Tag Archives: world cup

“You do Pilates? Are you gay?” Pilates for men, Landon Donovan and Moscow time.

Chris Hunt Pilates

www.chrishuntwellness.com 

The World Cup is in full swing, so do we really need another football related story from me? I think yes, as it relates to the most beautiful game of all, Pilates.

My article today is (not for the first time) about men and Pilates. My celebrity headliner is considered by many to be the best player in Major League Soccer history and he is the national team’s all-time leading scorer, L.A. Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan.

He may have been left out of the US World Cup team in Brazil, but he is still a superstar. As retirement approaches for the 32year old, in a recent interview he revealed one of the secrets of his prolonged success: “I do Pilates. I love Pilates because we do very specific training in soccer for the same six or seven muscles, but we neglect so many other muscles. So when I do Pilates it helps get all the rest of the muscles in shape and gets them working together.” Wise words indeed about our holistic exercise system from a top athlete and sportsman who has firsthand experience of the benefits Pilates brings.

So back to my headline and Pilates for men in general. I am just back to Barcelona (via  two days in London) after spending a wonderful 10 days in Moscow teaching Pilates EVO© to Pilates teachers, and as with my previous visits, I found the Russian people to be really wonderful. It’s a little annoying that I am writing this blog at 5 am in Barcelona because clearly I am still on Russian time! More about my visit to Moscow and Pilates in Russia in my blog later this week. Today I want to talk more about the ignorant attitudes towards Pilates that still exist today.

Whilst in London, I was asked the question again that forms the title of my blog today. I have lost count of the number of times people question my sexuality because I am a man who teaches Pilates. Whilst I take such comments as a compliment, they would be quite funny if it was not such an ignorant attitude. I am not gay, not that it matters, but I still find it interesting and disturbing in equal measures why some people make a link between men doing Pilates and their sexuality. I have some very close friends in the fitness industry and in the Pilates community who are openly gay, but there are also others who hide their sexuality, presumably for fear of suffering the prejudice that regrettably still exists in society today.

One of the (many) wonderful things about living in Barcelona is the openness of most of the people. There is a strong gay community and I am happy and honored that my Pilates sessions are popular with that community.

There are so many men in the public eye who do Pilates now, it never ceases to surprise me that there remains a section of society that is still so ignorant. I wrote previously about Dwayne Allen (see my article “Men do Pilates, ask Dwayne Allen”) and I could (and no doubt will) write about many other men including most football and rugby teams.

Such comments do make me all the more determined to continue to change attitudes towards men and Pilates. It is a battle, but it is one that we can and will win.

It’s breakfast time in Moscow now, Barcelona will not be waking up for a while yet….

Chris is the creator of Pilates EVO©,  and an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is also the creator of bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. His business Barcelona Bienestar in Barcelona offers services including Pilates, functional training, personal training, wellness retreats, massage, NLP, life coaching, meditation and beauty treatments. Healthy Beach Barcelona also offers a range of wellness services including Pilates and training on the beach. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

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The World Cup: Coleen Rooney, WAGS, and Pilates

Sport Core Strength Chris Hunt Pilates

www.chrishuntwellness.com

Any excuse to talk about football and I am there. I am a lifelong passionate fan of Arsenal and Barcelona. When I lived in London I was a regular at Highbury and then the Emirates, and now I am blessed to be in Barcelona watching one of the most beautiful football teams in the world. I played football for many years as a boy and young man, so applying my knowledge of Pilates to footballers is something I naturally enjoy.

Before the serious stuff, you might have noticed that the World Cup is almost upon us, and whilst the players are going through their final preparations, so too are the wives and girlfriends (WAGS). In the UK there is always s big fuss about the WAGS and their impact on the players.

Queen of the WAGS. mother of two and wife of England striker Wayne Rooney is Coleen Rooney. She took to twitter this week to tell us all about her fitness regime, which includes gym sessions, interval training and of course Pilates. She said “I always wear a bikini on holiday, they’re the first thing I think about packing. I have drawers full and I always take far too many away. But like anyone else I have to be careful about what I choose. There are certain shapes I’ve found that make me feel confident, so I stick to those. I tend to avoid anything too skimpy on the bottom half and I look for halter neck styles on top. My main problem area is my love handles so I don’t want to wear anything tight around my hips. Thin, stringy, tie-side briefs aren’t flattering so I always go for big bikini bottoms.”

With these inspiring words in mind, let me turn to the serious point of my blog today. I love to work with sportsmen and women. Whilst I get a massive sense of satisfaction when I see someone rehabilitate from injury or improve their posture, I also love to work with athletes to help them to improve even further their game. In Barcelona I am working with people involved in sports such as golf, surfing and rock climbing.

We are all very familiar with the benefits that Pilates brings, and specifically for football Pilates is relevant because it can help to: improve  flexibility, improve mobility, improve co-ordination, build overall fitness, improve endurance, build body awareness and focus, reduce the risk of injury, and help to rehabilitate after injury

Football demands rapid directional changes, often at near maximum pace, and the delivery of controlled power from unbalanced body positions. As our understanding of the demands placed upon footballers develops, so has the approach to training and injury prevention. The quiet revolution in training techniques is now not so quiet, with modern-day managers acknowledging the crucial importance that stretching, suppleness and flexibility gives their players. Pilates meets these demands perfectly, so an ever growing number of footballers use Pilates to improve their core strength, their co-ordination, mobility, flexibility and technique, as well as for prevention and rehabilitation from injuries.

Pilates is also a perfect form of warm-up prior to playing, and cooling down post-match. Any out-dated opinions of Pilates being a sedate pursuit for ladies only have long been extinguished, with many Premiership Football Teams including Pilates in their training schedule. The benefits are also used by other top sportsmen and women, such as the All Blacks Rugby Team, and individuals such as Tiger Woods.

Pilates is not only appropriate for the professional player. Youth players, semi professionals, and weekend players, whatever their age, sex and ability, would all gain enormous benefit from a regular Pilates’ routine.

I developed Sport Core Strength (http://www.sportcorestrength.com) in London and now in Barcelona to encourage more sportsmen and women to include Pilates in their regimes. Whilst working one-on-one is always a very effective way to teach (especially when most players will have their own specific issues), it is a lot of fun to work with whole teams as well, creating exercises in pairs and groups.

If you want to chat about Pilates for sports (including golf, football, cycling, surfing, tennis, skiing/snowboarding, running rock climbing etc), about Sport Core Strength, or about Pilates in Barcelona then please contact me.

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?