Fitness trends come and go, but myths and misinformation linger for years afterwards. Pilates is more than a fad, but some new members of the community may see it as a passing interest. If you’re new to the practice or are considering it for the first time, you may be aware of a few misconceptions about the exercise. Below, we have isolated the three myths we find ourselves explaining and correcting over and over again.
Pilates is only for your abs. Though Pilates works to strengthen core muscles, it’s more than just an abdominal workout. The practice is an excellent way to strengthen different sections of the abdominals which can lead to a flat stomach. However, Pilates has unlimited additional benefits. You’ll work to strengthen other muscle groups, improve balance, work on breathing, understand the importance of control, improve concentration, and work to center your focus and attention. Sure, you’ll build a stronger core in the process, but this is not the only benefit of the practice.
Pilates is only for women. This is one of the most egregious myths we’ve come across. Pilates works to strengthen the lower abdominal and pelvic muscles (along with other major muscle groups). Some new practitioners may see this as a feminine exercise—there is rarely loud music, there is no clank of gym weights, and there isn’t much grunting. Additionally, many have pointed out the connection between Pilates and a women’s childbearing. This relation is not incorrect—some expecting mothers begin a Pilates practice in order to strengthen their pelvic muscles to prepare for childbirth. However, these characteristics certainly do not make Pilates a women-only sport. Dozens of male athletes use Pilates to complement weight training and cardio—Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and Hugh Grant, to name a few.
Pilates is only for fit, young, active people. The Pilates scene in Boulder may seem a bit exclusive. Most people are already active and in search of a new, fun practice to incorporate into their already-existing workout routines. Don’t let this discourage you. If you are not active, in shape, or young, Pilates is still the perfect exercise. Many seniors practice Pilates as part of a physical therapy regimen, and the activity is a great way to jump-start a fitness journey. Regardless of your age and ability, giving Pilates a try will only prove to be beneficial.