Professional footballers do Pilates! And so should you!

Cristiano Ronaldo does it. Gareth Bale does it. Harry Kane does it. Ryan Giggs does it, and credited it for helping to extend his career as a top-flight footballer. Now Portsmouth's Andy Barcham is the latest professional footballer to discover the benefits of pilates for men.

Portsmouth FC's Andy Barcham is the latest professional footballer to discover the benefits of pilates, according to an article in The News.

After suffering a thigh injury last season, Andy turned to pilates on the advice of the football club's exercise and conditioning coach, Louis Langdown, and club physio, Sean Duggan.

" I've just started so I’m a bit rubbish at the moment!" said Andy who admits that it is a lot harder than he thought it would be. "It’s really difficult! The first day we went there it was a real eye-opener. They were stretching and making your muscles flexible. There’s core and strength involved. It’s all the aspects you need in the modern game. Hopefully we are going to feel the benefit of that."

Andy Barcham is following in the footsteps of football greats like Juventus FC's Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid's Gareth Bale and Manchester United's Ryan Giggs.

Giggs, who played 963 times for Manchester United and 64 times for Wales before retiring at the age of 40, has credited his long playing career to a mixture of yoga, pilates, and conditioning work.

Getting Started With Pilates

The best way to get started with pilates is to join a class and learn the basics from a qualified pilates teacher.

Pilates classes are held up and down the country, either in studios equipped with specialist exercise equipment or in village halls and sports centres where mat work often takes precedence. Our Pilates Studio And Class Directory will point you in the right direction. Remember, we accept entries ONLY from fully qualified teachers.

There are also DVDs and books available specifically for men to practice pilates at home. The Pilates Shop stocks hundreds of pilates titles as well as equipment such as mats and pilates bands.