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Getting Men on Mats

Updated: Jul 9, 2018

When you see a Pilates class advertised, I would suggest that it's mostly Ladies that sign up for the class. The inventor of the Pilates method though, was   “Joseph Pilates” who, born in Germany 1883, was sickly as a child so began to self teach himself exercise, gymnastics, bodybuilding, boxing and martial arts to improve his health which he would then dedicate to long life study. In 1912, Joseph Pilates toured England,  working as a circus performer, self defence instructor and professional boxer. At the start of world war 1 he was interned as an enemy along with other German nationals, this is where he started teaching exercise and to develop his Pilates method He also served some of this time as an Orderly in a hospital on the Isle of Man where he would help patients that were too weak to walk. It was also here that he started to use the springs and boards off the beds for exercise equipment. He returned to Germany after the war where after some time of getting known for his exercise method  was invited to work with the German secret police.

At this point in time he decided to emigrate to the USA, on the boat trip over he met his future  wife Clara. They opened the first Body contrology studio in New York which was in the same building as a number of dance studios. Originally his method was named “Contrology”. His  method of conditioning soon became known in the Dance community, It is estimated that over 12.000,000 people now exercise in Pilates classes around the world.

Here is a video clip on the History of Pilates his date of birth is incorrect on the video.

An article in 2006 in the Idea fit journal Men on Mats was written to inform why not many men were doing Pilates. The author interviewed men at gyms and the responses  that come back included “it’s for dancers, that’s something that women do, I don’t like to stretch” this seems to have stuck now for a number of years. At elite level, Pilates has been used by many male professionals in different sports from golf, tennis and football for performance to celebrities to stay in shape.

So we would like to try and get more men on mats to improve their fitness, health and movement. With Pilates exercises we can accommodate for stiffness and flexibility issues, co-ordination, strength, age and a few aches and pains. We like to keep the classes small for better instruction and to offer courses rather than drop in sessions as the benefit from Pilates exercise comes from continued practice.

If you are tempted to find out more then please get in contact we look forward to seeing more men in our classes

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