~ Articles About Pilates, Yoga & Wellness ~

Real Men Do Pilates in Bernardsville, NJ!

Posted by Pam Seelig on Fri, Jun 07, 2013 @ 02:21 PM

Blog by Susan

People often have the misconception that Pilates is just for women.  But tell that to our male clients at Lotus Mind & Body, as well as the thousands of men in the military, including the very macho Navy SEALs, who use its core strengthening exercises as part of their daily conditioning regimes.  Not to mention the many pro athletes like Tiger Woods and the NY Giants who've adopted Pilates for core fitness training and stretching.

Need more "hard core" facts?

FACT: The originator of the method, Joseph H. Pilates, was in fact, a man.  Moreover, he was a whisky-drinking, cigar-smoking guy's guy.  A boxer and gymnast, he trained hard and took pride in the fact that he was asked to model for anatomy charts as a young adult.

FACT: The Pilates method is a "functional exercise" form that focuses on how the body moves as a "whole," not just on the major muscle groups that are so often over-used in sports or over-developed in typical gym exercises.  And they're often the very muscles that are tight and stressed from long commutes and sitting at a desk or computer.  Men can benefit tremendously from the "re-balancing" effects of Pilates and tend to see marked improvements in strength, flexibility and overall wellbeing very quickly.

FACT: Pilates is often prescribed by doctors and physical therapists for both male and female paitents with lower back pain because it strengthens the deep stabilizing muscles of the torso, helping to take stress off the delicate and often over-worked lumbar spine.  It also increases range of motion and flexibility of the overall spine, making it a golfer's best tool (next to his 60 degree wedge, of course).

FACT: Because Pilates equipment is spring-loaded, each person experiences a unique amount of resistance based upon the force he or she exerts, so it's equally effective for people of all ages and fitness levels.  Pilates will challenge both the muscle-bound, weight-lifting gym rat, as well as my 76-year-old mother (yes, she does Pilates twice a week!).  And just when you master a specific spring setting, this unique equipment will provide even more of a challenge by using a lighter spring load.  A "less is more" kind of twist!

The next time you hear someone say Pilates is not for men, give them the facts.  Or better yet, invite them to one of our Pilates classes.  But only if you think they're man enough to keep up!


Tags: Bernardsville, core fitness, Joseph Pilates, Pilates equipment, Pilates

Group Pilates Classes

Posted by Pam Seelig on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 @ 03:26 PM

Blog by Susan

Joseph Pilates probably never intended his core strengthening exercises to be performed in large group settings, and would most likely wince at the idea of Pilates studios and gyms packed wall-to-wall with Towers and Reformers.  The “purist” in me tends to agree.  Especially given that most large group Pilates classes I’ve attended lacked the individualized instruction and supervision required of classical Pilates. 


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But in reality, most Pilates enthusiasts today desire the benefits of the Pilates equipment along with the pricing discounts of working out in a group setting.  At Lotus Mind & Body, we offer several types of Pilates equipment classes.  Each is limited to a maximum of 6 students and taught by an experienced, fully certified instructor for a safe and well-supervised environment.   


Tower classes utilize a “wall unit” comprised of bars and springs that mimic Joseph Pilates’ original “Cadillac” apparatus.  It’s said that Joe first used springs from hospital beds to rehab wounded soldiers from World War I.  The springs on the Tower unit provide support, while at the same time, significant resistance.   The genius of this equipment is that your extremities are stretched and toned at the same time your core is challenged, making the Tower class an ideal whole body workout.


In addition to the core strengthening benefits of the Towers, our Pilates Circuit classes also offer students a chance to utilize the Reformers and Wunda Chairs.  With a ratio of 3 students to 1 trainer, these Pilates equipment classes provide semi-private instruction and are ideal for most intermediate-level students seeking a vigorous Pilates workout.  Like the Tower equipment, Reformers and Wunda Chairs provide both support and resistance, but introduce the challenge of working on a surface that moves.  Imagine holding a push--up position (also called “front support” or “plank”) on your mat – on the stable floor.  Now imagine holding this position on the Reformer and being able to press your feet away from your hands against the resistance of heavy springs to create more core challenge!  Stability exercises like these are favorites of elite dancers and gymnasts, as they enhance strength and flexibility to create a balanced, lean Pilates body.


Once you’ve tried small group Pilates equipment classes, it’s often a life-changing experience.  Many of the dedicated Pilates students at Lotus Mind & Body attribute regular workouts on the Pilates apparatus with improved core strength, muscle tone, and posture, as well as overall mind/body connection.  Exactly what Joseph Pilates envisioned when he was developing his method nearly a century ago.

Tags: core fitness, Group Classes, Far Hills, Bernardsvillle, tower classes, Pilates, Mendham, Basking Ridge, Pilates reformer, equipment classes