Why Supermodels Swear by Pilates
“I’ve been doing it for 15 years and I think it strengthens from the inside. When your core is strong, everything else starts to lift up.” – Kate Hudson
“I do an hour of Pilates a day…I’m the best I’ve been for a long time.” – David Beckham
“I live for Pilates reformer class. I go at least three times a week. It’s a great way to lengthen your muscles, stretch, and kind of relax your mind.” – Shawn Johnson, gymnast
“I’m a Pilates person. It’s great. I had a hip problem. I had a chronic back, a pinched nerve and a hip problem and it’s completely solved all of it. I love it. It makes me feel like I’m taller.” – Jennifer Aniston
“After one session I was energized. From that point on I was convinced it was a great workout.” – Jason Kidd
“At-home Pilates is the best workout I’ve ever tried.” – Kristen Bell
“I was doing Pilates before people even knew how to spell Pilates… It pulls your shoulders back, tucks in your pelvis, makes you walk straighter, and gives you great posture.” – Vanessa Williams
“It’s a great way to exercise because you use so many muscles and get a really good workout. I use the machines, not mat Pilates, and it just works for me.” – Paris Hilton
“I was a fitness fiasco — until I found Pilates . . . It’s been the most gentle on my body… I’m longer and leaner and much more graceful. I can honestly say it’s changed my body — and my life.” – Chelsea Handler
“What do I like most about Pilates? The fact that I can really feel my body working. I might do 250 crunches but my body is so used to them that I don’t really feel them. With Pilates, I can really feel [my abdominals] even if I only do six or 12 repetitions.” – Joan Collins, who has been doing Pilates for over 30 years
“Pilates introduced me to muscles I never even knew I had. Soon I started to feel longer and leaner. Ten years of Pilates has really changed my body for the better.” – Lucy Liu
“I also discovered Pilates when I got pregnant, as people kept saying it’s a great way to stay in shape, and now I can’t get enough – it’s amazing. It helps with aches and pain and, even for non-pregnant people, it’s a great way of getting those lean muscles.” – Olivia Wilde
“I’m a huge Pilates fan. Pilates relies on isolated, controlled movement and has allowed me to build up my core and strengthen my legs and arms.” – Karlie Kloss, Victoria’s Secret model
Pilates “is such a great way to get in shape in a loving way. I feel like I’m both challenging myself and healing my body at the same time.” – Kerry Washington
Back to the that Top 10 List (compiled by The Robb Report):
- You can do it on your lunch break. Even though it works you hard, it does not leave you spent and sweaty, so you can easily fit it into a busy lifestyle.
- A flat belly. Most ab exercises focus on the superficial abdominals that won’t give you a flat stomach. Pilates targets the deep core, which leads to a flat tummy, a narrow waist, and—bonus!—a healthy spine.
- It makes you think. Pilates is a surprisingly intellectual method of exercise. It requires one to focus on how one’s body is moving. This keeps the mind engaged and challenged. Studies have shown it can even aid in the prevention of Alzheimer’s.
- It’s a pain killer. Pilates is great for injury prevention because it focuses on the muscles that support and protect joints and the spine, restoring proper body mechanics.
- You’ll stand up straighter. Great posture makes us look younger and more attractive, and it actually keeps us balanced and youthful.
- No pretzel-like contortions necessary. A Pilates routine can be modified to accommodate injuries or can be amped up for the serious athlete and everyone in between.
- It’s a go-to workout. You can do it on the go, any time, any place. Many Pilates exercises can be done with just body weight and no props. It also works the muscles that we might not hit in other activities, making it an ideal complement to running, tennis, biking, and other athletic pursuits.
- It’s a lifelong practice. Pilates is so safe and balancing for the body that you can begin at any age and continue into your later decades. It won’t wear down the body, and you don’t have to give it up as you age.
- It builds strength and flexibility in an efficient and effective way. Each Pilates exercise both stretches and strengthens through moves that work the muscles while they are lengthening.
- You get in touch. Pilates can deepen the mind-body connection, which can improve many other facets of our lives such as interpersonal relationships, stress management, and eating habits.
NFL Tight End Uses Pilates to Stay Fit, Healthy, and Sexy
“Pilates initially was recommended to [Eric] Ebron [Tight End for the Detroit Lyons] by his girlfriend. He started doing it, became hooked and now has made it part of his offseason training after a season in which he dealt with ankle and knee injuries for the majority of the year.
