Pilates for Men: 9 Reasons and Benefits for Training

 

Posted By: Pamela Toy

 

Reasons Men Should Do Pilates
 
You will probably agree that Pilates is generally seen as a form of exercise specifically geared for women.

According to Zippia, 78% of Pilates Instructors are Female (1). The gender discrepancy is pretty alarming!
 

Pilates Instructors Gender Statistics
 

As a matter of fact, there are plenty of Reddit and Quora threads asking why men don’t do Pilates or whether it is only designed for women.
 

Pilates for men - Reddit and Quora
…So it must be exclusively for women, right?
 

Absolutely not.
 

Pilates was founded by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s. Joseph was a male trainer who created it for the purpose of rehabilitation.
 

so what’s the big deal?

Pilates was created to help to strengthen your entire body in a functional way regardless of your gender!

We previously wrote a post about professional athletes who do Pilates

If one of the most physically gifted athletes like Lebron James can reap the benefits of Pilates, so can you!

Now if you are looking specifically to build big muscles, weight training is probably a better option. However, there are plenty of other benefits to doing Pilates that we will dive into.

We have included research articles to back up all of our claims.
 

Here are the 9 Reasons Why Men Should Do Pilates:
 
1. Increases Flexibility and Range of Motion
2. Builds Core Strength and Promotes Weight Loss
3. Helps Improve Posture and Confidence
4. Strengthens Joints and Prevents Injuries
5. Improves Balance and Muscle Stability
6. Improves Energy
7. Improves Sleep
8. Decreases Stress
9. Improves Sex Life
 

Let’s go ahead and jump in.
 
 

1. Increases Flexibility and Range of Motion

 

Oftentimes, it’s easy to overlook flexibility and range of motion. Studies show that Pilates can improve both. (2, 3)

If you are really into lifting or other physical activities, it is very important to increase your flexibility to prevent injuries.

According to UC Davis, decreased flexibility can lead to stress on structures and tissues. Muscles that are inflexible tire more easily, which can cause serious injuries like ACL Tears. (4)

Additionally, men are typically less flexible than women. (5)

Studies also show that having a limited range of motion can totally hamper your physical ability. (6)
 

Bottom Line:
 
Because men are generally less flexible, it is imperative for them to work on it to avoid injuries. Pilates is a great form of exercise to aid in this department!
 
 

2. Builds Core Strength and promotes weight loss

 

Pilates Strengthens Core and Promotes Weight Loss
 
Pilates can improve your core strength significantly!

Come on guys, don’t you want to show off your abs for the ladies especially during the summertime?

Oftentimes core workouts are overlooked, but when it’s time to hit the beach, you definitely don’t want to be the guy with a dad bod…

It turns out Pilates can help with that.
 

According to Healthline, Pilates can change your body’s shape through toning. This can lead to more defined abdominal muscles. (7)

In addition, training your core is super helpful for other physical activities like sports. The middle of your body is very important for many physical activities. (8)
 

Bottom Line:
 
If you are looking to show off your abs, improve core strength or lose weight, Pilates may be a great answer for you!
 
 

3. Helps Improve Posture and Confidence

 

Pilates Improves Posture
 
Pilates focuses on aligning your entire body. It improves your posture by bringing awareness to your alignment and strengthening postural muscle groups. (9)

Women love confidence and posture is one of the first things we look for in men! If you have slumped shoulders and slouch, that does not scream confidence. (10)

Having good postural alignment is also very important for other popular workout exercises like squats or deadlifts.

If you enjoy doing compound exercises where you need to engage and support your entire body, maintaining proper posture is very important.

Injuries, especially lower back pain can emerge as a result of poor posture as well. (11)
 

Bottom Line:

Men looking to exude their confidence could do so by improving their posture through consistent Pilates Training.
 
 

4. Strengthens Joints and Prevents Injuries

 

Strengthens Joints and Prevents Injuries
 

Building off the previous point, Pilates can help to prevent injuries. Studies suggest that Pilates helps to relieve pain and increase bone density. (12, 13)

As we mentioned earlier, Joseph created Pilates with the purpose of rehabilitation in mind.

Pilates has evolved over time and as result, two different styles emerged: Contemporary and Classical Pilates.

Specifically, Contemporary Pilates utilizes core concepts from Physical Therapy and places a stronger emphasis on rehabilitation.

 

Bottom Line:

For men who are active in other physical activities, Pilates can help to reduce injuries. We recommend trying a Contemporary style of Pilates like STOTT.
 
