The males in my home have not been huge Pilates enthusiast. While they are happy I have found what I love, it has remained my thing. That has been just fine by me. I learned years ago in another relationship … sometimes it is better for lovers not to be workout partners. Workouts can be personal. Males and females often have very different goals in their workouts. My husband, for example, wants to acquire muscle while I want to my muscles to be lean. My husband wants to work up a sweat and have a heart-pounding experience in the gym, and I’d rather save that for running!
Early in the dating of my now husband, as a good girlfriend would, I tried my hand at his workout. He loves his kettlebells! While I could see the benefit and felt the work, I did not fall in love with kettlebells. Given the choice, I’d rather be doing Pilates! In return, my then boyfriend tried the reformer a couple times and I can assume he felt the same way … he could see the benefit but would rather be doing kettlebells! With that we agreed to run, hike, and bike together but keep our workouts personal and happily separate. No sense in changing what is working for us or giving up what we love.
About a week ago, my 10 year-old stepson asked me, “Lucie what exactly do you do with these machines?” Prior to this, the reformers had just been seen as something to hurdle over and pretty much held no intrigue beyond that. This was his first real interest in Pilates, so I took my opportunity and showed him some movements. I had him try a couple, too. His response, “You are really flexible and this is harder than I thought it would be!” Woo hoo – finally a little Pilates respect from one of the males in my household!
Fast forward a week, my husband and I were visiting a friend of his from chiropractic school. He was showing both of us some functional movement exercises aimed at stretching the thoracic spine. There was a name for this exercise (which escapes me) but essentially we in Pilates would call it the good old Roll-down! My husband was surprised to watch me move through the exercise with strength and control as he struggled and found areas he could not control. If you are familiar with Pilates and the roll down – you may have experienced that section of your spine that moved as one chunk/dropped to the floor or having to lurch to get your roll up started. (I know I did!) I explained to my husband that I had been doing this movement for the past six years! Hello more Pilates respect!
With that simple exercise and the struggle it brought came the question, “Would you teach me Pilates? Could I do a private session each week with you?” from my husband.
Both of these experiences reminded me, We can preach all we want the benefits of Pilates but often times a student has to experience the struggle themselves to see the need and benefit. Pilates really does target the whole body when performed correctly. For my husband, the roll-down showed him some weaker areas in his core … despite the fact that he is relatively fit and strong. Pilates works deeper beyond the big gleaming global muscles and requires recruitment of your stabilizers. We can be fit … but not Pilates fit!
So yes – I will happily teach my husband Pilates because this is his choice and not something he feels he has to do for me now! This experience also reminded me that Pilates is superior 😉 But I won’t tell my husband that!