In reality, Pilates was created by a pretty manly man who originally trained men (hmm, how many times can I say “man”….). Joseph Pilates was a boxer and gymnast who trained military personnel and modeled his chiseled physique for anatomy books. Macho stuff.
How can Pilates benefit men? Pilates can improve strength, athletic performance, posture, and flexibility. Who wouldn’t want that?
Why are there more women in Pilates than men? Yes, Pilates has been more popular with women than men. But there is nothing that makes Pilates more suitable for women than men. Pilates is highly adjustable for many body types and levels of fitness so it is a safe and effective training choice for all populations. My guess is the accessibility of Pilates made it a more popular choice for women, as opposed to a high intensity fitness classes, where women tend to be at a disadvantage, both in number and in body type.
Why are most Pilates teachers female? Pilates has attracted dancers, who are often women. As Pilates became standard cross training at dance schools, more women became practitioners and then become Pilates teachers. But it is important to recognize that men have shaped the history of Pilates too. I’m thinking of instructors like Ron Fletcher and Rael Isacowitz.
What’s biggest difference between men and women in Pilates? Wardrobe, seriously! It’s more comfortable to wear form-fitting clothing when practicing Pilates. And most athletic clothing for men is loose and can fly up when they do certain leg movements. I like a warn men new to Pilates to wear bike shorts under their looser shorts or wear long pants.
For a laugh, read a “self-proclaimed” meathead’s first experience with Pilates from Men’s Fitness Magazine.
To learn more, see Men’s Fitness Magazine for 5 reasons men should try Pilates.