I recently started teaching a Pilates mat class for office workers. While setting up for my first class, a group of guys in workout gear walked into the room. I was impressed–”Wow,” I thought, “the first people to show up are a bunch of dudes!”
The guys started gathering resistance bands and free weights. “You’re not using any of this stuff, are you?” one of them asked me.
“Well, I might use some of it…” I said, disappointed but not surprised. They clearly weren’t there for my class. “Or you could just stay and take class!”
“This is Pilates, right?” They looked at me like I was crazy for suggesting that they stay, and beat a hasty retreat. For them, Pilates was clearly “chick stuff.”
An article–”Why Dudes Should Do Pilates“–has been making it’s way among my Pilates instructor friends and colleagues. The article details some excellent reasons why men should consider practicing Pilates–to develop strong abs and increase flexibility, for example. The author also discusses the rehabilitative benefits of Pilates (Pilates helped him overcome bursitis in his hips) and points out that Pilates is an ideal form of exercise for the long term–many people continue to practice well into old age, maintaining strength and flexbility when many others are complaining of their bodies “breaking down.”
We at Align agree that Pilates is an excellent practice for everyone–young or old, male or female, seasoned athlete or fitness newcomer. And although the majority of our students are women, we have a solid group of men who visit the studio regularly and have made Pilates an important part of their lives. We’d like to point out a few more reasons that men should consider giving Pilates a chance:
Pilates will make you a better runner (or biker, or basketball player…)
The core stability, flexibility and overall physical conditioning that Pilates promotes will enhance your other athletic pursuits, as well. For example, long-distance bikers have commented that the core strength they’ve developed through Pilates has greatly reduced back pain they used to experience during long rides. The coordination and focus that Pilates requires are relevant in plenty of places outside of the studio–the tennis court, the golf course and the ice arena, to name just a few.
Pilates will make your day-to-day life better, too.
Not a professional athlete? Pilates will still provide benefits outside of the studio. Many of our students spend long hours in front of the computer and behind the wheel. Pilates promotes breath awareness and better posture that can make your commute less grueling and your days at the office more energizing.
Women appreciate men who do Pilates!
Seriously, what’s better than a man who actually realizes that Pilates isn’t just for women? Of course we value all of our clients at the studio, but there’s just something special about those guys who sign up for reformer classes with their girlfriends, or who keep coming to mat class week after week, working hard on their swan dive. The couple that teasers together, stays together, right?