Real Men Do Pilates?
Thirteen years ago I first dabbled in Pilates because a male coworker praised the class he had been going to for his bad back. During both of my pregnancies I continued with Pilates and noticed a growing number of men in the studio. Fast forward to two years ago it was my husband who re-ignited the flame when he started Pilates for his own bad back.
Rest assured my husband is my hero when it comes to true grit. I’ve watched him ride his bike between Melbourne and Sydney, then Brisbane and Far north Queensland raising money for cancer. I’ve watched him power to the top of the Alpe d’Huez in France a grueling ride 13.2km in length, with an average incline of 8.1 per cent and 21 hairpins. A couple of days earlier he had climbed the fearsome Col du Galibier which is 18.1km in length and the last km a grueling 10 percent incline. He’s got lungs and legs of steel and the determination to match. On his bike he can chase down men half his age.
I’ve also watched him work his way through a Pilates session shaking and sweating. He’s the first to admit that he has little core or back strength and he needs Pilates as much as he needs his bike. When he lets the Pilates go he invariably watches his back go along with it.
He’s not alone. There’s a growing trend of men taking up Pilates to work on their core strength and stability for their failing backs. After living with chronic pain they emerge from their regular Pilates sessions feeling strong and pain free. Gone is the misconception that Pilates is gentle, slow paced and just for women. Men are slowly realising the benefits for Pilates for improving their posture, becoming more flexible, strengthening their core, and developing neglected muscles.
Lets also remember that Pilates was actually invented by a man called Joseph Pilates. He came from a background of boxing, self-defence and wrestling. Joseph continued to train clients at his studio until his death in 1967, at the age of 87. Doesn’t sound very soft to me.
Do all these men consider it unmanly? No. Even if they did they would probably continue to go to Pilates for the benefits they reap. That’s real masculinity right there.
A BIG shout out to our wonderful Pilates studio http://www.lizmillardphysio.com.au/