Everyone asks me, "Why Pilates?" or "What is Pilates?" or "Is Pilates just for women?"
1. Why and what is Pilates? It's important to develop core stability for a lot of reasons: posture, injury prevention, sports performance, and overall health. All movement originates from our core. The challenge is we typically develop muscle imbalances due to our lifestyles and try to QUICKLY make up for it in the gym. You want to strengthen your local stabilizers BUT there is no "transversus abdominus" machine at your gym. Without the right education and training, you'll likely end up overworking your rectus abdominus by using an "ab machine" or doing a lot of crunches which will result in an even bigger muscle imbalance. Then, you end up getting injured and have to skip your workouts. It's a tough cycle.
I hear "Pilates is expensive" a lot. "I'll just take a bunch of random group exercise classes and cover my bases that way" is another objection. Pilates is the FOUNDATION for all activities. What's expensive is spending money for a gym membership, getting injured, and not being able to use it.
By incorporating Pilates into your workout routine, you'll end up restoring/maintaining the natural curves of your spine and develop a more balanced and aligned body.
2. Isn't Pilates just for women? Joseph Pilates invented what we now call "Pilates". His first clients, or subjects, were injured soldiers in World War I. Granted, Pilates, like Yoga, has evolved to appeal more to women than men. However, the principles are still the same. Men and women have cores, shoulders, hips, etc. We carry our muscle mass in different places so an astute instructor will be able to select the appropriate exercises based on their client(s). Hence, a private Pilates session is recommended first, especially for men, to get a complete understanding of the exercises before showing up for a general group class.