Why men should do Pilates

By Melissa Ramoo – Physiotherapist & Pilates Instructor

Can the words ‘Pilates’ and ‘men’ be used in the same sentence?  Yes! There are many reasons why men would benefit from Pilates too and today we’re going to bust 5 myths we’ve seen floating around.

Pilates for men in Concord West Sydney NSW

Pilates was invented by a man – originally FOR men!

Myth #1: Pilates is for girls

Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates, a man who came had countless talents such as being a diver, wrestler, body builder, self-defence teacher and professional boxer. He originally designed Pilates to be an exercise program for men!

Joseph Pilates himself practised this athletic method and trained many males.  He even worked with German soldiers and helped many of them recover and rehabilitate from injuries using his exercise method. Joseph’s famous quote for Pilates is “In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference. In 20, you’ll see the difference. And in 30, you’ll be on your way to a whole new body.”

Myth #2: “Pilates is too easy”

Pilates is designed to target the smaller muscles, which act as your stabilising muscles. People can do a class using the wrong muscles (the global bigger muscles) and find it quite easy. But an APPI Pilates instructor will make sure you’re using the right muscles; we want you to work in each movement, which can make it quite hard. We have several men who do Pilates at our clinic and none of them will tell you it’s easy!

Myth #3: I already go to the gym/play sport each week. I’m strong enough!

Pro athletes such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Tiger Woods all incorporate Pilates into their fitness regimen. Although you might be able to bench press twice your body weight, it doesn’t mean your core is as strong as your other muscles. Over time, a weak core can lead to back pain and muscle imbalances which can lead to pain in other joints too.

Myth #4: I’ve always been inflexible and it’s never going to change, so why bother trying?

In general, the more muscle mass you have, the less flexible you are. Men typically have tighter muscles ,which can hinder flexibility. Pilates uses a specific method to increase functional range of motion in the body, which will improve overall flexibility without compromising progress made in your fitness routine.  A 2010 study, the “Effects of Pilates Training on Lumbo-Pelvic Stability and Flexibility”, followed the progress of 40 individuals and showed that those who did Pilates showed significant improvement in flexibility (as well as lumbo-pelvic stability).

Myth #5: I’ve had an injury so I can’t do Pilates

Previous spinal operation? Hips that crunch? Torn ligaments in the ankles or damaged the cartilage in your knees? You might have been unsuccessful in a gym setting, where the intensity is often too high but Pilates run by a APPI trained physiotherapist will mean that everyone can be in a class. There are different levels of difficulty for each exercise and so there is always a movement you can do. This means you’ll get stronger without having to worry about hurting yourself!

Pilates for men in Concord West Sydney NSW

Pilates is of benefit to both women AND men


If that’s not enough reason to join a class, I asked 2 of our regular men to share their experience! Check out what they had to say below, and CLICK HERE to find out more about our Physio Pilates classes.


Michael’s story

What brought you in for treatment initially?
Constant lower back pain, constant chiropractic visits and often back pain would re-occur almost weekly. A friend suggested Pilates to strengthen my core and I was pretty much at my wits end – so I thought I would try it.

Since you’ve started Pilates what differences have you seen in yourself?

  • Better balance and I stand straighter
  • Feel trimmer and fitter in general
  • Best is lower back pain is pretty much no longer a worry for me
  • I don’t think I’ve seen a chiropractor for over 2 years now.. amazing!

Were you hesitant to join Pilates initially? And now that you’re here – what would you tell other men were the reasons they should do Pilates?

I was definitely hesitant to join Pilates as I thought it was a female only thing. However I knew other mates who were doing it so I thought I would try to see if it would “fix” my back. Since starting once a week, I am definitely stronger and feel the best I have been for some time. Back pain is no longer constantly a worry (I used to expect an episode regularly).

The small class is very good. I would definitely recommend it to anyone and yes other males especially if you want to eventually feel good and strong again.

It will take time to get a stronger core. I diary the 1 hour a week class and its made a huge difference to my overall health and now NO BACK PAIN.


T’s story

What brought you in for treatment initially?
I had a serious cervical spine injury in the form of a prolapsed disc in my neck. Hence my chiropractor and physiotherapist suggested giving Pilates a go

Since you’ve started Pilates what differences have you seen in yourself?

  • Improvement in overall body strength & tone of muscles. 
  • Greater flexibility in most areas, better posture, heightened body awareness and greater lung capacity. 
  • I feel a lot more stretched, greater energy and less aches + pains

Were you hesitant to join Pilates initially? And now that you’re here – what would you tell other men were the reasons they should do Pilates?
I was extremely hesitant to join Pilates particularly because not many men take it up, as well as being a little sceptical about what results I could achieve from it.

I think men should consider Pilates because it helps build core strength in an impact free way using your own body’s resistance. It strengthens muscles you never knew you had and improves flexibility which lessens the likelihood of injuries.  It’s also a great way to reduce stress, increase relaxation and meet new people along the way.


“Effects of Pilates Training on Lumbo-Pelvic Stability and Flexibility” Sureeporn Phrompaet, MSc; Aatit Paungmali, MPhty, PhD; Ubon Pirunsan, MPhty, PhD; Patraporn Sitilertpisan, MSc, PhD 2010 Asian Journal of Sports Medicine