Pilates is a low-impact method of exercise that emphasizes work on the body’s core and trunk muscles. Because it relies on the body’s own strength for resistance, and it involves stretching, kicking, and swim-like motions, it has often been unfairly categorized as a “woman’s exercise.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. While it certainly is just as beneficial for women, we’ll look specifically at how it can help keep men healthy and build strength.
There are a Wide Variety of Courses
Firstly, the mat-based routines that come with Pilates can be performed almost anywhere with a soft surface, including your own bedroom, but if you are really wanting to get a good workout in, taking a class is your best bet. Signing up for an in-person course will challenge and motivate you to actually get your exercise in for the day. If you are practicing social distancing, an online course is a great option too. Either way, taking a class will motivate you more than attempting to workout on your own.
It Works More Muscles Than You Realize
Don’t let the concept of “working core and trunk muscles” make you think that Pilates is just designed to help you tone your abs. Your core is a group of muscles that goes far beyond your stomach. To begin with, your lower back muscles are strengthened by core exercise. This is very helpful for men who need to rehab from a back injury, or how have muscle pains from too much on-the job lifting. Muscles throughout the back and upper legs also support the core. Beyond your midsection, because Pilates focuses on slow, precise movements that are alternately held for long periods of time and repeated, those stretches you see force your arm and leg muscles to work hard and grow. Keeping an engaged, flexed arm fully extended for 30 seconds is challenging even for men who are in great shape! Beyond gaining strength, these movements will also help you lose weight with fat burners for men. If you aren’t seeing any promised results, a good idea would be to boost your exercise by including a protein shake or supplement to your workout.
It’s Great for Your Heart and Lungs
Pilates focuses on deep breathing during these movements. It’s low-impact in the sense that you aren’t putting the pressure on your muscles that weights and even some cardio machines do, but it still raises your heart rate. With heart disease, high blood pressure, and heart attacks always ranking high among the leading causes of premature death in men, the advantage of getting your heart rate up and air moving quickly through your lungs is huge. This is especially true if knee or back injuries prevent you from using treadmills or exercise bikes.
It Promotes Flexibility and Bone Health
All the slow, deliberate stretching that comes with Pilates has another great benefit for men. As men’s bodies age, their bones, joints, and muscles start to mysteriously develop aches and pains that were never there before. Suddenly, the physical antics of your high-school football or college party days come bac to haunt you. Humans put lots of mileage and wear and tear on their bodies over time, and after the age of 30, the pain can begin in almost anyone. So, how can Pilates help with this? If you’ve ever had to endure physical therapy, you know that slow, deliberate, repetitive stretches are key to recovery and pain relief. You’ll get plenty of them in a Pilates workout!
It Can Always Be Taken Up a Notch
If you think Pilates isn’t extreme enough for you, or you’ve tried it and feel that it doesn’t build your muscles enough, you can always step up to the reformer version of the practice, which uses sliding machines rather than mats. Even pro athletes find this to be a challenge!
The bottom line is that no matter your gender, age, or level of fitness, Pilates provides numerous benefits. It’s easy to start; do it today!
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