How many would agree that unless you’re an extreme body builder, the days of pushing and lifting crazy, heavy weight are quickly passing by? No more hernias, no more grunting and no more macho men with chests bigger than a woman’s, attached to skinny legs that make them look like they’re about to topple over!
We already know that men are built differently than women in more ways than one- maybe to the chagrin of some women.
We know that their bodies are built differently, their brains work differently and their strength is typically stronger than a woman’s.
Most men would argue that they need to basically burst a lumbar disc in their spine in order to become strong and to build muscle. You know, the old adage “No pain, no gain.” It really needs to be changed to “No pain, less hernias.”
In the Pilates world, the population is predominately women. A few men and boyfriends do trickle in at the encouragement of their demanding mates. Usually, the men come in after much coaxing either because they’re so tight in their hamstrings or because they have back issues.
Which, typically, having tight hamstrings leads to back issues.
However, Pilates is not just for chicks, boys. In fact, it was designed on men! Joseph Pilates rigged hospital beds with springs during WWI to rehabilitate the wounded soldiers. Way to go, Joe!
The popularity of Pilates is growing as more celebrities are learning about it and spreading the word about the benefits they’re receiving to their sleek physiques. Not only that, but some big time professional athletes are getting the hint that they need to strengthen those deeper muscles in order to remain injury free and improve their game.
These are top athletes making some big time money by using their bodies. If they’re not performing up to par and they’re getting injured that’s no bueno for anybody- their fans, their teams, or their families.
Here’s what Pilates can do for these athletes. For tennis players, baseball players and golfers, Pilates is great for putting more power behind their swing.
Pilates focuses on the deeper abdominal muscles; the internal and external obliques are included in this deep muscle layer. Strengthening these muscles improves the power and control behind the athlete’s swing.
On top of that, Pilates also helps the athletes with their agility, flexibility and overall wellbeing.
Now, for football players and basketball players the focus is on their agility and flexibility, while definitely not leaving out strengthening because one wrong turn or bad angle to the knee or ankle could put them out for the season or longer.
It’s not about lifting the weight of a car, unless someone is trapped under it, then by all means. It’s about fine tuning the deeper muscles and building strength from the inside out. It’s what’s on the inside that matters.
I think we can all agree that Tiger Woods, Lebron James, Curt Schilling, and Jason Kidd have shown great benefits from their Pilates practice. Oh yeah, these behemoths, although they probably had a hard time fitting on the equipment, have practiced the Pilates method to sustain and improve their game.
If you want more information about how Pilates can help you gain strength, prevent injury or rehabilitate an injury, leave a comment below with your questions and I’d be more than happy to answer them for you.
Pilates Sports Center in Los Angeles (Encino, CA) has a line of Pilates for Men DVD’s for those of you trying to convince your sweetie that Pilates isn’t just for chicks.
Lots of love,
The Pilates Mama