Although Pilates was created by a man and intended for men in the military, the work of Joseph Pilates has been historically neglected by the male population. There are so many great reasons to add Pilates to your fitness routine:
1. To develop under-utilized muscles
Pilates is about whole body fitness and often has an emphasis on strengthening supporting muscles to increase the performance of larger muscles. This not only promotes whole body health, but it can be an effective way to mitigate repetitive stress injuries. For example, when you’re at the gym doing biceps curls, it is important to maintain congruency of the humerus and shoulder joint while also stabilizing the scapula. Successfully doing so allows you to isolate the biceps to get them stronger while protecting your shoulders in the process.
2. Improve your mobility
Pilates does a great job of increasing your mobility, which is your ability to actively move through a range of motion. That’s fancy talk for active flexibility. Unlike other practices that may just ask you to passively hold a position, Pilates requires you to use your strength to challenge your flexibility throughout each class. So not only will you improve your flexibility during your Pilates, but you’re going to have the strength to use it to.
3. Build Core Strength
Who doesn’t like a strong core (or in Pilates terms – the Powerhouse)? The work of Pilates is all about working from your core through each movement. You won’t be doing your standard crunches though. Pilates will work your abs in all directions to allow increased functionality, and you’ll love how you look afterwards too.
4. Mind-Body Connection
Pilates is one of the smartest forms of exercise out there. Simply put, it makes you think while you exercise. If fact, one of its founding principles is concentration. Not only do you have to be aware of your body throughout a Pilates class, but it will make you more aware of your body next time you hit the weights at the gym. You'll even start to notice it during simple daily activities.
5. Improves low-back pain
Low back-pain is one of the most common symptoms in the average adult. Our sedentary lifestyles not only promote excessive compression on the low back, but the lack of movement prevents blood flow and therefore nutrients to reach areas of discomfort. Pilates has been shown to be just as effective as other fitness programs (if not more) in improving low back pain. Don’t just take my word for it, see what the research has to say about it.
6. Injury mitigation
With Pilates’ focus on mindful movement through its principles of centering, concentrating and control, it does a phenomenal job of reducing the rate of injuries. The practice can help improve your range of motion and reaction time to be able to move adequately while mitigating the chances of traumatic injuries.
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Written by Adam McAtee, Club Pilates Master Trainer
Adam McAtee is a Club Pilates Master Trainer and has been teaching Pilates since 2010. With his lust for further education, Adam earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology Exercise Science at California State University Long Beach, and is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. To get in touch with Adam you reach out to his instagram feed @Adam_McAtee_Pilates