“You’ll have to twist my arm twice to get me into a room of spandex and sports bras,” said no man ever. Yet — the fact still stands — and blows my mind, that getting most guys through the front door of a pilates studio is like sentencing them to walk down the tampon aisle at CVS. As it turns out though, just like stretch marks and cellulite, pilates is something that isn’t strictly for women. It’s something that men are starting to discover, little by little, is hard work on the abs and will work up a stretch . It’s a challenge to most men who try it because flexibility and core connection (and a return to sender checkbox) do not naturally come into the male package. In mixed gender group classes, it’s most often the males in the room who are squirming to challenge the stability of their cores while moving other parts of their bodies. A beautifully sculpted exterior six-pack doesn’t necessarily imply that the muscles beyond the superficial fascia are equally as strong. These are the muscles that support your spine and although they don’t hold the perfect pose for a mirror selfie, they hold up the human body. Pilates targets these muscles and works muscles which most of us forget we have. And for men, this is a challenge because they lack the natural flexibility to compensate for the movements and really have to engage their inner powerhouse. As a pilates instructor I have seen how day in and day out how pilates is an engagement that pushes men to push themselves without having to hang out with the in-laws. You could be a marathon runner or a world cup soccer player and still be prescribed a dose of pilates. And not just because – contrary to what you believe – your backside could be more perfect. But because the more you strengthen your power-house and condition your muscles and joints – the better your performance. I mean, who wants to drive a Porsche if it’s been poorly re-mastered. Personally, I’d rather take the brand new Volvo. Pilates was created by a man for men, and is the number one recommended conditioning exercise for athletes by physical therapists. So inhale, squeeze your bottom, pull in your abs and exhale out all those pre-conceived notions that coming to class won’t make you cry. Because it just might. This is your body. Use it well. One class – no springs attached!!
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