“I do Pilates now,” Ebron said. “Don’t tell anybody. But yeah, I just do a lot of things that can help my body, my core, my muscles and everything just stay strong and as flexible as I can be for this rough and long season.”
“Ebron knows a healthier body could lead to fewer injuries; the tight end has yet to play 16 games in a season. He knows, too, that this is a big proving ground year for him since the Lions chose to pick up his fifth-year option and have had some preliminary discussions about a contract extension.
“He started doing “everything” with it, including the Cadillac machine, which looks somewhat like an indoor jungle gym.
“He wouldn’t say how much is body has changed, saying only “yeah, I keep it sexy,” but he looked trimmer than usual when he met with the Detroit media Tuesday.”
Pilates New Secret to Success of Red Sox Pitchers
Pilates focuses on the core strength in the lower back and abdomen while increasing flexibility, areas that ballplayers tend to ignore in workouts.
- Corrects leg, foot and ankle alignment.
- Strengthens the muscles in your hips, legs, ankles and feet.
- Supports correct postural alignment in a lying position.
- Helps trains the hips and pelvis to disassociate from the leg bones, which helps to create more stability and balance in the body.
- There are over 200,000 nerve endings at the bottom of your feet. Footwork at the beginning of a session activates these nerves and warms up your feet and ankles, helping ensure that you have a more effective workout.
- Footwork in a lying position lessens the amount of extreme impact on the knee and ankle joints, which helps prevent injury while simultaneously creating more strength.
- Single leg variations can aid in correcting asymmetries between the right and left side of the body.
Pilates for Brides & Weddings
Maiden Lane Studios | San Francisco
It’s well known that brides want their wedding day to be perfect! Every detail from invitations to flowers and decorations, but most importantly, looking amazing in their wedding dress, is a must. In a study from Cornell University, “70% of 272 engaged women said they wanted to lose weight, typically 20 pounds” for their wedding day.
Brides now use Pilates to tone their entire body, focusing on their upper extremities (arms, shoulders and back) to look fabulous for their wedding day. It’s effective and efficient, even on a tight schedule: Victoria’s Secret models use Pilates as a quick go-to when prepping for photo shoots and their annual fashion shows, not to mention getting ready for their weddings.
Results-driven for the big day: Pilates helps cinch the waist and improve posture, tones the arms and back, and creates a firm and lifted backside
Pilates increases stamina and energy, while relieving stress.
With aerobic & cardiovascular components incorporate into your Pilates sessions, you burn calories and lose weight. Maiden Lane Studios combine three vital components into our Brides & Weddings program to help create a lean, sculpted, and sexy body. We combine strength, flexibility, balance focused workouts. We also help you with the nutritional side of the equation.
Bridal fitness is very specific and best not left to generic boot camps. Every bride and wedding is different with specific goals. View our Brides & Weddings Program
“I started doing Pilates because I read it would help with the (many) issues I was having as a runner. Not only did Pilates help my knees, feet, and hips, and also got me super-toned, just in time for my wedding.” – Glamour Weddings
“Of course they were totally cute before, but both brides said they felt stronger and more toned thanks to Pilates. One benefit that Kate mentioned was that she’s never bored of Pilates—which is one of the major reasons I’m still taking Pilates (and they are, too!) post-wedding. What started as a pre-wedding workout became a way of life. And it’s done wonders for my body post-baby. (Having a baby can do c-r-a-z-y things to your body, but I’m happy to report I’m back in all of my pre-baby clothes!)” – Glamour WeddingsBrides & Weddings Program
Rob, San Francisco
Lose Weight While Keeping Your Curves with Pilates
“I don’t practice Pilates to look good, I do it to feel good,” says Huma Qureshi, about her training with Mumbai-based nutrition and Pilates expert Radhika Karle. “I want to lose weight well, by building strength and muscle.” The actor will begin shooting her next film, based on Hollywood’s Oculus (2013), in less than a month.
“I discovered muscles I didn’t know I had,” laughs Qureshi, recalling her first class with Karle. It takes just the first hour to jolt your system into awareness because Pilates works on your core. “Your core is the powerhouse of your body and the stronger it is, the stronger the rest of your body will be,” says Karle. She begins with foot work to warm up before moving to the calorie-killing routines.
