The Ultimate Guide to Pilates Reformer

Posted by on Jul 16, 2020 in Pilates Exercise

What is Pilates Reformer? When talking about Pilates, the first thing that comes to mind is the Reformer—the bed-like apparatus with tension cables attached to it. This equipment may seem intimidating at first glance, but it’s no more difficult to use than the usual contraptions at many Singapore gyms.  The Reformer was invented in the late 1800s by Joseph Pilates, who sparked the global Pilates movement. It was initially called the Universal Reformer, one of 12 original devices Pilates designed to help soldiers injured in the war. The bedframe-like platform is called the carriage, which is mounted on wheels that roll back and forth. There are cables and bars attached to the platform, with the overall design intended to provide full-body resistance during exercise. When you pull the cables with your arms and push the bars with your legs, your muscles extend to the fullest position. The Reformer lets you move your body, executing a full range of motion that you usually can’t do on your own, or by using a single equipment. Note, however, that you’ll need an instructor to guide you through the proper movements and breathing, which is essential to Pilates. Without proper guidance, there’s a risk of unduly straining the muscles, and you’re likely to fall back into your old movement patterns. TAP HERE to learn more about the Philosophy of Classical Pilates Pilates Reformer Exercise—what can it do for you? Pilates Reformer is an excellent workout for your core—the body’s powerhouse comprising the abs, lower back, hips, and glutes. At the same time, the exercises target the arms and legs (remember those cables you need to pull and bars you need to push on?) Using the Reformer regularly trains you to develop proper body mechanics and adapt to a full range of motion. And while Mat Pilates does include exercises that work the legs and arms, they’re usually done with no resistance unless you’re using dumbbells or a Pilates ring. What’s more, Pilates Reformer workouts have more exercise variety than Mat Pilates. In short, you’re getting a more comprehensive workout that tones the muscles, stabilises the joints, enhances flexibility, improves posture, and corrects balance when in motion. More importantly, the resistance that the Reformer provides lets you get results faster. You’ll achieve your fitness goals more quickly by using just one equipment instead of multiple gym machines, too. As your body gets accustomed to the basic movements, you can adjust the springs and the moving carriage to higher levels of resistance. In a month or so, you can expect to move from reclined exercises to workouts that require less contact between the body and the carriage. Want to try out Mat Pilates first? TAP HERE Pilates Reformer Workout—who benefits the most? Since a Pilates Reformer workout is heavily focused on full-body alignment and accurate muscle engagement while working the core and limbs too, everyone...

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STRENGTH PILATES: The Body-Mind Workout that Helps You Live Your Best Life

Posted by on Jun 30, 2020 in Pilates Exercise

“I’m looking for a workout to make me stronger, but I don’t want to look bulky.” We got this enquiry from Isabelle, a 25-year-old professional. She’s been cooped up at home for months throughout the circuit-breaker period, and it’s made her sluggish. Sean also asked, “What exercise is okay for senior citizens like me?” He’s a retired corporate executive who’s worried that he’s feeling “kind of stiff and clumsy” now that he’s no longer as active as he used to be. On the other hand, Nina, 35, is bothered by “(my) bad back. I have these aches almost every day, and it’s stressing me out, especially when I’m in the office.” She’s exhausted by the time she gets home from work. It may sound like Isabelle, Sean, and Nina have different problems, but they’re all in the same situation: they can’t live life to the fullest. A healthy young adult should be brimming with energy and confidence. Senior citizens should still be able to enjoy life and move with ease. People in their 30s and 40s must keep up their strength, with passion and joy. We’ve all felt the same way at some point, regardless of age, gender, or lifestyle. So, we figured we’ll share with everyone the one solution to Isabelle’s, Sean’s, and Nina’s problems: Strength Pilates. And here’s why… To know how Pilates helped our clients, TAP HERE 1. Strength Pilates Boosts Your Energy and Keeps You Fit Walking into a Pilates studio could be intimidating, seeing all that equipment, especially the Reformer and Cadillac. At first glance, it looks like only athletes and fitness buffs can pull off the workouts, but that’s just not true. Pilates is actually a great beginner’s workout, or if it’s your first time to take up an exercise regimen. You can start out at a pace that you’re comfortable with and do basic routines your body is strong enough to move up to the next level. You can do Strength Pilates on a mat using weights or everyday items around the house like a chair or handy containers filled with water. These are low-impact exercises that work on the back and chest, butt and pelvis, and other core muscles you didn’t know could use a workout. Unlike weight training, strength-building regimens won’t bulk you up or make you look buff like bodybuilders. What Strength Pilates does is tone your muscles—and reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass, and burn calories efficiently in the process. So, if you’re like Isabelle, whose primary concern is her low energy levels, or if you just want to be healthier, look fitter, and feel better, then you made the right choice. TAP HERE to get started on your Pilates journey today! 2. Strength Pilates Makes You Nimble and Move Easily If you’re in your senior years like Sean, or you have a health condition that prevents...

