Real Men Do Pilates!

Monday, March 26, 2012

What is Pilates?  

Pilates is a method of exercise that starts from the inside out.  It focuses on core strength, flexibility, balance, and efficient movement patterns.  The emphasis is on moving from the “powerhouse” of the center of the body, which develops the deep muscles of the abdomen, and stabilizes the trunk and protects the back.  It is truly about functional fitness.

Most men exercise in a piecemeal approach- they focus on muscular development or only on the sport that interests them, which sets them up for imbalances and injury.  The strength, balance and flexibility that Pilates develops offers the ability to move through daily life with ease as well as provides excellent cross training for every sport. 

Who does Pilates?
Let’s begin with the basketball players who have discovered that Pilates gives them long, lean muscles that are resilient under stress, which prevents injury.  NBA All-Star Jason Kidd had the best season of his career due to the Pilates Reformer training he began initially with his wife, and continued with his coach when Nets Coach Rich Dalatri embraced Pilates training for their team.  Other teams that are using Pilates include the Orlando Magic and the Washington Wizards.

The Milwaukee Brewers are one example of the Major League Baseball use of Pilates training.  Six-time All Star Curt Schilling credits Pilates for feeling “more powerful and flexible than ever!”  

The PGA has star golfers like Tiger Woods, Rich Beam, Annika Sorenstam, and David Duval incorporating Pilates into their training for the tour.  The core strength and flexibility, as well as the body awareness that Pilates develops, aids in greater club head speed and a stronger, more balanced center of gravity. This all allows for greater control of the swing while reducing the chances of developing golfer’s elbow. 

No matter the sport, Pilates principles also aid in injury prevention.  Pilates is a body/mind practice that helps one bring attention to every movement.  This is the key to excellence in any activity.  

Curt Schilling describes seeing results in his body and in his abilities the same way that Joseph Pilates, the creator of the concept of “Contrology”, did: “The first 10 sessions you feel a difference, the next 10 sessions you see a difference, the next 10 sessions others see a difference!”  And what a difference it can make!!

See You at The Studio!

Debbie Stanley is the owner/operator of the The Studio Cooperative in St. Charles.