“And for Qureshi, crash diets are out of the question: “I don’t believe in starving myself to reach an ideal number on the weighing scale.” Pilates happens to be tailored to exactly what she needs. “What makes Pilates special is that it works on realigning your body to the way it was when you were born. Bad posture and lifestyle destroys the body’s basic alignment and Pilates corrects this,” says Karle. “It isn’t about losing weight aimlessly. I make sure the people who train with me reach their ideal body weight.”
How I Grew an Inch and Got a Tiny Waist at Maiden Lane Studios
By Sarah Medina, 7×7 Magazine | Sep 01, 2016
No, seriously. Witness the magic of doing consistent Pilates.
I first started taking Pilates classes as a way to cross train while preparing for the San Francisco Marathon. As many runners will know, logging miles can be tedious and hard on your body; I was looking for something that would keep me flexible while working out the muscles in my core and arms that running doesn’t always get to.
I had dabbled in Pilates and barre during my brief stint as a Classpass member, but I didn’t really like it. I’ve always been more of a sporty girl—I box and did Crossfit, and I famously detest yoga. But after finishing 21-mile practice runs, my body was failing me in ways it never had before. My right hip hurt, my right calf was incredibly tight, and sitting at my desk all day wasn’t doing anything to help my lower back. I was already making regular trips to the chiropractor; now I needed a gym that would help me find some quick relief and offer personalized workouts. Enter Maiden Lane Studios.
The Pilates apparatus room (Courtesy of Maiden Lane Studios)
Our editor, Chloé, is a longtime Pilates fan, and she recommended I check out Maiden Lane. She likes that the studio is bright, stylish, and conveniently located near 7×7’s office in Union Square; I liked the fact that it’s not accessible to the masses through Classpass, Gilt City, and Groupon. Maiden Lane Studios offers classes in yoga, barre, and reformer and mat Pilates, and classes are small, with just six reformers in house (two of them are reserved for private and semi-private lessons). So, the clientele tends to be loyal—don’t be surprised to see the same faces week after week.
On my first day of reformer class, I checked in at the third-floor reception, where there’s also a small changing room, a bathroom stocked with amenities for freshening up, some lockers, and a large mirrored room for group classes. My class was held downstairs, beneath the sparkly chandelier of the apparatus room and set to soft hip-hop tunes. I laid down on the machine closest to the window (which looks straight into neighboring Joseph Cozza Salon), and quickly learned the foundation for all my future Pilates work: the neutral spine. Trust me, this is harder than it sounds.
Thankfully, all the instructors I’ve met at Maiden Lane Studios have worked with me closely, taking into account every random pain, tightness, and practice mile logged to create a semi-customized program that suits my body. And it’s been tough. During class, Maiden Lane co-owner and fellow Oaklander Kelsey (a slim brunette with the Pilates body we all covet) likes to chat me up about new things to do in The Town, but I’m usually too out of breath mid-pike to talk back. On one particularly sunny day, I watched as small drops of sweat beaded onto my machine while Miranda coached us through one-armed, one-legged planks.
The best thing about Pilates, as any regular will tell you, is that it actually becomes more challenging the longer you do it. With each class, I’ve become so much more in tune with my body, with the way all my muscles and joints and tendons are connected; and in four months time, I think I’ve figured out how these things all work together. I even felt myself grow taller as I became aware of my tired workaday posture, and it’s basically guaranteed that Pilates will shrink your waist a tiny bit with every session—I know mine did. After the first couple lessons, my Monday and Thursday afternoon classes became my favorite part of the week.
Kelsey takes a client through Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST) (Courtesy of Maiden Lane Studios)
For athletes and those prone to tight muscles, Maiden Lane Studios also offers Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST), a form of assisted stretch therapy that can increase flexibility, reduce aches and pains, and improve range of motion and athletic performance. And let me tell you, this divine art of stretching is the real deal. My FST therapist Lauren, a tiny gal with a curly bob, strapped me to the table and showed no mercy when twisting and turning my lower body every which way, all with the goal of giving me optimal flexibility in time for the big race. (If you’re going to run 26.2 miles, you want to be as pliable as possible!) Before my appointment, my right hamstring was so tight that getting out of a chair was actually embarrassing; after my one-hour session, I felt ten pounds lighter and the pain became virtually nonexistent.
Two days later, I woke up at 4:30am, made my way to the starting line at the SF Marathon, and finished the race I had been training for this entire year—pain free.
// Maiden Lanes Studios, 80 Maiden Ln. (Union Square), maidenlanestudios.com