The Balancing Act: Gender in Pilates
The misconception that Pilates is somehow a feminine discipline perhaps comes from the fact it was adopted early, in the mainstream, by the dance community: a traditionally female industry.
In actual fact, Joseph Pilates used the method to train army troops, interned prisoners and men from all walks of life, as much if not more than he trained women and dancers. And nowhere in his books does he state or even allude to the discipline supporting a gender bias.
Joseph’s fitness empire is built on creating the perfect balance of body and mind to create health and happiness, for all!
Today, attitudes are shifting and many training institutions, like PTI, prioritise inclusivity in their recruitment and training models; and we’re pleased to report that interest from men is on the rise.
Overwhelmingly it seems men are increasingly recognising that the discipline’s health benefits are not exclusive to the female population, and are embracing Pilates as an effective way to supplement fitness and conditioning:
- Increase flexibility
- Improve functional strength
- Prevent and rehab (non-acute) injuries
- Address muscular imbalance
- Improve posture
- Build a strong core from the inside-out (hello, six-pack!)
A growing number of professional and elite level athletes have recognised Pilates can play a pivotal role in performance.
The likes of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Andy Murray, James Magnussen, David Beckham, Venus and Serena Williams, have adopted the practice. Pilates has well and truly found a place in modern training regimens across codes and around the world, including: NBA, NFL, AFL, Rugby League and Union.
Joseph said it best: “You will develop muscular power with corresponding endurance, ability to perform arduous duties, to play strenuous games, to walk, run or travel for long distances without undue body fatigue or mental strain.”
‘Real men do Pilates’ is an increasingly common buzz phrase these days, but we want to bring it back a notch (what is a ‘real man’ anyway?!).
Men do Pilates. Mean teach Pilates. Men are an essential part of our Pilates community.
Our industry is at a pivotal point in its history: Pilates is exploding in popularity, we’re visible, accessible and investment is steady. We are also in our most inclusive state, as a culture and discipline, to date.
At PTI we want more men through our doors for Instructor training; we want more men leading classes, we want more men to be active in driving our industry forward!
In a discipline that values balance in all forms literal and figurative, let’s strive for more of it between the sexes! After all, Pilates knows no gender.
Course dates for 2018 will be released shortly.