So you think Pilates is just for the girls? Read on about one man's experience of the benefits of Pilates.
BENEFITS OF PILATES FOR BY - BY TOM WYER
As a middle aged male raised in the rugby union fuelled environment of Sydney high schools, I can say that Pilates truly hit me from the side, drove me into the pitch and said welcome to Pilates!
I have discovered muscles in my body that I had never known existed before this moment. Not only are they new muscles but they are very versatile and helpful to my daily needs. Every time I leave a class they buzz with excitement as I walk down the street feeling taller and more efficient as I stride down the footpath with ease.
The transfer of these new muscles into my other sports has been very noticeable. My agility in running sports has given me a step like a gazelle, my strength at rock climbing is literally taking me to new heights and I am surfing like my surfboard is a formula 1 car.
6 months into my Pilates workouts and the thing that is not present is all the little body niggles that I would normally get. My neck and shoulder aches are a forgotten stranger I left at the train station many months ago and my post sport injuries seem to be very few and far between now.
On a more superficial note, my body has morphed into a streamlined v shape. My colleagues and peers have shown no inhibitions in verbalising their observations. Instead of the normal solid look I now appear more lithe and can actually see each muscle group especially in my abdominal region.
As an outside observer I had always deemed Pilates to be a softer more gentle form of exercise designed for expectant mothers. I couldn’t have been further from the truth. Every class pushes me to the absolute limit and beyond. Every target muscle group burns with such specificity and intensity. It is truly a challenge and can be modified for every type and shape of person. Even as I progress I can increase the challenge by adding resistance to keep myself right on the edge.
An important component of Pilates is the safety. Every movement is controlled and the spine rests in a very safe position. This makes it ideal for rehabilitation of injuries and any ongoing back injuries. I have spoken to many others in my classes who swear by Pilates in keeping their back problems at bay even stating that it has changed their life by giving them back the mobility that had once lost.
I can safely say that I am a converted Pilates believer for life and can foresee myself doing classes well into my years.
Thanks to Studio Pilates Bathurst Street Sydney for this article.