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You Should Start Adding Pilates to Your Home Workouts. Here's How.

2020-06-08 | Since 2 Month

Before you grab your weights, you might want to consider another way to get your health and fitness on track. Maybe you’re feeling strong—but are you feeling stiff? Too much sitting at your work-from-home station? Pilates might be just what you need to balance your body and optimize your strength.

Don't just scoff. Despite what you might envision when you think of Pilates, this form of exercise is great for men. In fact, it was started by a man named Joseph Pilates, and he was no sissy (he started developing the method while being held in an internment camp, for starters). You can read more about Joseph Pilates and the fascinating history behind this workout practice here—but if you are still not convinced that Pilates might be what your body needs, take it from an expert.

Dr. Heather Mims, PT, DPT, OCS, PMA-CPT and Pilates Method Alliance Certified Pilates Teacher at Shift Wellness, says that the balance the practice can bring is essential for men. “Many men need to include a better balance of work on flexibility and strength in their exercise programs,” she says. Dr. Mims explains that traditional workouts targeted towards men disproportionately concentrate on resisted strengthening programs that forcibly contract and shorten muscles. But this constant process of contracting muscles can lead to chronic tightness and decreased range of motion.

If you don’t diversify your workout routine, Dr. Mims warns, a reduction in mobility at the joints can play a role in the development of common conditions such as low back pain, tendinopathies, muscle strains/tears, and plantar fasciitis. One of the many benefits of Pilates is that it includes a better balance of stretching and strengthening and often works the muscles in an elongated position, offering a long lever arm for the core muscles to work against.

Dr. Mims explains that eccentrically loading the muscles (resistance while lengthening rather than shortening them) in a slow, controlled "putting on the brakes" manner can offer really valuable functional strength training and stability work that can help men (and everyone else, for that matter) attain and maintain better posture and more efficient technique in their chosen sport, all while preventing injuries.

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