5 Facts About Pilates for Men
From the desk of Kristen M. Reynolds, PT, DPT, PMA®-CPT...
June is Men’s Health Month! The purpose of this celebration is to raise awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among males. Exercise one of the essential players in preventing disease. Read more to see how Pilates is not a “ladies workout”:
- Pilates was developed by a notorious macho man for men. Joseph Pilates was a professional boxer, bodybuilder, diver, gymnast, and circus performer who developed a system designed to build a strong physique. He was a trainer for Scotland Yard and both the British and German armies in the WWI era. Archival footage shows him leading classes of more than thirty men at a time. The feminine connotation with the workout didn’t come about until the NYC Ballet embraced his method and flooded his studio with dancers. Many have heard him mention that he did not like training dancers and he would send them to his wife, Clara.
- Men have played an important role in maintaining the work of Joseph Pilates after his death. Wellknown Pilates “greats” of the 21st century include Ron Fletcher (who recently passed away 12/6/11), Jay Grimes, and Rael Isacowitz.
- Relevant benefits of Pilates specifically for men include increased core strength and stamina, enhanced mobility, and more efficient motor control through all planes of motion. These components of Pilates will complement the traditional “chest vs. back day” weightlifting workout regimens by promoting development of a balanced body.
- Professional athletes continue to incorporate Pilates into their training. Devotees include Lebron James and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, Giants infielder Aubrey Huff, Redskins linebacker and special teams captain Lorenzo Alexander, Raiders QB Carson Palmer, Bruins forward March Recchi, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
- Pilates may decrease one’s risk of suffering from prostate cancer. Impaired pelvic floor muscle performance has been documented as a contributing factor to prostate cancer. Pilates exercises make one more aware of how to contract the pelvic floor, as it is one of the main components of “the core.”
Kristen Reynolds earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science from James Madison University in 2006 and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in 2009.
While practicing in orthopedics and sports medicine, a mentor introduced her to the Pilates Method and she has since pursued comprehensive certification to compliment her clinical interests. She is certified by the Pilates Method Alliance, the only professional certification in the field, as well as an active member of American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and APTA Sports Physical Therapy Section.
Always interested in sports and fitness, she is a former dancer, YMCA and Junior Olympic gymnast, coach, and ACE personal trainer. Integrating the Pilates principles and repertoire into her physical therapy practice has produced successful rehabilitation outcomes for a wide variety of patients, including adolescents, elite athletes and dancers, and individuals with chronic orthopedic conditions. Kristen utilizes this alternative therapeutic approach to improve muscle performance and joint mobility, correct posture and alignment, enhance body awareness, and create an evenly conditioned body that is more resilient to extremity and spinal injury. She greatly enjoys designing programs to target personal goals, educating clients to incorporate Pilates into their daily activities, and teaching small group Ballet Barre and Mat classes.