Joseph Pilates the original bro of pilates. Brolates is a form of pilates for men typically on a reformer machine, that started to appear in 2014. It was designed to focus on flexibility, balance and core strength for men and to introduce men to pilates, who have been reluctant to try pilates or don’t know what it is. Joseph Pilates was the original bro in pilates, when he developed the first pilates exercises while a prisoner at a British internment camp during WWI.
Elusive professional athletes. Classes are male dominated and can be a stepping stone to joining regular pilates classes. Many male professional athletes like Martellus Bennett (images from www.pilatesstyle.com), a tight end for the Chicago Bears below on the reformer machine, turn to pilates to give them an edge in their sport. The reformer machine is a spring loaded, laterally traveling platform that can stretch your body in new ways. Men who are losing flexibility or getting back problems from sitting may find results with brolates or regular pilates.
Here is a video on Antonio Brown a wide receiver for the Pittsburg Steelers demonstraing his pilates and TRX workout. At minute 1:04 in the below video, he shows some of his pilates training on the reformer machine. His reformer training gives you an idea of what brolates would look like, although each trainer may have a different take on individual exercises. Being an effective wide receiver is all about being elusive and getting away, using flexibility and balance that pilates provides.
It’s not yoga. Some men wonder what the difference between pilates and yoga is. There are many common aspects between pilates and yoga such as increasing flexibility, core strength and balance. There are major differences, however. The first major difference is that pilates uses a machine typically, while yoga is done on a mat. The reformer machine is most typically used in brolates or pilates. The second major difference is that pilates is all about the body and much more technical, and does not get into the meditative and mind aspects that typically come with yoga. While different, pilates and yoga do mix well, and in fact you can incorporate pilates into many different other exercise routines.
A few months. A few months of doing brolates or pilates a few times a week will start to show results. And by results, not necessarily looking like Antonio Brown, but more noticeable balance, core strength and flexibility. Brolates classes are typically in the $10 to $30 range. These costs can add up depending on your studio. Most studios will give you a discount on introductory classes, or give you a package deal. You may start seeing significant results after a few months of brolates a few times a week, so making an appropriate budget and plan will help get the results you want.
Am I tense? A good trainer for Brolates or pilates will give you a better sense of your own body awareness. The trainer will typically walk you through each exercise and make you aware of exactly what vertebrae or bone should be moving. Many men new to Brolates or pilates will learn through a good trainer that their shoulder and muscles involuntarily are tense or contracted, and a good trainer will point this out to you and help you be aware when these muscles are tense and how to relax those muscles.
Men do pilates. There are men who do pilates, including many professional athletes.
Started to appear in 2014. The term brolates started to appear in 2014.
Transitioning men to regular pilates. Brolates can be an entry point for men getting into pilates and stepping stone to regular pilates or other forms of pilates.
Trademarked in Chicago. The term Brolates appears to be a registered trademark of the Amplified Pilates Center in Chicago.
Back problems. Pilates is known to alleviate back problems and some spinal conditions such as spondylitis.
Brolates and pilates are typically done in a studio with a trainer. It can also possibly be done at home, if you own your own reformer and have taken a few classes to get started. Below are five studios that offer brolates or pilates tailored for men:
Amplified Pilates Center. Amplified Pilates Center in Chicago appears to have trademarked the term Brolates and also actively markets the Brolates exercise program.
New York Pilates. New York Pilates in Manhattan NYC once offered Brolates classes and then converted them to regular pilates classes.
Fluid Art Pilates. Fluid Art Pilates in Southern California appears to offer brolates classes.
Bend Pilates. Bend Pilates in Bend Oregon appears to offer brolates classes.
Exhale Pilates. Exhale Pilates in London appears to offer brolates classes.
Antonio Brown. Antonio Brown is a professional football payer who is known to incorporate pilates into his workouts to improve his flexibility and balance, which are important to his position as a wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Phil Mickelson. Phil Mickelson is a professional golfer who known to incorporate pilates into his workout to improve his swing.
Joseph Pilates. Joseph Pilates is the founder of pilates. He was a German who emigrated to England in 1912 and was then put in an internment camp on Isle of Man during World War I. While in camp, he developed the basic foundations for pilates exercises.
Dancers. Many dancers turn to pilates during rehabilitation for injuries.
Guys in Chicago. The team at Amplified Pilates Center appear to take brolates seriously and to be leading the movement.
A good trainer. Having a good trainer is particularly important in brolates or pilates. The trainer should be able to communicate clearly, walk you through all exercises, pay careful attention to your technique and make you more aware of your body’s muscles, joints and bones during the exercises.
100% attention. Sometimes it’s hard to pay attention. You may find your mind wandering during brolates or pilates, since some of the movements are small and minute. In this situation, trying to focus on the breath or on the body position can help bring attention back to your exercise. One way to focus on your body is imaging you are having a sort of out of body experience and are looking at yourself from far away. One way to focus on breathing is literally think about and feel your lungs expanding and contracting and feeling the warmth of your breath moving past your nostrils or lips.
Your day may have been stressful, but here is the one hour to forget about everything out there and pay attention to your body and movements. A trainer can help guide you through this. The more attention, the better the exercise and better you will feel afterward.
Relax those shoulders and breath. Learning how to relax shoulders while doing exercises is one of the takeaways from brolates and pilates. Focusing on breathing during exercises can help bring your attention and awareness to what your body and what your shoulders are doing. It may take a few classes, but the body and shoulder awareness should carry on into daily life.
Physical therapy for a fraction of the price. Many dancers use brolates or pilates as a physical therapy to rehabilitate from injuries. Let your trainer know if you may be recovering from an injury, and the exercises can be tailored appropriately.
At least a few times before writing it off. As with any exercise program, consistency and frequency is important to get the results. Starting off with one or two classes a week will lay a good foundation.