Pilates in Westfield, NJ


Groupon Guide

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Rice","author_page":false,"category":"1d73e2c7-995a-4e27-a424-734e366888f7","content":"<p><img src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/gRb9XmBui4SRU4hN6m7uCL/pilates_pose-600x400.jpg\" alt=\"Five Things I Learned from Pilates\" /></p>\n<p>I started taking&nbsp;<a href=\"http://www.groupon.com/local/pilates\" target=\"_blank\">Pilates</a>&nbsp;classes three years ago. The impetus came when I tried to pick up my roommate&rsquo;s cat, felt a stab of pain in my lower back, and couldn&rsquo;t walk for 24 hours. (To be fair, the cat was chubby.)</p>\n<p>I was fine after a few days, but I decided that I needed to take up a back-strengthening type of exercise. The problem was, I&rsquo;ve never been particularly fit. I struggled to bench press the unweighted bar in high school PE, I still have nightmares about the mile run, and, if you recall, I threw my back out at age 22.</p>\n<p>But I went to Pilates anyway. Then, I actually <em>kept</em> going. I&rsquo;m proud to say that over the past three years, I&rsquo;ve gotten a lot stronger, and I&rsquo;ve also learned some interesting facts about exercise and the body. For example:</p>\n<h2>1. Spines aren't like pillars. They're curvy and alive.</h2>\n<p>Everyone has a natural curve in their lower back. If you lie down casually on a Pilates mat, without pushing your spine into the mat, there&rsquo;s a gap between your back and the ground&mdash;yes, even for people with good posture who &ldquo;sit up straight.&rdquo;</p>\n<p>Spines are bendy, too. Anyone who&rsquo;s picked something up off the floor knows that, but you really <em>feel</em> it during exercises like <a href=\"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MP9Zzq2xf2E#t=24\" target=\"_blank\">the rollup</a>. A lot of teachers, during that movement, tell you to peel your spine off the floor &ldquo;one vertebra at a time,&rdquo; or to pretend that you&rsquo;re wearing a striped shirt and rolling up stripe by stripe. That move in particular makes me conscious of how the spine really works.</p>\n<h2>2. There are bones in your butt.</h2>\n<p>They&rsquo;re called &ldquo;sitz bones,&rdquo; and they&rsquo;re little nubs that stick out of your pelvis. In a more accurate world, they would be called butt antlers. They&rsquo;re not usually noticeable, as they&rsquo;re completely covered by booty flesh.</p>\n<p>That doesn&rsquo;t mean you can&rsquo;t find them, though. My Pilates teachers have taught me that when you sit up straight, all of your weight sits on top of your sitz bones, and you can feel them pressing into the floor a little. It&rsquo;s not uncomfortable, but it is a reminder that your skeleton is full of surprises.</p>\n<p><img alt=\"pilates\" class=\"artimg\" title=\"\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/xwwW6yzLD9SNE7VBEZnBGe/pilates-600x400/v1/c600x400.jpg\" width=\"600\" height=\"400\" /></p>\n<h2>3. Just thinking about your pelvis can improve your alignment ... and creep you out.</h2>\n<p>When you&rsquo;re lying down, Pilates teachers tell you to think of your pelvis like a bowl. When you tilt it forward, you&rsquo;re spilling the bowl&rsquo;s contents towards your feet. (This feels like sticking your butt out.) When you&rsquo;re tilting it backwards, the bowl spills towards your face. (This feels like pushing your lower back into the ground.) &ldquo;Neutral pelvis&rdquo; is the place halfway in between, and feels roughly effortless. Just thinking about my pelvis in these terms has improved my posture.</p>\n<p>It also freaks me out a little. Sometimes, I look in the mirror and think, &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a <em>pelvis</em> inside of me.&rdquo; This may be a personal problem.</p>\n<h2>4. Toning your whole core takes more than sit-ups.</h2>\n<p>When I first started Pilates, the movements felt crazy. There&rsquo;s a lot of lying on your side, waving your legs around, and holding one-legged bridge poses. I missed sit-ups. You can&rsquo;t fall over during a sit-up, and I was unsure what these weird exercises did that sit-ups didn&rsquo;t.</p>\n<p>The thing is, Pilates isn&rsquo;t just supposed to make your abs look six-pack-y. It&rsquo;s meant to strengthen your whole core&mdash;your back muscles, your upper and lower abs, and your obliques. Basically, any muscle in the middle of the body that stabilizes you when you fall (or lean over really far on purpose). Accessing all these muscle groups requires some weird motions.</p>\n<h2>5. Your body can learn ... but it can't learn everything.