Real Men Do (or at Least Try) Pilates

| by Fit Bottomed Girls

Credit: sazztastical

Because Pilates is traditionally seen as a workout for the ladies— but has incredible benefits for the men, too—today’s post for Fit Bottomed Dudes’ Week features a Q&A with Annabelle Rosemurgy, owner of a chain of Pilates studios in Southern California, called Equilibrium, on all things men and Pilates. So come on, guys. Break down those gender barriers and give this mind/body exercise a try! It might even help you get a date with that girl you’ve been eyeing…

Men + Pilates = Good Fitness. Here’s Why:

What can men expect in their first Pilates class? I tell my male clients not to expect anything, actually. I encourage them to do the opposite, to set aside what they may think they know about Pilates and come in with an open mind. Everyone starts out new, so guys shouldn’t expect to master all of the moves, the machine and the workout in the first class. The key is for them to have fun so that they’ll want to return and become comfortable with the twisting, stretching and burning in ways they never thought possible.

Do you have many men in Pilates classes? Why or why not? I always have at least a few men in my classes, and the majority of the time, the classes are at least half full of men. Pilates is not just for rehabilitation or physical therapy anymore. It has evolved into one of the most intense, beneficial, functional, challenging and body-sculpting workouts available.

Why should men do Pilates? Men should incorporate Pilates into their regular workout routine because it is a completely different type of exercise. The workout challenges, strengthens, tones and stretches muscles in ways that they cannot get anywhere else. Variety and variation are crucial to incorporate into workouts in order to continue to change and challenge the body without hitting those frustrating plateaus. And, of course, it’s a great ice breaker or conversation piece. A lot of my male clients have said that when they bring up their Pilates workouts in a conversation, women are instantly intrigued and find it endearing that the guys are willing to be so open about their Pilates workouts.

What tips would you give men who are coming to their first Pilates class? First, come with an open mind. Try not to walk into your first class with any sort of preconceived notions, expectations or ideas about what the class should be. Second, be patient. It takes more time to increase flexibility than it does to build lean muscle. It’s important not to get frustrated if you can’t do certain moves in the beginning. Third, don’t take just one class. You can’t possibly learn anything new or reap the benefits of any workout in just one session, so stick with it. Take at least three to five classes. That way you can make an educated decision whether Pilates is right for you. Fourth, bring a friend. It’s always fun to try something new, but it’s even more fun to do it with a friend.

What’s the one thing that men don’t get about Pilates or the biggest misunderstanding? They don’t think it’s a “real workout” and thus, won’t be challenging, so they refuse to try. Let me tell you, what I teach isn’t grandma’s Pilates class, so come in ready to work out. I can’t tell you how many times my male clients tell me they felt every muscle fiber in their body burning in the best way!

A big thanks to Annabelle for the great info. Guys, don’t be afraid to branch out! —Jenn