Pilates is for men too!

Pilates is for men too!

Pilates is for men too!

by Kateryna Smirnova and Nichole L’vov
Photography by Polvo Concepts

Many times when someone is asked about Pilates they immediately envision a young, good looking woman stretching on that mysterious equipment one sees in the Pilates studio at the local gym. Rarely does one see a broader representation of who is practicing Pilates in the popular media. So, many people assume that Pilates is only for women or is a “girly” exercise program. This is absolutely not the case! Joseph Pilates, quite a virile example of masculinity, invented this awesome method and mostly worked with male clients. It was  only in the later years in his 8th Avenue studio that the young, lithe dancers and NYC socialites  began to flock to his stu- dio. Joe was after all a beer brewer, boxer, wrestler and athlete. He did not intend for his method to be only for one half of the population but for everyoneyoung, old, male, female of all ethnicities  and nationalities. He truly believed that practicing Pilates would change the world to a better, more positive place.

According to the Pilates Method Alliance’s «Pilates in America” study, of those teachers and  clients surveyed, only 4% were men.1 an we convince men to give Pilates a try?
It can be that they understand that it could be good for them but they are not sure it is  worth the possible stigma to walk into a studio with female participants and teachers. We are not  going to change the industry overnight and immediately have more male teachers and  participants in the studios to make men feel comfortable. What can we do now?
Men need to know WHY Pilates is important. HOW does it help? Attempting to bridge the gap  and impart that Pilates can truly improve their physical well being and wellness is an important  mission.

1. “I love drinking beer but I’ve got a beer belly!”

Drinking beer is such a national pastime that ac- companies so many other fun things like  watching football, going fishing or playing golf. Unfortunately, the love of this popular  drink brings a negative side effect- the capacious stomach a.k.a. the beer belly. With this  heavy weight on the front of the body, it pulls the torso out of alignment and may cause  pain in the lower back, even the neck or possibly even the knees. But even if a beer  fan decides to stop drinking beer, what to do with the stomach? The abdominal muscles have  weakened and are not fulfilling their supportive function. The weight of the stomach and  everything inside of it is now hang- ing on the lumbar vertebrae, which causes unnecessary wear and tear.

Full text available in 'Pilates4you Journal «The Pilates Englishman»'

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