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Pilates 101: Everything First-Timers Need to Know About Pilates

Posted by on Apr 22, 2020 in Pilates Exercise

Pilates 101: Everything First-Timers Need to Know About Pilates

The long hours behind your desk are causing backaches, and it’s affecting your productivity. You’re in constant discomfort, which sometimes leads to stress and anxiety. If you’ve caught yourself nodding, then your habits and routines must be taking their toll. And now you’re ready to take that first step toward a healthy work-life balance but aren’t sure where to start. You’ve thought about hitting the gym or taking up a sport. But you feel these activities just aren’t for you, and you’re worried that you might not be able to sustain the habit. So, what else is there? To go from sedentary to master of your own mind and body, Pilates teaches you how to: Manage your body, and mobilise your energy.Overcome your limitations, and optimise your productivity.Validate your needs, and visualise your joy.Explore a new experience, and enrich your life. Why Take Classes at Pilates Plus Singapore What Pilates Can Do For You Pilates is a versatile fitness program that appeals to beginners and seasoned fitness buffs alike. The idea of Mr. Pilates’ 34-sequence method is such that it progressively warms the body up, challenges it with exertion, and then cools it down. Its benefits include: ·   Enhanced core strength·   Improved posture·   Better balance·   More flexibility·   Increased muscle tone·   Healthier joints/ligaments·   Aids in weight loss·   Added stamina/energy·   Optimised breathing·   Body-mind harmony Learn more: The History of Pilates Various Types of Pilates Pilates is an approach to conditioning developed over a hundred years ago by its founder Joseph H. Pilates, who first called it “contrology.” Pilates has undergone transitions over the years but maintains its core principles of breathing, control, centering, and flow. Here are some common types of Pilates to help you find one that works best for you: Classical/Traditional Pilates Mr. Pilates first coined the term contrology to describe his sequence of 34 exercises—each flowing to the next in purposeful succession. Each exercise is executed in the exact sequence, in the designated number of repetitions (usually no more than six reps), before moving on to the next exercise. This type of Pilates may also involve the use of equipment. Pilates Mat Exercises Mat exercises are a good introduction to the world of Pilates. These are low-impact exercises that may involve the use of weights, balls, therabands, or rings. However, the movements are still based on the traditional Pilates system. First-timers and people suffering from back pain will benefit most from mat exercises because it focuses on strengthening the core. Reformer Pilates This type of Pilates utilises an equipment called the Reformer, which looks like a bed frame with tension apparatus attached to it. The movements here are similar to mat Pilates but more challenging, given the added resistance from the various springs, straps, and ropes. As such, you burn more calories and build up more muscle strength....

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10 Reasons Why Working Out Can Improve Your Mood

Posted by on Jul 25, 2019 in Pilates Exercise

A regular exercise regimen boasts of many physical benefits. Exercise paired with lifestyle modifications can not only improve your health and physiology, it can also improve your muscle tone, giving you a fitter and more lean appearance. And in case you need more encouragement to make exercise and working out a part of your weekly, if not daily, routine, consider what working out can do for your mind, emotions, and overall disposition. Below are 10 reasons how working out can improve your mood. 1. Working Out Can Make You Happier The body releases chemicals called endorphins when you exercise. Endorphins interact with the brain by triggering positive and energizing feelings that some have even described as euphoric. No wonder they call it a post-workout high! The character Elle Woods sums it up best in a now-iconic scene in the movie Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Basic. 2. Working Out Can Help Keep Depression at Bay A diagnosis of depression is not the same as feeling sad and the treatment of which is rarely straightforward. While working out does not cure depression, it certainly doesn’t hurt. Studies show that the mood boost that people get from regular exercise does result in lower rates of depression. 3. Working Out Dulls Pain Heart-broken? Disappointed? Dejected? Once again, the endorphins released by the body during exercise can help. Endorphins can reduces pain perception. It works the same way morphine and other painkillers work, except endorphins are naturally produced in the body, safe, and non-addicting. 4. Working Out Can Build Self Esteem For some people, looking their best and feeling their best are two sides of the same coin. If this is you, then a sedentary lifestyle will make you feel sloppy, but keeping your body fit and toned will lead to a better body image, relieve feelings of insecurity, and improve your self esteem. 5. Working Out Can Improve Posture If you’re wondering how your posture and your outlook can be related, then you’re in for a surprise. One study found that simply sitting or standing up straight generated positive feelings and a more energetic disposition among people diagnosed with mild depression. Choose a workout that will improve your posture, such as pilates. It strengthens your core and stretches, lengthens, and tones your muscles. You’ll be walking taller and feeling better. 6. Working Out Can Reduce Stress Stress can be a downer, physically and mentally. If you don’t learn effective coping mechanisms for stress, you will end up with a host of ailments such as headaches, insomnia, anxiety, and irritability among many others.1 Any form of exercise is actually a great stress reliever. Think of working out as meditation in motion, it makes you focus so intently on your body and your movements that the day’s troubles will be momentarily forgotten.2 7. Working Out Can Improve Sleep Sleep...

