As someone who has enjoyed working out my entire adult life, I’d never gotten into Pilates before last fall. As a runner and gym enthusiast, I didn’t know what I was missing! Last month, I had the chance to check out the beautiful new Club Pilates studio in Scarsdale, recently opened by Heather Rhyu. Rhyu left her finance job and opened Club Pilates while pregnant with her second child to allow for more time with her kids. Club Pilates caters to all individuals from post-injury to ironman athletes. We asked Rhyu to share with us a little more about Pilates and why it’s not a fad.
1. What are the core benefits of Pilates?
Pilates is best known for working your core, shaping flat abdominal muscles and building a stronger back. It also increases stability and flexibility and improves posture and balance. Pilates is all about the mind-body connection which helps to allow for more body awareness. Not to mention the Pilates body you get from being consistent! Have you seen Kate Hudson?! She is a regular devotee to Pilates.
2. How does Pilates complement other forms of exercise, such as running?
If you are an avid runner or even an occasional jogger, you probably don’t realize the importance of working your core. Yes, you may run with your legs but your core improves your efficiency and helps you maintain proper form. Professional marathon runner Metivier Baillie realized this after having surgery for an Achilles injury. “I always thought I had a strong core, but I noticed immediately that these [Pilates] exercises were much more challenging than normal core work,” she says. “I realized I had only been working the surface muscles, and I needed to get deeper.” Pilates focuses on building longer, leaner muscles, not overworking muscles which may already be out of balance. It is now used as cross training, rehabilitation, sports conditioning and for general fitness purpose.
3. Has Pilates changed over the years?
Pilates was once known as the secret weapon of dancers. However, over the years, Pilates has become popular as a form of functional fitness for all types of individuals including professional athletes, people with injuries who need additional rehab or people who just want the benefits of a stronger core and more long and lean body. The original principals of Joseph Pilates continue to be the strong foundation of the program, however, as we enhance, develop and improve our knowledge, we are able to see more people of all ages and fitness levels able to reap the benefits of Pilates.
With more than 450 locations signed to open in the next few years, Club Pilates is the largest national Pilates franchise in the country. The studio offers reformer Pilates group classes as well as private training sessions and has brand-new state of the art Balanced Body equipment, including not just Reformers, but the entire array of Pilates tools including the Chair, the Springboard, the Jumpboard, etc. For those of you who have never done Pilates before, in layman’s terms, that’s the whole shebang!
Club Pilates offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking for classical Pilates on the reformer or more contemporary classes such as Pilates Barre, Pilates TRX, CardioSculpt or Stretchilates. The studio has more than 50 classes a week on its schedule!
Wee Westchester readers are welcome to try a free demo class and enjoy 20% off their first month of membership.
Club Pilates, 365 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale; (914) 449-4411