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Why Should Men Try Pilates?

We can offer dozens of reasons why men should try Pilates, but why not hear directly from the men of Holly's Pilates Village?

From Lee C.: "Guys…just go. My back doesn’t hurt anymore! That’s a very good thing. Fourteen years ago, I was skinny fat and completely out of shape. I looked like I just swallowed a volleyball. Worst of all, my lower back hurt every single day and I’m a surgeon. I stand a lot. So, I worked out with a trainer, ran, swam, lifted, lost weight, got stronger…my back still hurt. Then I added in Cross Fit for four years and got in way better shape. Body fat 10%, benched 150% of my body weight, got 28 pull ups unbroken, great…but my back still hurt. Five years ago, I started Hot Yoga. Still go two to five days a week. Love it. As a result, I’m way more flexible and stronger in very different ways….and my back still hurt.

"I finally started Pilates. After about two or three sessions my instructor flat out laughed at me and said, ‘Wow, you have no oblique strength at all!’ Based on my obvious inability to do most of the exercises properly, I didn’t argue. So, we went to work on everything from umbilicus to knees (your core). Three years later I am still doing Pilates two days/week. I feel stronger, my core is obviously much stronger, when I’m not too fat I can see striations in my previously non-existent obliques, I’m more flexible ….and my back stopped hurting!! Finally. No more back pain. Pilates hit the part of my core that all of the other stuff was apparently missing.

"Functionally, I see the biggest difference on the golf course. I can rotate more, longer swing arc, ball is going ten yards further per club. I can play more often without getting nearly as sore/stiff. All good. At the OR table the body awareness I’ve gained from Pilates has taught me how to offload the work from my lower back and dump it into the rest of my core, thus I’m not dying after 8 hours of surgery. That too is a very good thing.

"Look, it’s easy to make excuses. Just go. Yeah, it is mostly women. Of course your buddies are going to roast you….blah blah blah. Give it a try. DO NOT make any bets with anyone about how well you’re going to do! Prepare to 1) feel muscles you didn’t know you have 2) and be humbled…it’s hard! But it works. Try it."

Kristopher S. knew nothing about Pilates a year ago, but he did know how much his body ached from working as a technical editor and accruing sports injuries. His wife, Erica, "got tired of hearing him complain about soreness" and encouraged him to try Pilates with her. After taking weekly Pilates and Deep Stretch classes at Holly's Pilates Village for the past year, Kris says he "notices a huge difference in how I feel. My posture has improved. I have a lot less soreness...and I can relax. So, if you're unfamiliar with Pilates, you should certainly give it a try. I'm a believer. It's just fantastic."

Joe Pilates was a boxer, gymnast, and diver before he developed the Pilates exercise regimen for men. Although male professional athletes have praised the method for years, Pilates also benefits weekend warriors, couch potatoes, and men hobbled by back and hip injuries. "The hallmarks of Pilates training are core strength, flexibility, balance, uniform development and efficient movement patterns--all of which are highly relevant to men's fitness," says Brandon Gamble, senior faculty for BASI Pilates in California.

Mark C., a plumber who likes to race his mountain bike in Louisville parks, says, "If I miss a week (of Pilates), I'm in pain. I feel it and I can't wait to get back here."

Mike D. says: "Until I started here, I didn't know there was an exercise that would relax my sore body while strengthening me the way Pilates does. And the yoga classes they offer are the best I've ever found."

Check out the Pilates classes at Holly's Pilates Village.

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