Yoga and Pilates for Men
John Manrique, co-founder of Revolutions Cycling Studio in Jupiter, Florida, knew he needed to work on his flexibility, and he was interested in yoga. His first yoga experience was in a combination indoor cycling and yoga class. After taking the class, he felt the immediate benefit that yoga provided to his cycling. He now attends a yin yoga class weekly, making it an integral part of his training.
Anthony Dominici, a Los Angeles–based executive producer and filmmaker, thought Pilates “sounded a little ‘light’ for a workout.” But then he began having back pain. “My wife encouraged me to go with her to a session, and I felt better immediately,” he says. “I’ve been training now for 3 years. My back pain is gone. My upper body and core are stronger.”
Men: Yoga and/or Pilates may be the missing link in your workout routine! Discover the benefits of these mind-body methods and learn ways to begin training from Shirley Archer, JD, MA, E-RYT 200, IDEA’s mind-body-spirit spokesperson and a certified yoga, Pilates and meditation teacher.
Benefits for Men
“Men have a higher center of gravity and more developed quads than women,” says Michele Olson, PhD, FACSM, professor of exercise science at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama. “The hamstrings tighten against [the quads] to counteract the forces, and men end up tighter than women on both sides of the upper leg. Many Pilates exercises are excellent for addressing this.”
Here are just a few benefits of doing Pilates or yoga:
- develops strength
- enhances athletic performance
- decreases chances of getting injured during sports
- assists with injury recovery
- increases flexibility
- improves posture
- enhances agility
- decreases stress
- strengthens your connection with yourself
Trying Yoga or Pilates
If you’re interested in getting the benefits of these mind-body workouts, consider these suggestions:
- Go with a significant other, friend or co-worker who already attends a regular class.
- Look for classes or private sessions that are taught by men, designed for men or include other male participants.
- Take a few private sessions to learn the basics at your own speed.
- Take an intro class. Some gyms periodically offer a sample try-it session specifically geared for the beginner.
- Look for 30- to 45-minute classes.
- Try a class that fuses yoga or Pilates with another exercise form. Examples include classes like yoga for cyclists or Pilates for runners.