David Beckham, Andy Murray, Hugh Grant – The list of men doing Pilates is growing. Of course, Pilates holds plenty of benefits for men. And still – women are the ones dominating the mats. But why? We asked an expert: Jyoti Sigouin, instructor on our Pilates holidays in Italy, explains why Pilates is no longer just for women.
Do you have any men in your Pilates sessions?
Yes, about a quarter of people in my classes are male.
What’s the difference between teaching woman and teaching men? Are different body parts getting trained?
There aren’t necessarily any differences between the Pilates training you would give a man or a woman, rather the training and exercises are always specifically directed towards the individuals requirements.
However, I find that my male clients often come to Pilates through referral by a physio after injury, to help with back pain or to enhance their performance in a particular sport. Once in the class, they are often surprised at how challenging it is, particularly in terms of strength, flexibility, co-ordination and balance.
Why do you think men are still reluctant to Pilates?
There has been the perception in the past that Pilates was a “feminine” thing to do. This is ironic, as it was devised by a man, Joseph Pilates, who incorporated elements from different physical disciplines including athletics, gymnastics, boxing and martial arts, resulting in the Pilates Method.
Pilates is becoming increasingly popular with men now, partly due to athletes such as Andy Murray using Pilates as part of their training regime, and its benefits in enhancing performance and helping to guard against injury are widely recognized.
In line with this, Body Control Pilates has recently introduced specialist training courses for its teachers for Pilates classes specifically aimed at complementing different sports, such as golf and running.
Why would you encourage men to do more Pilates?
The benefits of Pilates are the same for everyone, regardless of gender, and ultimately it helps to maintain efficient, functional and pain free movement throughout life, whether that is in a person daily routine, to allow them to get the most out of their leisure activities, or to perform as elite athletes.
Do you feel inspired now and want to feel the benefits of Pilates first hand? Our holidays in Italy are the perfect way to get you started. Located in beautiful Italian settings with qualified Pilates instructors you will discover the relaxing and distressing advantages of the fitness regime – regardless of your gender! Please, don’t hesitate to contact one of our friendly member’s of staff for next year’s availability or download our 2014/15 brochure!
Jyoti’s passion for Pilates led to the decision to train as an instructor with Body Control Pilates in London. Qualifying in 2008, she is also now a supervising teacher for Body Control, helping to train new instructors in the method in Edinburgh. She has undertaken further training in Pre and Post Natal, Special Population, Intermediate and Advanced Matwork, all varieties of Small Equipment, and Reformer equipment. She has experience in teaching all fitness levels and ages, and those with various rehabilitation requirements. In June 2013, she passed her Matwork Master exam, Body Control’s highest Matwork teaching qualification.