The Modern Man is getting more and more open Minded but we still have a little way to go.
There has been a large shift in the traditional weight training approach recently with many athletes and weekend warriors stepping away from purely traditional free weights and incorporating other methods including flexibility, agility and the forever effectively marketed “core” strength.
In this plethora of exercise options it is great to see supplemental training aimed at levelling imbalances, protecting joints and working on the health of the whole body and mind rather than just what we look like in a post gym selfie. Whenever I ask someone if they include “core” in there exercise routine I am always met with a stern “yes of course” and they explain how they complete a large number of sit ups and the ever popular plank. In each case I can’t help myself from having an internal eye roll as I go on to explain that we also need to incorporate controlled movement rather than contributing to global stiffness. Planks are great for the mirror but also encourage bracing and are risky for those with lower back issues.
I still ask myself why the Pilates method still has such a feminine stigma around it. Don’t get me wrong I feel the modern health conscious person can see the benefits of the exercise and the modern man is progressing away from gender stereotypes very well. However, I feel that if we don’t include the injured population, the male to female ratio in any Pilates class is definitely still skewed heavily towards the latter. I guess with exercise names like Mermaid and Ballerina it is a challenging sell.
Truth is to lift effectively you need control. Muscle imbalances lead to uneven forces through joints and over time this will at the very least limit your maximum lifting weight and at the worst lead to chronic tendon problems and pain. What many people don’t know is that Pilates was actually invented by a man Joseph Pilates and it wasn’t originally designed for Ballet it was for the rehabilitation of hospitalised soldiers of War.
I realise these things take time but the amount of guys that come in thinking they are coming for a class of stretches and go out with improved posture flexibility and movement efficiency makes me realise Pilates is beneficial regardless of age, gender or injury status.
If you are looking for your next step in overall health and fitness I look forward to seeing you in our Sydney CBD Physio and Pilates clinic soon… Maybe I’ll substitute Ballerina for Ninja and Mermaid for Hurricane!