Why top athletes including swimmers, golfers and footballers are turning to Pilates to keep them strong and injury free…

Pilates, far from being ‘a girly easy option’ is a tough workout with it’s foundations rooted in an interesting history.

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Pilates is named after the man who created this very effective way of exercising our bodies     – Joseph Pilates. In fact Pilates exercises used to be called contrology!

Joseph Pilates basically worked out an exercise system that had the perfect balance of strength and flexibility.

Pilates is a series of exercises that involve working the muscles from the inside out. This means changing the way our bodies have become accustomed to working due to environmental pressures, lifestyle, occupation, stress, injuries etc.

Pilates helps to re-educate the brain and how it controls the muscles by adjusting the firing order in which the muscles are recruited, in turn correcting muscle in balances, restoring good alignment and posture, bringing back homeostasis (balance) within the body’s systems and maximising energy efficiency.

Joseph Pilates was a boxer, martial artist, and gymnast. He taught self-defence to the British detectives at Scotland Yard. The ‘machines’ he designed for ‘studio’ Pilates (one to one, up to one to three using a mix of the machinery and mat work) came about from him devising ways in which men badly wounded in the First World War, could still exercise. He realised everyone could benefit from his brilliantly designed apparatus which offers resistance to build muscle more quickly.

Pilates is great for men and  women and has a growing following amongst athletes because of the benefits available to them to help prevent, treat and reduce injury without the wear and tear on the joints of other training types they will need to do for their sport.

Here are 5 reasons recently given in Men’s Fitness, why no matter what your sport, fitness or gender, Pilates may be a great addition to your training.

1. Develop often neglected muscle groups. Some of your muscles, like those that dominate your daily movements, are stronger than others, and a big part of Pilates is focusing on those muscles that don’t typically get a lot of attention.

2. Improve flexibility. In general, the more muscle mass you have, the less flexible you are. But Pilates’ focus on stretching helps prevent injuries and muscle strains, and increases range of motion.

3. Build core strength. Every Pilates exercise focuses on using your core to power movement in your limbs. Pilates also hits your transverse abdominals, the base ab muscle under your six-pack.

4. Live more consciously. Pilates forces you to pay attention—you’ve got to focus on your breath while working through each movement and concentrating on proper form. After a Pilates session, you’ll feel refreshed and relaxed, which can even carry over into the next day if you’re lucky.

5. Have better sex. Pilates strengthens the core and the pelvic floor, and men who practice it have greater control of this region of the body–need we say more?

If you would like to train as a Pilates instructor so you can offer these benefits to your clients (and let’s face it, who wouldn’t!) then book onto our next Pilates course.

Click here to view our Pilates course