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.
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.