 

5. Improves Balance and Muscle Stability

 

Balance and coordination are important regardless of your gender. This is especially true for men who actively do other physical activities!

Studies show that Pilates improves your Balance because it is so focused on properly aligning your body through various exercises. (14, 15, 16)
 

Bottom Line:

Men who are looking to improve their balance for everyday life or for sports performance should look into Pilates :).
 
 

6. Improves Energy

 

Pilates places a strong emphasis on proper breathing. As a result, it can improve cardiorespiratory capacity, which stimulates blood circulation and oxygen flow. (17, 18)

This can give you a huge boost in energy!
 

Bottom Line:

Men who are constantly fatigued could see a boost in overall energy from Pilates training.
 
 

7. Improves Sleep

 

Improves Sleep
 
After a long hard day of work, there is nothing better than getting a good night’s rest. As we get older and have more responsibility in life, it can be much harder to get quality sleep.

According to this study by CDC in 2014, 35.5% of men get less than 7 hours of sleep. (19)

…And anything less than 7-9 hours of sleep for adults is considered sleep deprived. (20)

So if you are like a third of the adult population you may be experiencing fatigue due to a lack of sleep.

Enter Pilates!

Research studies suggest that Pilates can improve sleep especially for people under the age of 40. (21, 22)
 

Bottom line:

Getting more sleep is NOT exclusive to women. The data clearly shows that a significant portion of adult men are sleep-deprived. Pilates can serve as a potential solution to that!
 
 

8. Decreases Stress

 

Stress can continue to build over time, which can lead to many other issues.

Studies show that stress is more likely to cause depression in men than women. (23)

You are probably asking yourself – How can Pilates assist with that?

It turns out that Pilates’ strong focus on the breath can down-regulate the nervous system, which can decrease stress over time. (24, 25)
 

Bottom Line:

If you are stressed, Pilates can be a good outlet to decompress! Give Pilates a shot and do not let your stress accumulate over time.

Please seek medical advice from a doctor if you are really struggling with depression.
 
 

9. Improves Sex Life

 

Most of you will agree that most men want to improve their sex life.

As it turns out…

Adult men under 60 think about sex at least once a day. In contrast, only a quarter of women think about sex frequently according to WebMD. (26)

We’ve got some GREAT News!

Research shows that Pilates is effective for improving pelvic floor strength and function. This correlates with increased sexual pleasure. (27, 28)
 

Bottom Line:

Men who want to increase their sexual pleasure while reaping the other benefits of Pilates should give it a shot!

Who wouldn’t want to improve their sex life while getting in a workout?
 

Well, there you have it – Pilates can greatly benefit men as well! 🙂

We hope this helped to debunk any misconceptions around Pilates being exclusive for women!
 
 

In-Person Training

Are you interested in trying out a Pilates Session in Philadelphia? We can help you regardless of your gender :). Just fill out our form by clicking on the link below:
 

References
 

1. PILATES INSTRUCTOR DEMOGRAPHICS IN THE US. Zippia. https://www.zippia.com/pilates-instructor-jobs/demographics/.

2. Oliveira, L. C., Oliveira, R. G., & Pires-Oliveira, D. A. (2016). Comparison between static stretching and the Pilates method on the flexibility of older women. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies, 20(4), 800–806. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbmt.2016.01.008

3. Bullo, V., Bergamin, M., Gobbo, S., Sieverdes, J. C., Zaccaria, M., Neunhaeuserer, D., & Ermolao, A. (2015). The effects of Pilates exercise training on physical fitness and wellbeing in the elderly: A systematic review for future exercise prescription. Preventive medicine, 75, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2015.03.002

4. Flexibility. UC Davis Health. https://health.ucdavis.edu/sportsmedicine/resources/flexibility_descriprion.html.

5. Are Women More Flexible than Men?. Cathe. https://cathe.com/are-women-more-flexible-than-men/.

6. Three Reasons Why You Have Tight Muscles & What You Can Do About It. Head 2 Toe. https://head2toeclinic.com/three-reasons-why-you-have-tight-muscles/.

7. These 19 Benefits of Pilates Will Inspire You to Fire Up Your Core. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/pilates-benefits.

8. Core exercises: Why you should strengthen your core muscles. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/core-exercises/art-20044751.

