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Pilates For Men


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#1 Maureen

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 11:19 AM

I apologize if there is already a thread about this. If so, please direct me there.

I would like to hear from the men about their favorite workout/exercises on the reformer or tower. I am teaching a men's equipment class and would love to hear from you guys what you like best. Being a woman, I'm not sure I always reach them. Thanks!

#2 Tom Floyd

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 12:15 PM

Hi Maureen,

For a man, you're in an enviable situation! Most of my clients were women, so I was never faced with that challenge.

I think that part of the answer lies in understanding that a lot of men are prone to "brute force" style exercise. They lead with their shoulders and muscle their way through the movement. So have a special eye for keeping them centered and working from their core.

Tom Floyd


#3 Maureen

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 05:39 PM

Hi Tom! Hope you are well.
Yes, I love that these men are coming every week! And I agree that - not just men - but many clients are used to muscling through. It is always a challenge to change that mind set.

I was reading in some other threads that some training programs say that certain exercises are not for men. I wonder what these are?

#4 lizzie

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 03:05 AM

The exercises that I've been taught are not so much for men (it's never a black-and-white rule) are mainly things like big hip abductions (we don't give the side kick up-downs to most men, unless they're dancers or martial artists or for some reason need them), things on apparatus that don't suit men's bodies (like reverse push-through for a guy with broad shoulders, or swan on the barrel if it's uncomfortable), and extreme stretches (but again there are many exceptions). I don't think I've ever put a man on the baby chair.

#5 Maureen

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 11:08 AM

Thanks Lizzie.

I once had a male client say "I feel like a ballerina doing this." And he was done - never came back!

#6 Tom Floyd

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 12:14 PM

According to Jay Grimes, all the Ballet terms that sneaked into the work didn't come from Joe. Plie, Rond de jame, Arabesque, etc. were introduced by a "dancer." I'll bet Joe didn't make men feel like ballerinas!

Tom Floyd


#7 SK3000

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 06:51 AM

Can only speak for myself but as a man I really like tough challenging exercises that make me feel like I have had a real workout. If I had easy straightfoward exercises I'm not sure I would have continued in the method.

#8 Maureen

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 07:49 AM

Please be more specific SK3000! Name some exercises that make you feel like you've had a real workout! That's just what I'm hoping for! THanks

#9 Tom Floyd

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:54 AM

You can modify almost every exercise to make it harder. How about Push Through without springs? That's less about stretch and more about challenging the core.

Tom Floyd


#10 SK3000

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 08:17 AM

Please be more specific SK3000! Name some exercises that make you feel like you've had a real workout! That's just what I'm hoping for! THanks


I agree with Tom you can modify particular exercises to make them more challenging. Everyone is different so if I were to name one particular exercise then one individual might find it straightfoward while another would find it more difficult depending on their particular body. I would say to push them far out of their comfort zone so they feel like they have had a real tough workout.

Edited by SK3000, 27 May 2012 - 08:17 AM.


#11 Sleeping Turtle

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 01:37 PM

There is no such thing as men´s pilates. Just men doing pilates. When you teach make sure that they work from their power house, not their arms and legs. Athletes find this hard (male and female), but when they get it they know about it. If they are not athletic they will normally be STIFF. Work the fundamental exercises, really work the stretch on things. But just teach the body. I dno´t worry any more about "men´s exercises". Look at the body. And, amazing, most "men´s" exercises are more appropriate to men´s bodies, generally.

Don´t use girly language and images ("stand in high heels", "stretch like a beautiful ballerina" are both disasters I´ve heard used to men). I teach a lot of men in 1-2-1s and mat classes. I have a few who don´t fit the stereotype, but most do. They want a sense of power and strength, not of fluffiness and mist. But work them precisely and properly, not just going for the burn, or they will just go back to the gym as without that we have not so much to offer.

#12 Maureen

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:19 AM

Thanks all for your input. I am happy that these guys have stayed with me for a year now. They really enjoy being stretched. I'm just not always sure that they are working as hard as they want to. On the flip side, they do cry like babies on certain things, just like the girls do! I just wanted some ideas from the guys out there. Thanks all!

#13 LAville

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:28 PM

Men have a higher center of gravity, more weight above the waist..use heavier springs...teaser is sometimes a problem due to this....legs may need some weight......Joe was a Man he developed these exercises..he was a boxer not a ballerina....most men are tight in traps and shoulders... stretching is great ..chest expansion ....,the men I teach love long spine stretch, semi-circle, they take classes with the ladies and have no problems and actually once they really find their powerhouse, it's a whole different ballgame...

#14 PilatesTCI

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 08:45 AM

Check out Daniel Lyon's Pilates for Men. We both teach at Real Pilates and he has a special approach and protocol that works really well.

#15 CodyC

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 07:27 AM

as a man- my favorite exercise it the thigh stretch whether its on the tower or the reformer. my second favorite move is the bridge.



#16 CRoberts0430

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 03:18 PM

Personally I love the Stomach Massage series but every guy Ive ever worked with does not like it. Just like everyone else, give them a little of what they like and a little of what they need.


Edited by CRoberts0430, 20 December 2015 - 03:19 PM.





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