</h2>\n<p>Until I took Pilates, I never appreciated the fact that my body can learn things just like my brain. For instance, there&rsquo;s an exercise called The Hundred. It looks like this:</p>\n<div class=\"iframe-wrapper\" style=\"height: 450px; width: 600px;\" contenteditable=\"false\"><iframe src=\"//www.youtube.com/embed/89pBILS3f9M\" width=\"600\" height=\"450\" frameborder=\"none\"></iframe></div>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<p>It&rsquo;s a staple&mdash;you&rsquo;d be hard-pressed to find a Pilates class that skips this one&mdash;and at first, my face turned purple doing the beginners&rsquo; modification with bent knees. I couldn&rsquo;t imagine doing the advanced version with extended legs. And then, slowly, over time &hellip; I worked up to it. I felt like I had developed a superpower.</p>\n<p>There are some things I still can&rsquo;t do, though. Like sit up straight, with my legs straight out in front of me. Nope! I can only sit up straight when I&rsquo;m cross-legged, and at this point, I&rsquo;m pretty sure it&rsquo;s just how my body is wired. As my Pilates teachers say soothingly at almost every class, &ldquo;Everyone&rsquo;s body is different.&rdquo;</p>\n<p><a href=\"http://www.groupon.com/local/pilates\" target=\"_blank\"><img alt=\"fitness banner\" class=\"artimg\" title=\"\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/e6N76xBzi83PC8s8GUDvyv/fitness_banner-600x66/v1/c600x66.jpg\" width=\"600\" height=\"66\" /></a></p>\n<h2>Read more about bendy exercise trends:</h2>\n<p><a href=\"http://www.groupon.com/articles/why-the-pilates-reformer-should-be-loved-not-feared\" target=\"_blank\"><img alt=\"reformer\" class=\"alignleft\" style=\"float: left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px; display: block; z-index: 100;\" title=\"\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/6CuatBPc5gbxCGBZFsdktR/reformer-600x390/v1/c200x130.jpg\" width=\"200\" height=\"130\" /></a></p>\n<h2><a href=\"http://www.groupon.com/articles/why-the-pilates-reformer-should-be-loved-not-feared\" target=\"_blank\">Five Reasons Not to Fear the Pilates Reformer</a></h2>\n<p>It might look like it's going to hurt you, but it just wants to build your core strength.</p>\n<p><a href=\"http://www.groupon.com/articles/yes-yoga-is-a-sport-sb\" target=\"_blank\"><img alt=\"yoga\" class=\"alignleft\" style=\"float: left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px; display: block; z-index: 100;\" title=\"\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/6JsaBgQWKnSCcqamvTuvEi/yoga-600x390/v1/c200x130.jpg\" width=\"200\" height=\"130\" /></a></p>\n<h2><a href=\"http://www.groupon.com/articles/yes-yoga-is-a-sport-sb\" target=\"_blank\">Yes, Yoga is a Sport</a></h2>\n<p>And Gianna Purcell is the reigning champion. Here&rsquo;s how she worked her way to the top.</p>","created_on":"2015-01-07T19:04:12.798Z","fb_og_description":"For instance: did you know that there are bones in your butt?","fb_og_title":"Five Things I've Learned from Pilates","imported":false,"last_modified_by":"548f2c6751955b033b000003","last_modified_on":"2016-11-10T15:24:21.842Z","locale":"en_US","location":null,"meta_description":"Did you know that there are bones in your butt?","mobile_title":"","permalink":"pilates-exercises-taught-me-these-five-facts-about-the-body","photos":[{"hero":true,"altText":"Five Things I Learned from Pilates","caption":"","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/gRb9XmBui4SRU4hN6m7uCL/pilates_pose-600x400.jpg","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/gRb9XmBui4SRU4hN6m7uCL/pilates_pose-600x400"},{"hero":false,"altText":"pilates","caption":"","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/xwwW6yzLD9SNE7VBEZnBGe/pilates-600x400.jpg","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/xwwW6yzLD9SNE7VBEZnBGe/pilates-600x400"},{"img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/e6N76xBzi83PC8s8GUDvyv/fitness_banner-600x66","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/e6N76xBzi83PC8s8GUDvyv/fitness_banner-600x66.jpg","caption":"","altText":"fitness banner","hero":false},{"img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/6CuatBPc5gbxCGBZFsdktR/reformer-600x390","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/6CuatBPc5gbxCGBZFsdktR/reformer-600x390.jpg","caption":"","altText":"reformer","hero":false},{"img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/6JsaBgQWKnSCcqamvTuvEi/yoga-600x390","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/6JsaBgQWKnSCcqamvTuvEi/yoga-600x390.jpg","caption":"","altText":"yoga","hero":false}],"published":"PUBLISHED","published_on":"2015-09-10T23:15:11.635Z","published_permalinks":["pilates-exercises-taught-me-these-five-facts-about-the-body"],"secondary_categories":["1d73e2c7-995a-4e27-a424-734e366888f7","bd2b8839-27e4-4ca1-867f-f639da133ea6","4ed1f5f2-75a0-48e8-864e-36f75438e106","024d4f6c-d1d6-4ecd-905e-0f91c9b4ab54","2e776024-7001-42c3-8897-0fe8285b663f","1d73e2c7-995a-4e27-a424-734e366888f7"],"seo_title":"Years of Pilates Exercises Taught Me These Five Facts About the Body","tags":["wellness","fitness","pilates","list","style_and_beauty"],"title":"Five Things I Learned from Pilates","vhp_desc":"For instance: did you know that there are bones in your butt?","name":"","schemaOrgAttr":{},"places":[],"id":"890e2897-1506-4cd9-9707-5850f16c0a0b","guid":"890e2897-1506-4cd9-9707-5850f16c0a0b","imageUrl":"//img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/gRb9XmBui4SRU4hN6m7uCL/pilates_pose-600x400/v1/c140x85.png","bodyColumns":"nine","url":"/articles/pilates-exercises-taught-me-these-five-facts-about-the-body"},{"article_type":"NATIONAL","author":"a91446bd-6aaa-4ba4-964e-96eb5b4404ed","author_name":"Mae Rice","author_page":false,"category":"024d4f6c-d1d6-4ecd-905e-0f91c9b4ab54","content":"<img src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/pTcz7Y6wY5DZU34bAfA9Rh/pilates-reformer_hero-600x390.jpg\" alt=\"Five Reasons Not to Fear the Pilates Reformer\"><p>I’m a mat <a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/pilates\" target=\"_blank\">Pilates</a> devotee, but the Pilates Reformer has always intimidated me. It looks like a gigantic version of a dentist’s tool, and its backstory doesn’t make it any cuter—Joseph Pilates invented it, along with his eponymous workout system, in prison.</p><p>Kyle Seguin, the owner of Chicago’s <a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/biz/chicago/one-hundred\" target=\"_blank\">One Hundred Fitness</a>, explained that Pilates, who was a German citizen, was interned in Britain during World War I. To build his first Reformer, “he originally used bedsprings [from an internment-camp cot]. He just took apart a bed and used those springs.”</p><p>Today’s Reformers are more sophisticated: the four in Kyle’s studio are sleek, Stott-brand machines. And as a Stott-certified trainer with more than 10 years of experience, Kyle was the perfect person to convince me that they aren’t that scary. His best reasons, below:</p><img alt=\"pilates reformer diagram\" class=\"artimg\" width=\"600\" height=\"390\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/j4tLWzpJpM5D52ikdy2CtL/pilates-reformer_diagram-600x390/v1/c600x390.jpg\" title=\"\"><h2>It’s just a frame and six key parts.</h2><p>The Reformer is more approachable when you can name its components. According to Kyle, they are:&nbsp;<br></p><ol><li contenteditable=\"true\"><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">The footbar: Your feet rest here, though not for every move.&nbsp;</span><br></li><li><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">The carriage: It rolls&nbsp;back and&nbsp;forth along the tracks, and it’s where the bulk of your weight usually sits.&nbsp;</span><br></li><li><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">The straps: They end in stirrups, which you can loop around your hands or feet.&nbsp;</span><br></li><li><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">The longbox: This is a leather-wrapped box that you can sit on, or otherwise use as a prop.&nbsp;</span><br></li><li contenteditable=\"true\"><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">The springs: They’re hard to see in this picture, but they connect to the carriage and the&nbsp;footbar end of the frame. They add resistance to Reformer exercises.&nbsp;</span><br></li><li contenteditable=\"true\"><span style=\"line-height: 1.42857143;\">The shoulder rests: These two&nbsp;nubs on the carriage often sit right above your shoulders, and your neck rests between them. As with the footbar, this isn’t true for every move.</span><br></li></ol><a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/gyms\" target=\"_blank\"><img alt=\"fitness deals banner\" class=\"artimg\" width=\"600\" height=\"66\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/8S2hXw49m2XLdF8eRoh7M5/fitness-deals-banner-600x66/v1/c600x66.jpg\" title=\"\"></a><h2>Reformers are better than gravity at adding resistance.</h2><p>In mat Pilates, all the resistance comes from gravity—which means that there’s only real resistance against upward movements. (Unless, of course, you’re doing Pilates underwater or in quicksand.)</p><p>The Reformer’s straps and springs are more versatile than gravity, though. Not only can they resist movements in all directions, but, as Kyle put it, “[they] can work with you or against you.” That means they can also provide support during tougher exercises, offsetting the effects of gravity.</p><h2>Even though Reformers don’t have seat belts, people almost never fall off.</h2><p>It’s true that a Reformer isn’t a totally stable surface. The carriage’s ability to roll back and forth on its tracks tests your balance and strengthens your core. “People have compared [Reformer Pilates] to surfing, because there’s the instability component,” Kyle said. \n</p><p>Still, pratfalls are basically impossible. The worst Kyle has seen is “clients who kind of fall and catch themselves on the equipment,” but there have only been a couple. Moves like <a href=\"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPS-5l6nbIE\" target=\"_blank\">these Reformer-based lunges</a> definitely take balance, but classes ramp up slowly so that you’re never out of your depth.</p><img alt=\"pilates reformer feet\" class=\"artimg\" width=\"600\" height=\"390\" src=\"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/ukuVYbtRD4SVRw2J33Bij2/pilates-reformer_feet-600x390/v1/c600x390.jpg\" title=\"\"><h2>Reformers let you jump <i>horizontally</i>.</h2><p>This is not a drill. If you fit a jump board onto the footbar and lie on the carriage with your feet pointing toward the board, you can simulate jumping while lying down. (Check out a <a href=\"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPuFVVTiERo#t=10\" target=\"_blank\">video of what that looks like here</a>, with a vaguely industrial soundtrack.) </p><p>Reformers, in other words, are miniature <a href=\"https://www.groupon.com/local/gyms\" target=\"_blank\">gyms</a> that work for cardio workouts as well as full-body toning. Maybe the next generation will have built-in locker rooms?</p><h2>Anyone can use them. </h2><p>“Pilates is appropriate for all different ages and all different skill levels,” Kyle said. He knows this from experience: he’s taught everyone from child ballerinas to clients in their late 70s trying to improve their balance.</p><p><i>Photos by Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon</i></p>","created_on":"2014-12-17T19:01:44.832Z","fb_og_description":"It might look like it’s going to hurt you, but as Kyle Seguin of One Hundred Fitness explained, it just wants to build your core strength.","fb_og_title":"Five Reasons Not to Fear the Pilates Reformer","imported":false,"last_modified_by":"548f2befcfa70efd3a000003","last_modified_on":"2016-11-10T15:35:47.058Z","locale":"en_US","location":null,"meta_description":"It might look like it’s going to hurt you, but as Kyle Seguin of One Hundred Fitness explained, it just wants to build your core strength.","mobile_title":"","permalink":"why-the-pilates-reformer-should-be-loved-not-feared","photos":[{"hero":false,"altText":"pilates reformer diagram","caption":"","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/j4tLWzpJpM5D52ikdy2CtL/pilates-reformer_diagram-600x390.jpg","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/j4tLWzpJpM5D52ikdy2CtL/pilates-reformer_diagram-600x390"},{"hero":true,"altText":"Five Reasons Not to Fear the Pilates Reformer","caption":"","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/pTcz7Y6wY5DZU34bAfA9Rh/pilates-reformer_hero-600x390.jpg","img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/pTcz7Y6wY5DZU34bAfA9Rh/pilates-reformer_hero-600x390"},{"img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/8S2hXw49m2XLdF8eRoh7M5/fitness-deals-banner-600x66","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/8S2hXw49m2XLdF8eRoh7M5/fitness-deals-banner-600x66.jpg","caption":"","altText":"fitness deals banner","hero":false},{"img_key":"img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/ukuVYbtRD4SVRw2J33Bij2/pilates-reformer_feet-600x390","img_url":"https://img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/ukuVYbtRD4SVRw2J33Bij2/pilates-reformer_feet-600x390.jpg","caption":"","altText":"pilates reformer feet","hero":false}],"places":[{"m3_id":"94f8db72-5df1-b06a-768a-013a8fccff0f"}],"published":"PUBLISHED","published_on":"2014-12-17T19:56:32.111Z","published_permalinks":["why-the-pilates-reformer-should-be-loved-not-feared"],"secondary_categories":["024d4f6c-d1d6-4ecd-905e-0f91c9b4ab54","2e776024-7001-42c3-8897-0fe8285b663f","1d73e2c7-995a-4e27-a424-734e366888f7","4bb354ab-ebcb-4d95-a38f-f0076474342f","024d4f6c-d1d6-4ecd-905e-0f91c9b4ab54"],"seo_title":"Why the Pilates Reformer Should Be Loved, Not Feared","tags":["style_and_beauty","pilates","gyms","one_hundred_fitness"],"title":"Five Reasons Not to Fear the Pilates Reformer","vhp_desc":"It might look like it’s going to hurt you, but as Kyle Seguin of One Hundred Fitness explained, it just wants to build your core strength.","imageUrl":"//img.grouponcdn.com/seocms/pTcz7Y6wY5DZU34bAfA9Rh/pilates-reformer_hero-600x390/v1/c140x85.png","bodyColumns":"nine","url":"/articles/why-the-pilates-reformer-should-be-loved-not-feared"}]}}}}}