According to online fitness platform BLOKtv, Pilates is one of its most popular live classes due to its ability to improve core strength and stability, muscle tone and definition, and joint elasticity and flexibility.
On average, BLOKtv has circa 200 attendees for its live classes – yet few men actually take up Pilates.
Joseph Pilates – a skilled gymnast, skier, boxer, and self-defence expert – developed the discipline to keep his clients’ bodies strong and survive internment during WWI.
BLOKtv says Pilates is an important workout for both men and women as it helps to stretch, strengthen and stabilise.
We caught up with Pilates trainer Jonny Caguioa, who shared his insights around the benefits of Pilates training for men, as well as his current favourite Pilates move.
“Pilates brings your focus to both the breath and body connection,” he says.
“The aim of the practice is to align and rebalance musculature, with form and control improving overall body awareness and posture.
“For those who weight train, run or box, Pilates provides a great opportunity to focus on length, flexibility and increase range of motion in the joints.
“As a discipline, Pilates offers a form of rehab or prehab for any part of the body that may be on the brink of injury.”
Whilst most of the mat exercises emphasise development of core strength, the constant flow of exercises trains the body as an integrated whole.
One of Joseph’s famous sayings was: ‘A man is as young as his spine’ and it couldn’t ring more true today. With what most of us have endured in the last year, change can truly begin on the mat!
“One of my favourite pilates exercises to help build and develop overall strength is the rolling ball,” says Jonny.
Rolling like a ball
- This exercise is fun and a great way to mobilise the spine, activate abdominals and coordinate movement.
- The aim is to create and maintain a curve with your spine from head to tailbone with knees close to chest, head close to knees and shoulders down.
- Once you have created the shape of a ball, engage your abdominals and pull them in toward your spine to initiate rolling backward onto your shoulder blades and exhale to roll forward again onto your sit bones, aiming to keep your feet off the floor – repeat 10 times.
- This is a great exercise to incorporate into more abdominal exercises or even into stretching routine.
- If needed, double up your mat or add a towel for a softer surface for your spine.
Want to join BLOKtv Live classes? Head to blok-tv.com for a 14-day free trial.