1. Flexibility: Typically men, from the waist down, are not the most flexible. They tend to struggle with overly tightened hamstrings, hip flexors, and abductors. With tight muscles comes an increased risk for injury. Pilates can help loosen and strengthen those areas, so you can perform other activities to the best of their ability without fear of injury.
2. Muscle-Building: Traditionally, when there isn’t an emphasis on form in exercise programs, we tend to speed up movements. Pilates forces you to slow down movements, which in turn becomes more demanding on the muscles. Pilates also focuses on building intrinsic muscle, which are muscles that typically don’t get a lot of attention. This is not to say you will “bulk up” from practicing Pilates. Rather you will increase your muscle definition and tone.
3. Pain Relief and Balance: Pilates is often prescribed for reducing back pain and for rehabilitation from an injury. Pilates elongates and strengthens muscles from head to toe, making your muscles balanced from one side of the body to the other. The added core strength and increase in muscle balance that comes from practicing Pilates can help you feel better and reduce any nagging pain that hinders your daily activity.
4. Posture: Are you standing up straight, shoulders stacked over hips, knees over feet? Are your shoulders back and down? Is your chest lifted and open? Practicing Pilates will help increase your flexibility and good posture while maintaining a healthy and young spine. Joseph Pilates said, “A man is as young as his spinal column. If your spine is stiff at thirty, you are old. If it is flexible at sixty, you are young.” He felt the spine was the key to physical and emotional well-being.
5. Abdominals: Ideally, every movement your body makes should come from your core, whether you’re lifting heavy boxes, reaching for a glass on a top shelf, or throwing a football. A strong core can help make any movement better without any unnecessary strain on the body. Plus, practicing Pilates on a regular basis can help you to achieve that six-pack of abs!