Men and Pilates

Reading about how Joseph Pilates was inspired, you quickly realise his overall passion was to connect the mind, body and spirit to acquire optimum health and physical strength for all, by developing efficient movement patterns. You might ask what can men get from it… so just read on.

Isn’t Pilates really for women… the answer is a definite no! 

The first question you are probably asking ‘isn’t Pilates really for women?’ The answer to that is a definite no. In actual fact it approaches functional fitness in a way that appeals to men. However, the interest shown particularly by women over the past 20 years, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was for females only. It was created by a man, Joseph Pilates, and men have continually featured in the history of Pilates.  You just have to look at the number of male athletes, the amount of male instructors and the training courses for men, to dispel that myth.

Reading about how Joseph Pilates was inspired, you quickly realise his overall passion was to connect the mind, body and spirit to acquire optimum health and physical strength for all, by developing efficient movement patterns.

Your second question might well be what can men get from it… so just read on. 

3 Good reasons why more men should take up Pilates 

  • Pilates will improve your flexibility. Male bodies have more muscle mass so tend to be less flexible. Because Pilates will focus on breathing and stretching, it will help you increase your range of motion to become more flexible, this in turn will improve your posture, stabilise your trunk and protect your back, reducing the potential for injuries and muscle strains from either other sports that you enjoy, or the wear and tear from just daily activity. 
  • Pilates improves your strength. It is very telling that many Olympians and male athletes all include Pilates into their training, Tiger Woods, David Beckham and Andy Murray just to name three. You might not be heading for the Olympics or Wimbledon, but by working on the smaller support muscles that often get neglected as well as the usual larger muscles, you will develop overall strength and muscle without bulk.   
  • Pilates will improve your balance, co-ordination and core strength. It encourages you to focus on your breath whilst going through each movement, and having more conscious attention on how your core muscles power movement in your limbs. It is an ideal discipline for cross training with other kinds of sports and exercise.

Is it difficult? 

Your third question will probably be ‘is it difficult, as it looks quite easy’… the answer to that is yes it is difficult, it is a discipline of concentrated movements, and like any discipline needs to be learnt. Once grasped, the benefits are far reaching both into any type of sport you might do, as well as just general lifelong body maintenance and well-being. 

The wonderful thing about Pilates is that men of every age group can benefit from the youngest to the most senior... and all exercises can be modified to suit the individual. 

How do you start? 

As a beginner it is best to find a local class so that you can have face to face coaching until you begin to master the basic technique. You can also check out Reformer Classes, which are based on the equipment that Joseph Pilates created. However, in the advent of social distancing and COVID-19, don’t miss the opportunity to try an online class for beginners. 

Hold the thought that your first ambition will be to gain flexibility in your back and core strength of your abdominal area so that they work in harmony, and this takes time. As a beginner, be sure to repeat any online class as many times as you need and feel comfortable with, before moving onto the next one.  

Try an Online Mat Class 

There are a variety of online classes available so check these out to find one that suits you. Many of them are led by women but the teaching is the same, let us know if you find others that you would recommend. 

NHS- Instructor Live:

This site offers Pilates classes from beginner to intermediate and for a variety of medical conditions including Chronic Back Pain, Osteoporosis, Arthritis, Scoliosis, Knee Injuries, and even Chair Based Pilates. 

They all offer free trial sessions which will take you to the relevant instructors if you like them and want to sign up for a live course.

Pilates Anytime:

Offers a multitude of excellent male and female instructors of every level. Try the comprehensive 10 week beginners course that sets the foundations for doing any Pilates class. Also check out Viktor Uygan, who amongst other things specialises in training golfers. 

Pilates anytime offers a 15-day free trial period. You can then join for £14.00 a month and have access to unlimited classes and instructors. 


An Australian based online Pilates class which offers free trial sessions specifically for men. 

Finally, want to find out more about Joseph Pilates?

Joseph Pilates began developing his now famous sequence of mat and floor exercises when he was placed in forced internment at the outbreak of World War 1. Born from necessity, it was to help rehabilitating detainees who were suffering from disease and injuries. His inspiration came from the Greek ideal of connecting body, mind and spirit. He studied many kinds of self–improvement during his life, as well as fitness and anatomy and actually developed himself as a body builder, wrestler, gymnast, skier and diver.

Although Joseph Pilates passed away in 1967, he maintained a fit physique throughout his life and photos show he had a quite remarkable physique for his older years.

Pilates is not a quick fix throw your muscle at it sport, it requires commitment and focus, but the rewards are great. What price for life lasting flexibility which will help to keep you fit and agile whatever your age.



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