Pilates is not Yoga

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So you have heard that Pilates and Yoga are similar in many ways. Yes, both disciplines help you create greater awareness of your body’s posture and its alignment. Yes, both disciplines improve and enhance flexibility and strength. Pilates and Yoga also emphasize coordinating breath with movement.

Both these disciplines of Pilates and Yoga have amazing benefits. They are both fitness regimes that are integrative; they are associated with stress reduction and increased well-being. They can both also be adjusted to a wide range of people and fitness levels, and both support the achievement of very high levels of body, mind and spiritual fitness.

Pilates aims to reach high levels of fitness goals for the mind and body, however, through a series of controlled movements. The Pilates technique not only has a full complement of matwork exercises, but it incorporates work on Pilates machines as well.

Pilates is a series of controlled movements; movements that are not performed rapidly and/or excessively. The focus is on the quality of the movement and not the quantity or the repetitions. There are additional exercise equipment like the magic circle, elastic band and foam roller one could use to add resistance to help make your workouts more challenging. Pilates has several machines designed to achieve its purpose such as the reformer, the wunda chair, the ladder barrel and the cadillac. Pilates exercises on these Pilates equipment machines are designed to cater to every individual’s needs.

The emphasis of Pilates exercises is to strengthen the abdominals, improve posture, stabilize and lengthen the spine, improve balance, flexibility and overall strength. Pilates gives you a long and lean, evenly-muscled look. Pilates works the whole body; emphasizing control, precision and concentration in both the mind and the body.

Whereas Pilates is scientific-based and its movements are always dynamic and in a flow; Yoga is spiritual-based involving meditation and reflection and its exercises are held in poses.

The abdominal muscles, lower back and butt muscles serve as the center of all movement. In Pilates, this is called the core or the powerhouse. This focus on core stabilization makes one stronger from the inside out and allows the rest of the body to move freely. The low-impact nature of Pilates makes it ideal also for injury prevention, rehabilitation and physiotherapy.

All Pilates exercises are formulated on the six principles of breathing, concentration, control, centering, precision and flow. These principles train the body to move efficiently and expertly with minimal stress on its joints and with maximum benefits on the entire physiology of the body. The Pilates method and using it regularly creates a healthy, vivacious and more symmetrical body which results in a lean, balanced, strong and supple body with very efficient and well-toned muscle groups.

A further listing of benefits that you can expect from the Pilates method include long and lean muscles, strong core and stability, injury prevention, better posture, improved balance and coordination, relief from stress and back pains, enhanced athletic performance, effective post-rehabilitation, and increased self-confidence.

Warm Regards,
Mrs Claudel Kuek

NB Click here to find out if Pilates is what you need to create the makeover in you!

Pilates Singapore Interview with Claudel Kuek of PowerMoves

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Claudel Kuek, Founder and CEO of PowerMoves Pilates in the Park, discusses what PowerMoves Pilates Singapore can do for you!

Learn also what Pilates is, what the PowerMoves edge is, what Pilates can do for you and what the Power Pilates Promise assurance is.

First in Pilates Singapore, PowerMoves is an award-winning Pilates chain of studios, with awards in Most Beautiful Pilates Studio, Most Outstanding Service Quality, and Best of Singapore Pilates; awarded by SHAPE, Tatler and Expat Living magazines.

PowerMoves’ exclusive studios specialize in Pilates Matwork, Pilates Reformer, PreNatal Pilates, Pilates Physiotherapy and Clinical Pilates; Group and private classes. Our parkland studios are located at Bishan Park, Rochester Park and Dempsey Hill, with an upcoming branch at East Coast Park. PowerMoves provides the best in Pilates classes to achieve all your health and fitness goals, including weight loss and specific sports-related needs.

All PowerMoves Pilates instructors are physiotherapists who will work with you to correct all physical and physiological issues, with an emphasis on strength and flexibility training.

Your first choice in Pilates always.. PowerMoves!

How is Pilates good for you?

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Pilates was originally designed to treat injured and bedridden soldiers in World War I. Although it was developed for clinical and rehabilitation purposes, it has become extremely popular with dancers, gymnasts and celebrities seeking the long and lean-muscled look. Today the Pilates method is widely practised for both its rehabilitation as well as its body conditioning and fitness benefits.

Pilates is an innovative mind-body exercise developed by Joseph Pilates. Blending eastern exercise philosophies with western fitness science, Pilates is a holistic discipline that improves physiological fitness and enhances psychological wellness. It combines the mental focus and specific breathing of yoga and Chinese martial arts with the physicality of gymnastics and other sports movements – creating an entirely new training regime that accentuates controlled grace in power and flowing beauty in movement.

Pilates is effective in rehabilitative and clinical therapy because of its strong focus on good posture, efficient movement and strengthening of proper musculature. With better body awareness through Pilates, one’s motor control and precision in movement can be improved. This results in better, more productive and efficient muscle functions during the workout. The benefits of this mind-body control and synergy can then be applied in all other areas of daily life.

Regular practice of Pilates will also ensure improved balance, coordination and circulation as well as increased core strength, flexibility and mobility. The emphasis on controlled, low-impact movements and correct breathing helps to ease pain, stiffness and rigid joints. Pilates is especially useful for persons suffering from chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, back, hips and knees; issues with postural and biomechanical problems; concerns with sports conditioning and injury prevention.

While weight training exercises tend to build short, bulky muscles, Pilates creates long, lean muscles. It is especially important in the strengthening of the ