As a fitness discipline, Pilates takes on many different forms. Though the fundamentals remain the same, exercisers can explore many styles to find an effective personal workout. Apparatus sessions employ pieces of equipment such as the tower and the reformer designed by the creator of Pilates to increase resistance and enhance the regimen's effectiveness. Barre classes supplement the Pilates's core-sculpting basics with balletic exercises designed to create long, lean muscle and a sudden affinity for Swan Lake, while suspension training adds in the extra challenge of resisting gravity while hanging from ceiling-mounted TRX harnesses.
Markisha Beckford studies the human body the way an engineer might study a particularly complex machine, so it makes sense that she works at a place called The Fitness Workshop. Having trained with top fitness experts such as Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Deepak Chopra, Beckford is fully equipped to help clients adopt healthier dietary and exercise routines. Her holistic approach to health examines how these two areas—nutrition and fitness—are connected, and how an improvement to one might benefit the other. When she's not leading classes in spinning and Pilates, Beckford offers nutritional advice and posts healthy recipes on her website.
While exercise enthusiasts, celebrities, and athletes have practiced Joseph Pilates' unique style of controlled movements since the 1920s, it wasn’t until recently that studios such as The Pilates Experience brought the workout down from the mountain. After introducing guests to the specialized machines, including the Reformer, Tower, Cadillac, and ladder barrels, instructors lead exercises that use bodyweight as resistance. To help students perform the moves correctly, they cap the machine-based classes at six people and move from station to station handing out tips on proper alignment. Other classes include a Pilates-infused yoga class, heart-pumping indoor-cycling sessions, and muscle-toning total-body circuit training.
Kashmir Hands’ owner, Dina M. Giugliano, possesses an unending fascination with the abilities of the human body. She fosters her enchantment through three primary avenues: massage, yoga, and doula services, a Greek tradition that combines the duties of a pregnancy counselor with those of a midwife. Her thumbs relieve patrons’ tension and coax out toxins during therapeutic deep-tissue massage, a soothing avenue to injury recovery, particularly when paired with a gentle form of yoga. There are more gentle and more intense forms to choose from, as Giugliano offers 17 types of yoga classes, each developed for a certain age group, level of athletic ability, or species.
Members of Synergy Fitness Clubs thrive on choice. Choice of location? There are nine. Choice of activity? Instructors lead classes in almost any form of exercise imaginable, such as power sculpt, full-body circuits, and intense cycling. To make sure that members are making the choices that will help reach their fitness goals the fastest, the clubs are staffed with more than 100 lifestyle coaches. These pros are continually educated in their fields of specialty—which might mean nutrition counseling, yoga, or boxing.
A wide slate of equipment and amenities makes it as easy as possible to fit in workouts. Most locations are open 24 hours, and while parents lift free weights or dance a beautiful tango with a Precor elliptical, their kids can hang out in a free childcare room.
Amid its fully equipped studio of Peak Pilates equipment, Body Reformers sculpts muscles throughout the body while improving posture, mental awareness, and overall well-being. Feeble backs and sheepish hips benefit from the Pilates methodology, which focuses on strengthening muscles without manually pumping ounces of iron or hoisting mule after mule above one's head. During the one-hour mat classes, fully certified Pilates instructors guide classes of 12 students through exercises that flatten abdominals, tighten thighs, lift buttocks, and sharpen dull shoulder blades. The private reformer lesson further refines forms with one-on-one instruction.