Your Pilates Lifestyle turns four this month! Boy has time flown by since I first opened my door back in 2010, with little more than hope and a deep belief that a Classic Pilates studio would find appeal among Suncoast residents looking for a quality fitness experience.
How Men Benefit From A Pilates Fitness Plan
Unlike running, swimming, weight lifting or many other fitness pursuits where you’re likely to find men working out, Pilates doesn’t immediately come to mind as an option for male physical training. In reality, Pilates is perfect as a solo activity or as the focal point for a broad cross training regimen.
While other exercises are easy to picture, Pilates doesn’t immediately conjure up a physical image. Ha! As we know, when done correctly Pilates thoroughly and completely challenges virtually every single part of the anatomy. And these days you’re seeing more and more Pilates being practiced at the highest levels of professional sports by athletes whose contracts depend on the flexibility and specific strength found in the program.
Balance, Strength, Endurance, Flexibility
Generally speaking, Pilates focuses on building, strengthening, and developing the core. But there’s much more than that, in a progressive training program that at the highest levels approaches the impossible.
Men’s major structural weak points are tight hamstrings, hip flexors, shoulders, and chest. Pilates incorporates stretching these areas in both basic and advanced workouts, with exercises designed to loosen and lengthen the muscles and tendons that cause so much trouble for so many men spending too much time at a desk.
At YPL, I don’t train a lot of male clients, for reasons that mostly stem (I think) from unfamiliarity with the routines and an overall impression that it’s mostly just for women. On the other hand, some of the biggest compliments I’ve received have come from that small percentage of men who are exploring the benefits of a full Pilates training schedule.
If you’ve got a man in your life who could use a low-impact fitness program that delivers positive results quickly and safely, encourage him to check out Pilates.
This short list of my most popular Facebook posts explains why Pilates is the perfect low impact, all around fitness workout for young and old of both sexes and just about every interest.
Whether you’re a woman dealing with osteoporosis, a professional athlete focused on improving his or her game, a casual runner trying to get the most out of a 5K, or just interested is improving your brain power, there’s something here for anyone who wants to improve their quality of life.
- Exercise May Help Knees More Than Glucosamine And Chondroitin This NPR article questions dependence on supplements for joint health.
- 6 Ways Pilates Can Improve Your Running I love it when I can show how Pilates may be the best go to all around workout for improving your running routine.
- Pilates For The Professional Athlete Flexibility and stretching are just as important as strength and speed to one NFL player.
- Strong Women Make Stronger Women This YouTube video from the International Osteoporosis Foundation offers five ways to decrease the risk of contracting the disease.
- Sweat Your Way To A Healthier Brain Is exercise good for the brain? You bet! NPR article proves you can sweat your way to a smarter you.
- The Art of Pilates Control This gorgeous video by Munich’s Bluebird Pilates studio is an inspirational example of Pilates control.
Pilates Control by Bluebird Pilates in Munich
This is a great example of Pilates control at its best. Bluebird Pilates in Munich uses a variety of studio equipment to demonstrate the ultimate in controlled Pilates movements.
Obviously, not everyone (or most of us for that matter) will achieve this level of precision and expertise. However, we can all benefit from striving to achieve our own personal best, and keeping this video in mind while performing our own practice is a good place to begin.
I hope that you enjoy watching it as much as I did.
Stress Affects Everyone Differently
We all live with stress in our daily lives – sometimes more, sometimes less. Do you know what that means in terms of your physical well being?
The American Institute of Stress looks at changes that occur to the body when you’re under stress. All the more reason to exercise, breathe deeply, and calm both mind and body.
Feel that? Fall is definitely in the air! And if you’ve been cruising through the summertime heat and humidity, now’s the time to get back on track with your Pilates fitness schedule.
To help ease the re-entry, YPL is having a 15% off all Mat and Arc classes throughout the month! Enter promo code “floor2013” at checkout and you’ll see big savings on all class and package purchases.
Get Strong! Start Today
Offer good on any single class, class packs, and combo packages. But hurry! Offer ends 9/30!
A Living Legend Lost
As a young dancer, Romana suffered a bone chip in her ankle. After becoming disillusioned with her doctors prognosis, she discovered Joseph Pilates.
Following her successful rehabilitation she became his life-long and most famous disciple, and it is through her efforts and others like her that the practice flourishes today.
This 2005 Pilates conference in Paris celebrates Romana and her path to Pilates.
Although I never had the honor of meeting her in person, I have studied under and followed the teachings of others who were either directly or indirectly influenced by this passionate woman. This short video reflects the dedication, exhuberance and zest for life that was Romana.
What Is Pilates?
Between boot camps, dance beat workouts, wall climbing and ultra fit weight catching contests, Pilates remains as the only widely recognized fitness method to be named after its founder, thus fitting into that uncommon category of both noun and verb.
But what does “doing Pilates” really mean? Kevin A. Bowen is a co-founder of the Pilates Method Alliance. His definition of Pilates, below, is the best I’ve read.
Stretch, Strengthen And Balance
Developed in the early 1900s by German-born Joseph Pilates, the Pilates exercise method is a program of physical movement designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body. In 1926 Joseph and his wife Clara introduced their exercise system, originally called “Contrology”, to New York City.
Pilates exercise focuses on postural symmetry, breath control, abdominal strength, spine, pelvis and shoulder stabilization, muscular flexibility, joint mobility and strengthening through the complete range of motion of all joints. Instead of isolating muscle groups, the whole body is trained, integrating the upper and lower extremities with the trunk.
Practice, Practice, Practice
“Contrology is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit. Through Contrology you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of its exercises you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your mental and subconscious activities.” (Joseph Pilates, 1945)
What I like about Kevin’s definition is that it specifically lists the fully integrated low impact approach to fitness and well-being that separates Pilates from the competition.
Here’s a snapshot of the benefits you get from doing Pilates. Remember – Pilates is a practice. The more often you do it – the bigger the rewards!!
from the PMA Pilates Method Alliance on twitter
(Pilates M Alliance (@PMATWEETER) August 22, 2012)
Pilates is just for girls – NO WAY! I’ve included a short video clip of Steelers WR Antonio Brown doing a couple of his Pilates moves. Pilates can benefit most people of any age, level or gender. In fact, anyone who wants to improve how their bodies move and perform even every day tasks can benefit from the practice. Granted, not everyone is an athlete capable of performing exercises at the highest level. That doesn’t mean you can’t strive to make your body function better and move more efficiently.