Like so many things, sometimes it takes a high profile individual to put something under the mainstream microscope and Pilates is no exception.
Notable celebrities – from pop stars like Madonna to actresses including Liz Hurley – credit Pilates for their wellbeing and fitness.
Female celebrities are most often cited in the media as enthusiasts of this form of exercise, but actually many male celebrities use Pilates to keep themselves fit and well. After a lifetime of rocking and no doubt plenty of other stuff, Mick Jagger stands out as someone who could probably do with having their body taken care of in his senior years.
And he’s not the only one. Speaking about his own experiences with Pilates, actor Hugh Grant said: “I have muscles of steel and could easily deal with giving birth.” I’m not sure that the sessions that I have with male clients can ever quite achieve that aim, but increasingly I’m seeing more men come into The Pilates Suite for a whole host of reasons.
Generally speaking Pilates is most associated with women, but more men – and not just rock starts and actors – are turning to the exercise for wellbeing, fitness and rehabilitation. The irony is that Pilates’ inventor was Joseph Pilates – a man – and he originally developed the techniques for male soldiers. Possibly in this day and age of high powered and on the face of it more physically demanding exercise and sporting activities, most men feel the need to test themselves in this way and pump up their bodies.
In fact, Pilates can be especially beneficial for men whose typical workouts are more often about muscular development through sports such as weightlifting and contact sport. Pilates sessions are a great complement because they focus on core strength, for example building the deep muscles of the trunk to protect and strengthen the back. This makes Pilates an excellent technique for whole-body fitness and rehabilitation, as well as a foundation for cross-training and other sports.
Actor and comedian John Cleese is also another notable member of the celebrity Pilates fan club. At the age of 75, he’s only three years older than Mick Jagger, but their common interest can hopefully inspire other men to consider Pilates if they hadn’t previously. So whether it’s retaining the ability to perform funny walks or just being able to move like Jagger, maybe it’s worth popping down to The Pilates Suite.