From a stronger core to better endurance, a huge group of men in Dubai are now performing Pilates regularly. Real Pilates reveals why it is a must for men
While women tend to dominate mat exercises, Pilates does have plenty of benefits for men who rise to the challenge.
Best known as a ‘for-women only’ exercise, word is definitely spreading that Pilates is not just for women.
Commenting on the relevance of men performing Pilates, Reza Alavi, Founder and Managing Director revealed that historically, men might have thought Pilates is going to be too easy for them. “However, men have now understood that Pilates can challenge them differently as compared to a typical gym-based workout, as it targets stabilising muscles,” says Reza.
“As more and more prominent men, especially sports figures, discuss how much Pilates has benefited their sport the perception is changing,” he adds.
According to Reza, at the start, about 7 years ago, the ratio was probably 95-5, 95% women for only 5% men attended the classes. But today this has changed dramatically, and the male-female ratio is closer to 65-35. “Of course this varies according to regional / neighbourhood demographics but a significant increase in the number of men practicing Pilates regularly is undeniable,” he says.
Top 5 Reasons why Pilates is beneficial for men
- 1. Core Strength: Every Pilates exercise focuses on using your core to improve power movement in your limbs. Pilates also hits your transverse abdominals, the base muscles under your six-pack!
- 2. Flexibility: Generally, the more muscle mass you have, the lesser your flexibility. However, Pilates focuses on stretching, helps prevent injuries and muscle strains, and increases range of movement.
- 3. Balance: Pilates elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured.
- 4. Develop often-neglected muscle groups: Pilates focuses on muscles that don’t typically get a lot of attention and helps build muscles that don’t get hit while heavy lifting.
- 5. Live More Consciously: Pilates forces you to pay attention—you’ve got to focus on your breath while working through each movement and concentrating on proper form.
Given all of the above-mentioned benefits of the exercise, Real Pilates has definitely seen as an increase in the number of men attending group classes or taking private sessions at the studio, particularly if they are recovering from an injury. Be it Cross Fit or heavy lifting, Pilates can really complement any movement program. It is a neuromuscular training system, meaning it gets the brain and body working together so we are always using the right muscles in the right way.
Reza revealed that many elite sports teams include Pilates in their training sessions now. “It would be great to see it introduce even at a recreational level to help the ‘weekend warriors’ prevent injury and get even more out of their sport,” says Reza.