Because of it’s popularity, Pilates is considered a discipline for women and in some cases as treatment for athletes that suffered injuries. What most people don’t know is that this physical fitness system was developed by a man named Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. Joseph designed Pilates for men, women, athletes, beginners and even seniors. Weight trainers are using the system to increase flexibility and muscle power. Pilates names the discipline Contrology, because the mind is used to control the muscles. It is also great for weight loss.
Pilates for men works because it strengtheners the core, improves balance , movement patterns and it contributes to the uniform development of the muscles similar to weightlifting. Core strength stabilizes the trunks, protects the back and the entire organism from injury and disease. As a whole-body workout, Pilates can be a foundation for any other types of training and sports. The aim in to work towards functional fitness and combine strength with flexibility and balance.
Men are very good at this type of exercise because it demands intense concentration. To create smooth movement, the focus must be on the entire body . This is necessary so you can control every aspect of every movement. The muscles work against gravity and the resistance of the springs, requiring a perfect control over the body.
In order to gain such precise control, practitioners must start from the focal point of the Pilates Method: the center. The group of muscles in the core of the body including the abdomen, hips, lower and upper back, buttocks and thighs are called the “powerhouse”, because all movements start from there. The exercises must flow into each other to build stamina and increase strength. The energy from the center must be directed towards the extremities so it can regulate the movement.
Pilates for men aims for precision and sufficiency of movement. Practitioners must concentrate so the movements are correctly performed and the vital benefits are not diminished. It is better to do one precise movement than many that are not properly executed. A few concentrated movements will give you more energy and strength than a hundred sluggish exercises.
Breathing is essential in the Pilates discipline because it cleanses the bloodstream. An increased intake of oxygen is invigorating for the body and can be achieved by forced exhalation that causes full inhalation. The breathing must be directed latterly and into the lower rib cage, so the abdominal muscles are close to the spine. Posterior later breathing facilitates the expansion of the rib cage and encourages the breath to travel deep into the lungs. That is why Pilates for men that practice sports can help enhance their performance.
In the beginning, Pilates training for men is no different than the one women practice. Exercises can be modified so that they meet the needs of all practitioners.