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Too Busy To Stay Fit? Try These Exercises!

Posted by on Apr 29, 2019 in Blogs, Pilates Exercise

It is a weeknight and you’re in your jammies feeling tired, bloated, but wanting desperately to get back into the habit of exercising again. Perhaps you want to get yourself back in the gym but the reason that there’s simply no time. If you’ve found yourself on the couch scrolling through Netflix every night, then you definitely have some time to get a workout! With all the demands of work and family most of us need to get through every day, it is no wonder we have some difficulty sticking with an exercise routine long enough to see results. Often, we just throw our hands up in exasperation and think ‘why bother?’ when really, all it takes is a shift in perspective and one or two lifestyle changes to get us back out there reaching our fitness goals. If you have been living a sedentary lifestyle lately, dismantling the bad habits you picked up – sitting more, moving less – may seem like an uphill battle, but one tiny change three to four times a week can make the task at hand seem less herculean and more of a fun break to your day. Exercise doesn’t have to take up an entire afternoon to be effective and you don’t need fancy clothes or equipment to get back in the saddle, so to speak. Here are four easy ways to get you started on your road to wellness. 1. Walking Walking is, quite simply, the easiest way to get more active. You don’t need special equipment and it can be done anywhere. According to a Harvard health article, walking even at a casual pace of two miles per hour at 5 ½ miles per week reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 31% and the risk of dying by 32%. Walking doesn’t have to be a slog either. If you enjoy window-shopping, walk around the mall a few times. You get the perks of a cardio workout and spend time looking at things you like! If you favor the great outdoors, hit a park near your home or walk around a new neighborhood. Who knows what interesting things you may discover during your stroll? Maybe you find a new café or restaurant you never knew existed but now need to try, or you find quaint, instagrammable buildings you would never have found if you weren’t on foot. The possibilities are endless! 2. Desk stretches and simple body exercises If you’re really pressed for time and need quick midday solutions, why not bring exercise to work? We all need to find fluid and easy movement in our bodies and stretching is a great way to start getting the blood flowing again. Just three to five minutes during your lunch or other breaks can work wonders. Gentle stretches by your desk can keep you limber and give your body more range of...

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Does Pilates Cause Weight Loss?

Posted by on Sep 26, 2018 in Pilates Benefits, Pilates Exercise

In every fitness activity, the first question that always come to mind is whether this can help us shed the excess weight. While each exercise routine has its own strengths and benefits, to a certain extent these activities can help us lose weight. Pilates exercises are no exception. So if you are aiming for weight loss through Pilates, here’s what you need to understand. Check out our Classes for Pilates in Singapore The Process Behind Pilates Unlike other crushing, high intensity exercise programs, Pilates seem relatively passive. But, in reality it is no passive pursuit, rather its focus is on the concept of control instead of seemingly endless reps and muscle exhaustion. In Pilates, the muscles work to lift against gravity or the resistance of bands and springs. This exercise require you to take your time, focus on the task at hand, maintain balance, and to apply proper breathing.   What you learn from Pilates will actually provide you with a good solid bedrock for fitness and wellness. For example, full breathing exercises (which are also part of the program) can feed and stimulate the circulatory system. This is a cleansing process that can help detoxify the blood and refresh the cells. That is the basic component for the vitality we need to gain optimum benefit out of the exercises we perform. Adding to that, Core Pilates exercises also brings a lot of advantages that radiates to different parts of the body. So, where does weight loss come in? Weight Loss Before we tackle that question, it is important that we understand how our body process weight loss. The body loses weight, or body fat, by burning more calories than what is consumed. Our system burns a certain amount of calories in order to perform metabolic processes that are necessary to sustain life – this is called resting metabolism. Individuals may increase their resting metabolism by performing resistance training that increases muscle density.  This allows the body to burn even more calories – including stored body fat – at rest. Remember, the body can only lose weight if it is in a negative energy balance. This means that you must take in less energy (this means food or calories) than you need on a regular and consistent basis. When this happens, the body must rely on its stores of fat, glycogen, and muscles as fuels. The result is the loss of body weight. Pilates and Weight Loss Most bodyweight routines in Pilates classes can be pretty intense. Studios develop their own programs that can help you burn the excess calories. Pilates can assist in weight loss by affecting your overall body composition – the kind of redistribution many of us aim to achieve. A proper Pilates workout require that one masters a series of bodyweight exercises through the mat as well as endless routines on different resistance devices (e.g....

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