Sports Therapy and Pilates

Pilates Not Just For Girls

PILATES….It’s Not Just For Girls!

The recent rise in male sports personalities promoting the use of Pilates within their training programmes has helped to raise the profile of Pilates amongst men.  So, if its cool enough for Christian Ronaldo, Mark Cavendish and Tiger Woods, then isn’t it time you incorporated Pilates into your training plans?

Here are some facts about this exercise programme that I’m sure you consider is only liked by females. It’s called Pilates, and its really good for you too!

Pilates was created by a guy. Joseph Pilates developed a system of exercises which were intended to strengthen the human mind and body. The inspiration for his method came to him during World War One whist being held at an internment camp on the Isle of Man. He developed his method working with fellow injured inmates to aid their rehabilitation. He used springs from the hospital beds for resistance and to help get their limbs moving again.

How Does Pilates Work?

Following a postural analysis your Pilates session is tailor made to suit your bodies needs and limitations. You really can create a beach worthy body without lifting a single weight, yet you will feel like you have just hit the gym for a hard session.

This is because Pilates uses a variety of equipment and apparatus to help accelerate strengthening, body alignment, increased core strength and stretching. All the exercises are done with control. Your muscles are working against gravity and the spring resistance, to control the movement of the body and the apparatus. Muscles you didn’t even know existed will be activated and challenged in a safe and effective manner. This leaves you feeling great, all those happy endorphins will be released, and you will leave feeling taller, stronger and more connected. It’s a fact. One of my guy clients reported friends complimenting him on his gym buff bod, he replied, it’s not the gym….it’s Pilates!!

Contrary to popular belief, guys do own a pelvic floor too. Yes, its not just a female issue!

Do you know how to activate it? Do you know where it is? Thought not!

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles at the bottom of our abdominal cavity, located between the pubic bone at the front, and the base of the spine at the back. Our pelvic floor is vital in the role lumbar spine and sacrum stability. Men who are predisposed to groin or hamstring injuries will find Pilates a great tool in rehabilitation from these injuries, and the prevention from further reoccurrence. Stretching and strengthening the pelvic floor can therefore play a huge role in reducing lower back pain too.

So, whether you are injury prone, have a history of lower back pain, feel muscular tightness, have bad posture. Or, do you want to improve your fitness, want new sporting PB’s, or increased endurance during football or rugby matches? If the answer is yes, why not give Pilates a go!

You have nothing to lose, and a stronger, connected, injury free body to gain. And, I promise you…. you don’t have to wear leggings to join in!

Written by Rhea Malkin, BSc (Hons) Sports Therapist MSST and STOTT Pilates Reformer Instructor at The Osteopathic Clinic, Croydon.

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