendons and ligaments are with the workings of our overall body. When injury or illness occurs, it can often be due to weakness in these areas.
Pelvic floor, iliosacral, and transverse abdominal muscles are just some of the very important muscles that can be neglected without conscious effort. Pilates helps muscles recover and rejuvenate after injury as well as decreasing pain and enhancing mobility and range of movement. Pilates is ideal for men as they age, keeping their internal workings vital and offering valuable support to men recovering from prostate surgery.
Men may feel uncomfortable approaching a class like Pilates due to the stretching involved. Men are naturally less flexible than women but this is why stretching is so important for men. An exercise routine that concentrates on creating greater muscle mass can lead to even greater rigidity. Pilates is an effective method of incrementally increasing flexibility that men can feel confident with. Men are often tighter in the hips and hamstrings, so there are exercise variations provided to support them with these stretches.
What Does a Pilates Class Look Like?
A Pilates class will look modest but will feel a regular workout. Positions are held for long enough to begin to tone neglected muscles and bring your awareness to these areas.
A Pilates routine can also make use of a range of equipment and apparatus. These can be used to create an exercise program tailored your needs. Pilates classes are motivating, easily to access, and they can be taken in conjunction with other workout programs. Gentle yet surprisingly invigorating, Pilates is suitable for people at almost all stages of life and well as fitness levels.
To make a booking or learn more about our Pilates classes, physiotherapy, or other therapies, contact our friendly team on 08 8331 1557 or drop into one of our clinics and speak with one of our staff about your needs.