Thursday, February 20, 2020

ARTICLE: FIVE PILATES EXERCISES THAT WILL HELP MEN STAY FIT AND FOCUSED LONG PAST YOUTH

FIVE PILATES EXERCISES THAT WILL HELP MEN STAY FIT AND FOCUSED LONG PAST YOUTH



         Pilates is a regimen long associated with women’s health and fitness, but as more men gravitate toward the technique, instructors are beginning to customize exercises to better meet their needs. Carey Macaleer, who owns Aline Pilates in New York, is one of the foremost experts in the practice and she has created five different techniques to help men achieve their ideal fitness level.

     “Pilates for men is no longer unusual,” says Macaleer, a trained dancer who discovered the method when she was 12. “The numbers and percentages are rising. I am working with 50 percent men whereas when I opened the studio three years ago, I only had one male student.”

     With such a growing clientele, she has created five unique methods specifically for this audience.

The Marble Roll
--  Lying on your back, put your knees up and feet down. Keep arms long by your side.
--  Imagine a marble sitting in the navel: inhale and drop the marble down to the knees (slight arch in the back.)
-- Exhale and bring that marble back to the heart (back pressing to the floor)
-- Do this without squeezing the glues for 5- 7 sets, then squeeze the gluts while pulling the abs for the next 5- 7 set.
--  Start the movement small and gradually get bigger

The Classic Bridge
-- Lying on your back, keep the arms long by your side knees up, your feet down, and feet shoulder width apart. Heels should be 6 inches in front of knees. Heels should not  line up under the knees
-- Inhale. Start to lift the pelvis up off the ground, focusing only on the abs pulling in and up and pressing into the big toes, pinky toes and thumbs.
-- Feel the line of work from the big toes to the inner thighs, pinky toes to the lower gluts (you want less hamstrings more glutes).
-- Lengthen the thighs forward while thinking of dragging the heels inwards
-- Stay there and breath in and out for 10 counts. Roll down slowly crushing the grapes behind the spine. Do 5 more rolling up and rolling down with no holds at the top.

The Classic 100’s
-- Start lying on your back, legs to a table-top, arms long by your side
-- Lift your head up and extend legs out to 45 degrees, and lengthen legs out of the hip
-- Point your feet but pull back the toes so your reaching through the ball of the foot.
-- Inhale for five counts while vigorously pumping your arms.
-- Exhale for 5 while continuing to pump your arms (bend the knees if it’s in the low back and make sure your gaze is to the ceiling)

The Foot on Wall 
-- Stand 1.5 feet away from the wall, face away. Make sure there is something for you to hold onto while doing this exercise to support your balance
-- Take the right foot and place it behind you against the wall­
-- Stand up as straight as you can, drawing the shoulders down the back and tight abs
-- Press the foot into the wall, with emphasis into the pinky toe and heel to engage the glute muscle
-- Lengthen the knee down (the knee with the foot on the wall) while still pressing pelvis forward and actively pressing foot into wall
-- Play with the balance taking both hands away if you are feeling balanced
-- Stay there pressing for a minute on each side actively pressing foot into wall and abs pulling in tight.

The Active Hamstring Stretch 
--Lying on your back with right leg to the ceiling and left leg long. Put the band around the right ball of the foot and extend the leg up to the ceiling.
-- Flex at the ankle not the toes, reaching the heels to the ceiling. Bend the knee only one inch and then extend the leg straight. Do this for 1 minute on each leg.


         As more men have embraced Pilates, especially in their 40s, Macaleer started investigating why. She quickly found the answers.

   “Men who are working out hard in their 30s with heavy weight-lifting, cycling or running all hit 40 and realize the years of using certain muscle groups and under using others has taken its toll,” she says. “They want to keep playing sports as they should, and those that are succeeding most are doing so with the help of Pilates, which gives them active stretching. This is important because it allows you to work on the small muscle groups, too. Pilates also incorporates proper breathing techniques which men find beneficial after only a couple of sessions.”

   Though men are a growing part of Aline’s clientele, she instructors a broad range of people, including major athletes, celebrities, editors and fitness enthusiasts young and old.  “Clients come to us with individual goals. These could be as simple as strengthening their core or toning their body, but a lot of times it represents something else happening in their live, whether it’s recovering from a sports injury or strengthening their body after the birth of a child,” says Macaleer. “We have a firm belief that by introducing Pilates into people’s everyday routines, they will become stronger both mentally and physically.”

    Aline Pilates offers a full menu of sessions, including tower, reformer and chair-mat based classes, as well as a highly tailored “Wellness Hour” which combines many techniques to help her clients achieve desired results. The studio has also gained prominence for its pre and post-natal programs, which provide exercises to help strengthen the pelvic floor and prepare the body for the stress of labor and recover in its aftermath. “Our focus is to not just give a workout, but to help women gain specific support to offset certain health issues that can come up during pregnancy,” says Macaleer. “We work with women in all their different stages of pregnancy and post,” including consulting with clients’ physical therapists “to make sure we are bringing the most we can to the women during a very special but sometime complicated time.”


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