Most of us guys have always considered Pilates as a form of exercise for sissies, no pun intended. Not really sissies, but more like for women only. We simply couldn’t find any reason why guys like us who have been accustomed to bench presses and a variety of iron works in the gym would go to a clinic and perform these ridiculous exercises. But these ridiculous exercises are actually what helped me a greater understanding of the holistic nature of health and wellness and gave me the opportunity to pump more iron, run farther distances, and lift heavier weights more efficiently than ever. That’s why, if my male friends happen to trash talk Pilates, I try to correct them and share my experiences with Pilates at a physio clinic.
Like I said, I’ve never been a fan of Pilates nor any other form of exercise that guys like me believe to be quite effeminate or less masculine. Can you imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger dancing like a ballerina or even Sylvester Stallone doing a Swan Lake interpretation? It’s not funny, actually. But a trip to the Wyndham Rehabilitation Clinic, you can visit them at wyndhamrehab.com.au actually changed all of that.
I visited Wyndham upon the recommendation of a fellow gym buff when I was feeling so sore on my back and shoulder muscles. I tried using the same management that we have been using for a long time – protecting the injured part, applying ice, and immobilising it for a time to give it some rest. Unfortunately, you can say the pain didn’t go away. My gym buddy noticed that I couldn’t finish one cycle without pausing in between reps. That’s when I opened up and he did mention I might want to try going to a physical therapist. Since Wyndham is located along the way back home, I decided to drop by after making an appointment.
The physiotherapist provided me with several treatment modalities that are geared towards loosening up the super tight, knotted muscles on my back and shoulders. What really surprised me was that I was advised to take their Pilates exercises. You can just imagine my horror. But, as the physiotherapist explained, I began warming up to the idea that, maybe it’s not as bad as I think it is. There’s nothing to lose as long as the guys at the gym don’t find out about it, right?
Pilates involves a series of purposeful movements that are designed to strengthen and stabilise your core. And this is exactly what I needed. By stabilising and strengthening my core muscles, I knew that I will be able to enhance my bodybuilding activities. I have to warn you, though. The movements of the Pilates may look simple enough but they sure are quite difficult to master as control and precision are a must. It’s all about focusing on your breathing. While we are trained to be mindful of how we breathe in our bodybuilding exercises, we were never really made conscious or aware of what we are actually breathing for. Pilates helps you understand the relationship between each air that you breathe and the different reactions that your muscles are having. In other words, it helps you become more attuned to what’s happening inside your body.
Pilates does not only target the core muscles. It also helps strengthen the muscles of the legs, the back, and of course, the glutes. The last one is directly related to strengthening and stabilising the core. Movements of the leg muscles help engage the muscles of the core. Movements centred on the back muscles help strengthen and stabilise the back while also strengthening and stabilising the core. Here’s the best part. Because of these purposeful movements, I have grown to be more flexible enabling me to move at my joints with utmost efficiency.
You can say that my few sessions taking up Pilates at the Wyndham physiotherapy clinic have completely changed the way I look at the exercise. I have seen dramatic improvements in my workout sessions. I also experience fewer incidence of back and shoulder soreness. My joint mobility is at its optimum. Now, the guys at the gym know that I am into Pilates. And guess what, a great number of them are now my Pilates-mates.