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Pilates: Guys, It’s Great For You Too

Pilates reformer workout exercises man at gym indoor

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If nothing else, do it for your abs

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Pilates is for girls. News flash: It isn’t. In fact, Pilates was created by a man for men.  Mind is blown, right? Joseph Pilates, the designer of this core-strengthening workout, was a man who wore many hats. He was a bodybuilder, self-defence teacher and a professional boxer—which checks all the boxes of what’s considered to be stereotypically—a manly man.

For the uninitiated, Pilates combines—flexibility, balance and core strengthening—and helps in uniform muscular development through its use of efficient movements. In other words, the workout your GF/partner swears by can help you get a lean, fit frame in no time when done right! 

A FANTASTIC WORKOUT REGARDLESS OF YOUR GENDER
Pilates expert and partner at Mumbai-based Activ8 Pilates Studio, Swapnil Naik, says, “Real men do Pilates: Is the tagline we’ve worked on for a long time to provoke men into trying at least one session. Once they do, they get hooked!” According to him, for most Indian men, fitness or exercising has always been connected to bodybuilding or weightlifting.
“Pilates is a hard sell for men. However, times are changing. People are beginning to understand the physical requirements for our lifestyle today. Men now know that massive biceps aren’t just the raison d’etre (reason to be); there’s more that the human body can do, which can be achieved through a routine like Pilates,” he explains. 

Abhishek Joshi, a 30-year-old advertising executive, would often go to pick up his wife after her evening Pilates classes before the pandemic hit. “I must admit, I used to make fun of the lone male member in her class, and my wife would dare me to sign up for a trial session. To say that I was sceptical to go for that trial class would be an epic understatement!  Yet one cold morning in January 2020, there I was on a reformer trying to use the muscles that I didn’t even know existed! I had a new-found respect for anyone who can get through even a single session.” Joshi reveals that he was hooked and in just three months he was perhaps in the best shape of his life with a super-strong core to boot! He’s waiting to restart the sessions post lockdown. 

KEY BENEFITS
If you want a physique like the Rock, you’ll definitely need to toss around some iron. Pilates enables you to focus on muscles that typically don’t get a lot of attention—primarily abs, back, glutes, inner thighs—in order to better support the spine in a lengthened position. If you wish to lose weight, squeeze in two to three sessions a week along with a healthy diet and other forms of cardio exercises such as walking, swimming, running or cycling for amazing results.

 

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Still not convinced? Then, check out the video of the super-fit cricketer Hardik Pandya giving Pilates a go with a celebrity trainer. Plenty of pro athletes, including LeBron James, Andy Murray, David Beckham and Tiger Woods—are said to incorporate Pilates into their fitness regimen to help them have core strength and flexibility.

A few benefits men can achieve via Pilates….

1. It’s one of the safest ways to exercise injury-free.
2. Aids in increasing flexibility and works on overall conditioning of the body.
3. Works on all the neglected muscles of the body.
4. It helps build core strength and corrects posture.
5. Lastly, it teaches you to breathe better and in the right manner, which indirectly, helps reduce work stress.

No one expects you to forgo that gym membership or stop lifting weights. You could always sign up for a trial session post-pandemic: Your future six-pack abs will thank you!

 

[Image Credit: Shutterstock]

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