Don’t Write these Workouts Off as ‘Girly’ Just Yet
Men and women are different, regardless of all the ways we like to be perceived as equal. So it’s not all to surprising that we engage in different types of workouts some of the time. Part of this has to do with the differences in our body types, but some of it is just born out of our socialization habits. If you’ve steered clear of some of the more women oriented workout classes out there you might want to think again. Yes you’ll be outnumbered by women but you’ll be outnumbered by babes too…and you’ll completely get your manly ass kicked.
Barre classes are loosely based around using the ballet barre. When you imagine non-ballerina’s working out in this environment it sounds a bit like children’s tutu play. Except its not. These workouts are focused on two different types of movements. One being lots of reps of small range movements, but the other being isometric strength training which basically means you hold a pose until your muscles threaten to jiggle right off your body. Classes might include barre work, hand held weights, and mat work. Understandably women love this type of workout because it tones and lengthens as opposed to bulking us up. But men should not rule it out either, because it is guaranteed to workout your muscles in a completely unfamiliar way which can only make things look better.
Pilates is another workout that focuses on more subtle but intense movements. Noticing a pattern here? What pilates can do for you is completely change the way your core functions, which is crucial not only for staying safe when you life weights and stuff, but for keeping your body in alignment that can improve your overall health and fitness. Pilates done on either a mat or on the reformer machine is going to hit those muscles you usually neglect at the gym, and it’s also going to improve your flexibility considerably. It’s also based around breath work which can completely chill you out even while your sweating profusely. If you need even more incentive, pilates will strengthen the pelvic floor and you more control over over that area. The possibility of better sex, is what I’m trying to say.
It’s sort of mysterious why these classes tend to pull in more women than men in some areas, because there is nothing girly about it. An good indoor cycling or spin class is going to torch a ton of calories, and provide an all over physical toning in addition to kicking the crap out of your cardiovascular system. Spin classes are high energy and can involve fun movements but also require an inner focus that can make getting through them truly feel like an accomplishment. A spin class is almost guaranteed to push you harder than you would do on the treadmill alone for example, and it doesn’t hurt that the view from the back row is going to be of a bunch of butts.
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About Kate Ferguson Kate Fergus is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blogs and online magazines. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce.