Why guys should get to grips with yoga and barre

Why men should try low-in­ten­sity fit­ness

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - cait­lyn@7days.ae

Pi­lates, yoga, and barre are all pop­u­lar work­outs for many rea­sons, in­clud­ing help­ing to im­prove flex­i­bil­ity and cir­cu­la­tion. They strengthen the core through low­in­ten­sity move­ments and are key to all­round fit­ness. So why is it that yoga and pi­lates are hugely pop­u­lar with women, but of­ten shunned by men as a form of ex­er­cise? There’s an ar­gu­ment that typ­i­cally men are more in­clined to hit the gym and lift heavy weights, and don’t see flex­i­bil­ity train­ing as im­por­tant. But it is an is­sue Henry Richard­son (be­low) is in town to ad­dress. Richard­son, a for­mer ath­lete, who re­ceived a univer­sity schol­ar­ship and be­came an ‘All Amer­i­can’ diver - mean­ing he was con­sid­ered the best on the US col­lege cir­cuit in the early 2000s. He un­for­tu­nately suf­fered a stress-in­jury, break­ing his back, which meant he had to try other ac­tiv­i­ties to keep in shape. He says: “I needed a form of ex­er­cise that kept me in good shape, but be­cause of my in­jury I had to find some­thing that was not im­pact­ing on my back.” Richard­son dis­cov­ered the many ben­e­fits of yoga, pi­lates and barre, and de­vel­oped such a pas­sion that he launched De­fine Body and Mind in Hous­ton, US, which has now ex­panded to Dubai. He’s in town on a visit and is be­hind a cam­paign to get men to try pi­lates, yoga, barre and spin classes. De­fine is host­ing free-toat­tend ses­sions for guys want­ing to try the classes out. He ex­plains: “We em­pha­sise guys should come. For one, they see phe­nom­e­nal re­sults when they take a class – it’s all about core and the elon­ga­tion of the body. “Se­condly, guys may like to spend time lift­ing weights at the gym. When you lift weights, you’re cre­at­ing the bulk and size, which most guys are look­ing at cre­at­ing, but you’re miss­ing a key el­e­ment to true strength and func­tion­al­ity of the mus­cles - you’re miss­ing the flex­i­bil­ity as­pect of it.”

When asked why men aren’t as in­clined to get in­volved in th­ese kinds of classes, Richard­son says: “Men don’t al­ways feel com­fort­able in a group set­ting. The rea­son they don’t, is be­cause men tend to think they should be the best in the class. They want to work the hard­est, and be the best, but when they come into a class like this, they’re put into po­si­tions and poses that are chal­leng­ing and you see their legs start to shake and they start to sweat. And you have to build en­durance up to it. From an ego per­spec­tive, it makes you feel like you’re less than fit, at times.”

One of the of­fer­ings, barre class (in­set) is based around the tra­di­tional bal­let barre that dancers prac­tice on. Richard­son ex­plains that it is less dance and more work­out. “We don’t see it as a barre class, it’s not about do­ing bal­let type poses. It’s a mix of body­weight train­ing, flex­i­bil­ity, and strength.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.