If you think Pilates is only for dainty women with ballerinas’ bodies, then think again! While most Prahran Pilates studios tend to be female-dominated, and flooded by a wave of women as soon as the doors to the studio open, Prahran Pilates also holds a myriad of benefits for all the men who rise to the challenge! (Yes Pilates can be challenging!).
In fact, Pilates itself is a discipline that was created by a man, Joseph Pilates, who came from a background of boxing, self-defence and wrestling. The first people to reap the benefits of Pilates were also men, soldiers from war who were recovering from war derived diseases, and since then, Pilates continues to be a form of supplement training for professional athletes, both male and female, all around the world.
Core strength, flexibility, balance, postural correction, injury prevention and efficient movement patterns—all are hallmarks of Prahran Pilates training and highly relevant to men’s fitness. The integrative component of Prahran Pilates can be especially beneficial for men, whose workouts often emphasize a part-by-part approach to muscular development, like what we see in weight-lifting. Unlike working out on the weight machine, Pilates’ routines usually focus on bettering the whole body and not just one muscle.
The exercises we do when training on a reformer machine require total body movements with resistance from the machine’s springs and our own body weight, which is often made more challenging by adding dumbbells or weighted balls into the mix! The class is stretched over a 50 minute workout, which hits every muscle group, and the result is muscles that want to grow. What’s more, throughout the workout, the reformer holds student’s in a neutral alignment, protecting them against incorrect form and helping correct postural imbalances in everyday life.
Unlike the gym, the movements we do during Prahran Pilates work by both strengthening and lengthening the muscles giving an intensely toned, athletic look over time. Most Pilates’ exercises focus on building up the deepest layer of muscle, which can develop and hone long, lean muscles that will help create a stronger inner and outer frame. This has a dramatic impact on your overall body composition.
A six-pack is just one of the many benefits men can expect from regular Prahran Pilates! This is because core work is a central part of every Prahran Pilates class. All Pilates’ moves are initiated by your core, also known as your Pilates powerhouse. Many movements and postures we do during class require you to hold your powerhouse in place while moving your limbs in different directions. This challenges your body with balance and stability, and strengthens your core over time allowing your abdominals to become more defined. In a study conducted by Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, they found that after completing 36 weeks of Pilates training, Pilates’ students strengthened their abdominis by an average of 21%.
Overall, Pilates is founded on healthy movement principles for the human body in general. It was developed on a man’s body, and taught with input from both men and women, but can be beneficial for people of both genders, at any age, and any fitness level. Men might find that their muscles are a little tighter than women’s, especially in the hips and hamstrings, but exercises can be easily modified to allow those areas to stretch out gradually, and many men find the improved flexibility one of the most rewarding aspects of Prahran Pilates! Not to mention the improved coordination, mobility, body awareness, strength, and intensely toned, athletic body that often comes with it!