Pilates for the Modern Man: 10+ Reasons Why Pilates is Ideal for Men’s Fitness

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Lifevif Team and JC Franco

Is Pilates a good workout for men? Well, it was created by a man (Joseph Pilates) to strengthen his own body, so what do you think? That was all the reason I needed to consider Pilates an effective form of exercise for men. Most men need a bit more than that. Need more reasons why Pilates is great for men? Okay, here goes…

12 reasons why men should practice Pilates:

  1. It was initially designed for men.
  2. It is intensely core-focused.
  3. It does not neglect muscle groups like many men’s regular workouts do.
  4. It improves flexibility.
  5. Just 30 – 60 minutes of Pilates a week will show positive improvements.
  6. It improves coordination.
  7. It helps prevent injuries and muscle strains.
  8. It improves range of motion.
  9. It promotes mindfulness and conscious living (and that is sexy nowadays).
  10. It reduces healing/recovery time.
  11. Pilates teaches you how to breathe correctly through exercises.
  12. It improves your sex life.

Of course, society dictates that manliness lies in weight lifting and various “violent” forms of physical exercise such as mixed martial arts, kickboxing, and so on. Endurance sports such as cycling, running, or climbing, also seem to be considered “suitable” for men. The reality is that most forms of exercise are great for both sexes, and you should be choosing a workout that gives you the most reward in the shortest space of time, without putting your health at risk. That choice could be Pilates.

What makes Pilates a contender with the violent and endurance sports that are touted as the right choice for men? You have come to the right place to get that question answered. If you are a man looking for reasons to do Pilates, I’d suggest you stick around. I am about to break down 12 important reasons why Pilates should be on your exercise hit list. Read on.

Dear Men: Here Are Just 12 Reasons Why Pilates Should Be On Your Exercise Hit List

Why do you work out? What is the purpose of heading to the gym, or heading out onto the road to run a few blocks? It is different for most people. Some people exercise for stress relief, others for health, and some even do it for the aesthetic results. 

As a man, your exercise goals are probably to get fit, build muscle and strength, improve endurance, grow in size, look attractive, and of course, be healthy. The good news is that Pilates can help in all of these areas. And best of all, there is no commitment required from you in terms of time. You can choose to do Pilates as an add on to your current exercise or practice it on a more full-time basis – the choice is yours. Chances are that once you see the physical improvements, you will want to do Pilates more and more.

Let us take a look at a few of the reasons why Pilates is a great idea for men:

1. Pilates was initially designed for men.

If you have bought into the whole idea that Pilates is for women, think again. Pilates was never “intended” for women. It was designed by a man, for men and women.

Pilates is the product of Joseph Pilates, who create the exercise/practice in the 1920s. The reason for creating Pilates was to provide physical rehabilitation to soldiers returning home from war. Soldiers found the focused, intense physical therapy highly effective. Dancers at the time also found that Pilates was extremely helpful in reducing aches and pains, as well as spurring on the healing process. 

So, Is Pilates for women only? No, not at all!  

2. Pilates is intensely core-focused.

The main focus area of Pilates is particularly helpful to a man’s workout as it is in line with most men’s exercise objectives. Most men want a workout that develops, strengthens, and sculpts the core. When the core is strong, you get abs of steel. No one wants a droopy flabby belly nowadays (or ever did, actually), least of all men! If you want bulging abs that are somewhat impressive, Pilates might be the way to go.

3. Pilates does not neglect muscles groups like other men’s regular workouts do.

If you pay attention to the type of workouts you are already doing, you will notice that a lot of men’s exercises actually neglect certain muscle groups. It stands to reason that the muscles you use every day are stronger than the rest of them. In a Pilates class, you will focus a lot of attention on the “in-between muscles”, which are those muscles that you do not often focus on or use on a day to day basis. If you want to build more muscle, for that completely ripped look, try Pilates.

4. Pilates improves flexibility.

While building muscle and bulking up, you are bound to find that you become less flexible. That is normal, but it is not exactly comfortable. What if you could build muscle and still enjoy great flexibility? That would be living the dream, wouldn’t it? Pilates will help you to stretch in such a way that you increase flexibility, even in muscles with a high mass. Stretches will also help to prevent injury and strain. 

5. Just 30 – 60 minutes of Pilates a week will show positive improvements.

You do not have to give up all other forms of exercise to do Pilates and see results. Just sign up for 1 or 2 sessions per week and you will start to see the positive results/changes in about a month (or less).

6. Pilates improves coordination.

Pilates focuses on very intentional movements. As you learn to move different muscles cohesively to carry out smooth and highly-effective movements and stretches, your coordination will gradually improve.

7. Pilates helps prevent injuries and muscle strains.

In the gym, injuries and muscle strain happen often. It happens most frequently to people who push themselves. Sound like you? If it does, Pilates can help. Pilates stretches fully prepare the muscle for work. They also ensure that slow and purposeful movements get results from the muscles, without putting the body under unnecessary, risky pressure.

8. Pilates improves range of motion.

When compared to women, men have tighter muscles than women. This means that men can sometimes experience less range of motion than women can. By creating supple muscles, while strengthening and lengthening them, Pilates is able to improve the average man’s range of motion.

9. Pilates promotes mindfulness and conscious living (and that is sexy nowadays).

Chances are that the average workout is done while you are a “million miles away” in your head. That seems to be the norm. Pilates, on the other hand, promotes mindfulness

Pilates exercises are done while you are fully in the moment, thinking about what you are doing and fully engaging the muscle groups being worked. This type of mindfulness helps to avoid injuries and also ensures that the exercises are more intense and highly effective as a result. This mindfulness practice can be used to ensure you are more conscious and present in other areas of your life too.

10. Pilates reduces healing/recovery time.

Pilates has been used as a form of therapy for injuries. Because the practice focuses on strengthening the core and the rest of the muscle groups, muscles become stronger and more resilient. Also, because the exercises are done precisely right, and slowly, muscles work correctly and do not have a hard time recovering.

11. Pilates teaches you how to breathe properly through exercises.

If you work out regularly, you already know how important breathing is. How you breathe could be the difference between 10 minutes on the treadmill and 1 hour. Whether lifting heavy weights or doing HIT exercises, you need to breathe correctly. Pilates teaches you how to breathe through exercises, so that you do not get out of breath prematurely, and so that you can keep pushing through. The breathing exercises that you do in Pilates class can be used for other workouts too.

12. Pilates improves your sex life.

As you can see, the best was saved for last! No one likes to talk about sex too much, but let’s! To men, it is important to have a healthy sex life, and, arguably, nothing improves it more than Pilates. Why is that? Regular Pilates strengthens the pelvic floor muscles. It is an undeniable fact that smooth, toned, and strong pelvic floor muscles make for better sex. 

Most people do not know much about their pelvic floor muscles and also do not know how to engage them. Pilates exercises focus quite a bit of attention in the conscious engagement of the pelvic floor.

Come On, Guys! Try Pilates!

There is really no reason why you should not do Pilates. All of the evidence points to Pilates adding value to men’s lives. Make a great decision for you, your body, and your sex life – try Pilates!

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who share their experiences and knowledge about the "Seven F's of Life".

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco is a New York-based editor for Lifevif. He covers topics like spirituality, philosophy, finance, sports, games, and food. JC earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business with a Marketing Concentration at Mercyhurst University. He is a certified USPTA professional who teaches tennis in the New York City Metropolitan area. He has passed the Level I exam of the CFA program.