5 Reasons To Try Pilates
Time to stop being suspicious of the stretchy German system
Modern life, with its desks and deadlines, generates no end of physical ailments. Yet in the search for ache-and-pain relief, most men turn their back on anything endorsed by Madonna.
Yet the Pilates “method”, despite being developed almost 100 years ago by Joseph Hubertus Pilates of Germany, is perfectly designed to deal with today’s gripes, from executive stress to the consequences of your love of sitting.
“Whether you’re an athlete or an office worker, everyone’s body can work with more efficiency and ease,” says Winona Holl, managing director of the Pilates Foundation.
“Men can be very muscle-group targeted in how they work out, but that doesn’t always target the inner muscles that help create stability along the bones and joints. Pilates allows the deeper muscles to work.”
Here are five reasons Pilates is worth a go if those irritating back spasms just won’t go away.
Back and neck pain are on the rise, with 82% of men now suffering due to endless hours spent contorted over their work stations. Pilates improves your posture by strengthening the muscles that support your spine and joints.
2. Neglected Muscles
100 biceps curls a day might sound impressive, but there are around 639 other muscles in your body that also need some attention. As anyone who has done Pilates will testify, you’ll discover muscles you didn’t know existed – mainly thanks to how much they ache the next day.
Maintaining a strong core should be an essential part of everyone’s fitness regime (because it underpins everything you do, particularly in your lower spine), and every Pilates exercise undertaken requires you to keep that central core engaged, making sure you work your body from the inside out.
Not only will Pilates make your every moving moment a breezy joy, it will also help reduce any niggling injuries you may have picked up from playing sports, and it will also keep your joints in top order. That’s the reason many professional athletes practise Pilates alongside training.
Pilates brings breathing techniques, concentration and body awareness into its exercises, all effective tools for the war on stress. “Modern men live
in a fight-or-flight mode,” says Holl. “Pilates brings your nervous system out of that system, to more of a rest-and-digest place.” So there.
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Max was the head of digital content for Men's Fitness which worked alongside Coach between 2015 and 2019.