Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Men think Pilates is.....feminine...?
A couple of brief conversations between friends (specifically, the male gender) about Pilates went along the this way. First, a friend thought it was very feminine. Another acquaintance found it rather amusing just to think about men doing Pilates (he was trying hard not to laugh out loud at the idea of taking up Pilates himself).
One of the biggest myths is that it’s an exercise “only for women” or it’s too easy. Ironically, Pilates was developed by a man for men. So, when I tell them that Pilates is actually named after Joseph Pilates, a German man, who devised the system of exercises during World War I; they were, of course, surprised!
So, how did this myth that Pilates is mostly for women come about, given that Pilates was developed by a man, who was a gymnast, a boxer, and a military trainer in his early years, and pictures of Pilates even into his eighties, reveal a very strong, fit physique. Men have always played an important role in maintaining the Pilates work and shaping its evolution. Teachers like Ron Fletcher, who studied directly with Joseph Pilates, and Rael Isakowitz are among the most visible today.
The adaptability of the Pilates method to different levels of fitness and body types has made Pilates an accessible and effective fitness choice for women. Also, Pilates has attracted a large number of dancers, especially women, and many of them have chosen Pilates as a next career. More women teachers has made Pilates more attractive to women students. Both of these factors may have contributed to a somewhat feminized perception of Pilates. Fortunately, now that the Pilates method is becoming so well accepted in fitness, more men are showing up in studios and training programs.
So, here we have the History of Pilates:
Here are a few videos I found, which shows Joseph Pilates doing the exercises:
Joseph Pilates 1932
Small Barrel - Spine Corrector
And now, a video of a man doing advanced exercises on the Reformer
“Movement should be approached like life - with enthusiasm, joy and gratitude – for movement is life and life is movement, and we get out of it what we put into it.”
~ Ron Fletcher