Pilates Benefits Men, Too

It’s no secret that the Pilates method provides a great workout for everyone, yet you hardly ever see any male practitioners of the fitness method. All too often it’s assumed that Pilates is more suited for women, and it’s doesn’t help that the Pilates poster-child usually takes the form of a graceful, beautifully toned female in a leotard and leggings.

Let’s not forget, however, that the person who first developed the system was a man. Joseph Pilates understood that focusing on a strong core — rather than rippling pecs or bulging biceps — was the key to physical strength. The therapeutic benefits of Pilates extend to men as well. Many men suffer from painfully tight muscles in the lower back and hamstrings caused by day-to-day activities: sitting at a desk, mowing the lawn or playing with your kids, for example. When these muscles are tight, it feels like your life becomes just as restricted as your range of motion.

As Joe Pilates himself put it, the Pilates system employs the full range of motion of a healthy human body. By emphasizing core strength and proper spinal alignment, every workout in this classical method addresses the lower back. After a few training sessions, you may be surprised to find that the muscles you’ve been overlooking are really the “manliest” ones in your whole body.

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Pilates Remedies Back Pain Computers have brought about marvelous changes in how we live today. Unfortunately the downside of this new and prevalent sedentary lifestyle is contributing as one of the main causes of chronic back pain.When we spend hours sitting while working on the computer, we slump creating tightness in our shoulders and neck, we disengage our abdominal muscles, creating compression on our lower back. The Pilates method strengthens the core abdominal muscles and creates a keen awareness of personal postural alignment. Some of the most basic mat exercises like; rolling up, rolling like a ball and spine stretch forward; massage and stretch the spine while simultaneously strengthening the core abdominal muscles that Joe Pilates called the powerhouse.A sedentary lifestyle is not what we were meant to live. Our bodies require movement to have good circulation and muscle tone. Joe Pilates spent hours observing animals in a zoo and realized they managed to keep themselves supple by their instinctive desire to stretch and move, even if the space was rather confined. It was based on these observations that he began building on his body of work which is the method practiced worldwide today.Once you learn the correct form for the basic mat exercises you can practice them in as little as 10 minutes per day. You will improve your posture and alleviate back pain that comes from too much sitting. The general sense of well being that comes from this is priceless.Pilates Mythbusters: It's Just a Core Workout It's impossible to call Pilates a "fad" -- the fitness method developed over the course of the last century, and founder Joseph Pilates left a lasting legacy. With attitudes in a holistic approach to fitness continually on the rise, Pilates shows no sign of becoming a passing craze, either. However, Pilates' popularity has skyrocketed in recent years, and with anything that's so widely practiced, taught and talked about, a few misconceptions are bound to surface. In a five-part "mythbusters" series, we're going to examine the most common ways in which people get the wrong idea about Pilates.Myth #1: Pilates is nothing but an abdominal workout.The first myth on the busting block is one that's probably grounded in the most truth. It's well known that practicing Pilates is a sure-fire way to get killer abs. However, the method goes deeper than that. Literally. Pilates exercises reach down to the deepest muscles in the abdominal core which Joe referred to as the "power house." These aren't necessarily cosmetic muscles, but they work in tandem with other large muscle groups in the back and pelvis. Not only key to an athletic physique, they affect the body's whole range of motion, stability and protection from injury. Toned arms and sculpted legs are definitely desirable, but they aren't as effective when isolated from the core. Pilates is inherently an integrative method. Develop a strong core, and that strength is ultimately distributed throughout the entire body. Speaking of integration, let's not forget the mental side of a Pilates workout. Joseph Pilates firmly believed that physical health and mental health are interdependent. The Pilates principles of concentration and precision require your brain to work just as hard as your muscles. This enhances "body awareness," one's basic ability to function in the physical world. This is a result of connections forged between mind and body as one controls and coordinates the breath with the graceful, yet powerful movements that are the hallmark of Pilates training.