A lot of myths have been thrown back and forth about Pilates being a feminine exercise. Most people believe that it is only for ballet dancers or just women in general. Men tend to see it as an easy workout not worth their time but that is not the case at all.
Why Pilates is a Man’s World
If anything, men should look up to Pilates as it was discovered by a man. Joseph Pilates, who was a German fitness instructor, boxer and self-defense coach, discovered Pilates in the early 1900s to cure his own ill health. He believed that exercise should be able to provide a rounded and balanced effect on the body.
The idea developed from the story behind his background. His father was a native Greece prize-winning gymnast and mother was a German naturopath who believed in the principle of stimulating the body to heal itself without the use of drugs. When he was small and sickly as a child, he got afflicted with asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever which got him bullied a lot by the bigger children.
This gave him the passion to overcome his physical disadvantages by teaching himself anatomy, bodybuilding, wrestling, yoga, gymnastics and martial arts. With no time, he achieved an anatomical ideal to the point that he was posing for anatomy charts as a model at the age of 14 years.
If that wasn’t enough, before World War I, Pilates was touring England as a circus performer, professional boxer and personal trainer of the Scotland Yard Police. When war broke out, he found himself on the wrong side of town and was held prisoner as an enemy of the state. While he was locked up with his fellow German comrades, he encouraged them to keep fit by maintaining both their physical and mental well-being.
It was here that Pilates took some springs from the beds and attached them to the headboards and footboards of the iron bed frames they were sleeping on. This turned them into equipment that provided a type of resistance exercise for his bedridden “patients/comrades”. These modified beds are what is known today as the Cadillac and the Reformer.
The method became popular in the 1960s when Pilates and his wife Clara opened up a fitness studio in a building in New York City that had a ballet dance class in it. He wanted to design a special series of strong physical exercises that aid in rectifying muscular imbalances and improve posture, coordination, balance, strength, flexibility, as well as to increase breathing capacity and organ function. He also developed a variety of machines, based on spring-resistance that could be used to perform these exercises.
Why Men Should Learn Pilates
- Improves Flexibility
The gist of Pilates is to lengthen and stretch major muscle groups. Through stretching, Pilates can help prevent injuries, muscle strains and also increase the range of motion. For example, workers who sit at the desk can make use of stretching out hip flexors and glutes.
- Fine Tunes Physical Performance
Lifting weights and other gym training exercises may lead to muscle imbalance which Pilates can quickly solve. High-performance sports such as running or cycling needs more core strength than the typical workout routine. Pilates will help one develop more core strength and develop muscles which will prevent injury from affecting you or easily speeds up the recovery process and ultimate performance.
- Prevents Injury
Pilates exercises help out by getting the little muscles firing, strong and balanced as it is more like re-educating the body. Athletes tend to wear their bodies down in the same pattern all the time and that is where Pilates comes in to act as a tool that helps in keeping more balance in the body.Pilates gives you a longer lifeline in your sport. Breathing in and out gives your body better movement as your body moves better when it’s relaxed. Pilates uses the diaphragm a lot. The diaphragm is a respiratory muscle so if one really exercises the diaphragm, you can get really good increased lung capacity and better endurance.
- Corrects Poor Posture
Good Pilates trainers in Singapore are trained to see faulty movement and teach people to use their bodies dynamically with proper alignment. Once the correct alignment and breathing is achieved, everything else falls into place.
- Injury Rehabilitation
Some Pilates studios in Singapore have professional in-house physiotherapists who can prescribe modified Pilates exercises to treat injuries and achieve a long lasting pain-free body.