9. Junges, Silvana & Gottlieb, Maria & Baptista, Rafael & Quadros, Carlos & Resende, Thais. (2012). Effectiveness of pilates method for the posture and flexibility of women with hyperkyphosis. Revista Brasileira de Ciência e Movimento. 20. 21-33.

10. 7 Ways to Project Confidence With Your Body Language. American Express. https://www.americanexpress.com/en-us/business/trends-and-insights/articles/4-ways-your-body-language-can-project-confidence.

11. Good posture tips. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/multimedia/back-pain/sls-20076817.

12. Angın, E., Erden, Z., & Can, F. (2015). The effects of clinical pilates exercises on bone mineral density, physical performance and quality of life of women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. Journal of back and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, 28(4), 849–858. https://doi.org/10.3233/BMR-150604

13. Oksuz, S., & Unal, E. (2017). The effect of the clinical pilates exercises on kinesiophobia and other symptoms related to osteoporosis: Randomised controlled trial. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 26, 68–72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2016.12.001

14. Bullo, V., Bergamin, M., Gobbo, S., Sieverdes, J. C., Zaccaria, M., Neunhaeuserer, D., & Ermolao, A. (2015). The effects of Pilates exercise training on physical fitness and wellbeing in the elderly: A systematic review for future exercise prescription. Preventive medicine, 75, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2015.03.002

15. Hyun, J., Hwangbo, K., & Lee, C. W. (2014). The effects of pilates mat exercise on the balance ability of elderly females. Journal of physical therapy science, 26(2), 291–293. https://doi.org/10.1589/jpts.26.291

16. Casonatto, J., & Yamacita, C. M. (2020). Pilates exercise and postural balance in older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Complementary therapies in medicine, 48, 102232. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2019.102232

17. Pilates Method Improves Cardiorespiratory Fitness: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Clinical Medicine. https://www.fisiologiadelejercicio.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Pilates-Method-Improves-Cardiorespiratory-Fitness.pdf.

18. The effects of Pilates training on mobility and respiratory muscle strenght in patients with ankylosing spondylitis: A pilot study. Journal of Clinical Research and Pharmacy. https://www.alliedacademies.org/proceedings/the-effects-of-pilates-training-on-mobility-and-respiratory-muscle-strenght-in-patients-with-ankylosing-spondylitis-a-pi-6362.html.

19. CDC – Data and Statistics – Sleep and Sleep Disorders. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/data_statistics.html.

20. Sleep Deprivation. Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-deprivation.

21. Chen Z, Ye X, Shen Z, et al. Effect of Pilates on Sleep Quality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Front Neurol. 2020;11:158. Published 2020 Mar 24. doi:10.3389/fneur.2020.00158

22. García-Soidán, J. L., Giraldez, V. A., Cachón Zagalaz, J., & Lara-Sánchez, A. J. (2014). Does pilates exercise increase physical activity, quality of life, latency, and sleep quantity in middle-aged people?. Perceptual and motor skills, 119(3), 838–850. https://doi.org/10.2466/29.25.PMS.119c30z9

23. Why stress is more likely to cause depression in men than in women. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/why-stress-is-more-likely-to-cause-depression-in-men-than-in-women-57624.

24. Ahmadi, H., Mehravar, M. (2019). The effect of an eight-week Pilates exercise regimen on stress management and cortisol levels in sedentary women. Journal of Physical Activity and Hormones, 3(4), 37-52.

25. Effect of Pilates Exercise on Primary Dysmenorrhea. Med. J. Cairo Univ. https://mjcu.journals.ekb.eg/article_53326_f02b6f39cd3ad9022bf591bbe4109a2f.pdf.

26. Sex Drive: How Do Men and Women Compare?. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/sex/features/sex-drive-how-do-men-women-compare.

27. Pedriali, F. R., Gomes, C. S., Soares, L., Urbano, M. R., Moreira, E. C., Averbeck, M. A., & de Almeida, S. H. (2016). Is pilates as effective as conventional pelvic floor muscle exercises in the conservative treatment of post-prostatectomy urinary incontinence? A randomised controlled trial. Neurourology and urodynamics, 35(5), 615–621. https://doi.org/10.1002/nau.22761

28. Kanter, G., Rogers, R. G., Pauls, R. N., Kammerer-Doak, D., & Thakar, R. (2015). A strong pelvic floor is associated with higher rates of sexual activity in women with pelvic floor disorders. International urogynecology journal, 26(7), 991–996. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00192-014-2583-7