Long before she founded The Pilates Connexion, Jeanna Vanni fell in love with Pilates through her practice as a strength and conditioning specialist. The women who would one day compose her staff, meanwhile, developed a passion for the fitness medium through dance and injury rehabilitation. Their different experiences speak not only to the wide-ranging applications of Pilates, but also to the eclectic backgrounds that feed into their teaching styles in the studio.
At The Pilates Connexion, they work with clients to personalize each program,, building core strength and long, lean muscles. This occurs in group Pilates mat classes, where students use their own body weight as resistance, or sessions on the reformer and low chair, where they work against the power of springs. Private classes use Pilates to help with injury rehabilitation, pre- and post-natal fitness, athletic conditioning, and any number of other goals.
Southern Chester County Adventure Boot Camp is captained by Phil Nicolaou—a certified trainer with a PhD in fitness training and more than 10 years of experience under his belt. Phil leads classes at parks and outdoor locations across town, guiding students of all athletic abilities through challenging routines designed to slim physiques and tone muscles. Phil varies the workouts each session, shifting from kickboxing and jumping rope on one day to obstacle courses and sports drills the next. He also provides his students with nutritional counseling, as well as pre- and post-camp physical assessments.
Platoon's two-hour self-defense training course was developed by Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Noah Spear as a means of training teenaged girls and women in easy and effective techniques to escape a physical attack. She leads the small classes, giving personalized instruction that allows participants to perfect street-smart self-defense moves in an intimate setting. Practice on a real-live man before heading out into the wild armed with the knowledge and the ability to dodge danger. Call ahead for availability.
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With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.