When most people think about Pilates, they think about a woman’s exercise that is mostly beneficial and tailored towards dancers. However, this is a misconception that people don’t realize, in every way. Pilates is an exercise for everyone, and that even includes men. Yes, men. A little surprised? Well, let’s go back a little on the history of the exercise…
The founder of Pilates is actually Joseph Pilates. Yep, a man. Joseph was a German national living in England. He was a boxer who was summoned to be at an internment camp once World War 2 broke out. While there, he was inspired to help rehabilitate those with injuries, and thus created the apparatus you see today out of furniture and other items they had around the camp. His original clients were men, and therefore the exercise was created for men (although open to anyone), interestingly enough. He originally called the exercise “Contrology”, and his main idea was to work on both mind and body, with a specific focus on the core. The idea was to strengthen the core, and then full body benefits would follow.
The stereotype that women and dancers just do Pilates can be traced back to when a group of dancers discovered Pilates and it’s amazing benefits. They ended up working closely with Joseph himself, and therefore created that image. However, as Pilates is becoming more popular today, we see that more men are embracing the exercise, and even becoming advocates for it. This is especially seen in professional athletes, who say that the exercise has helped prevent potential injuries, increased flexibility, increased focus, as well as a multitude of other benefits.
What most men need to realize is that there are so many more benefits to doing Pilates than just the typical, vigorous exercises that usually only focus on peripheral muscles. They will see better coordination and increased flexibility which will lead to greater strength and well-being.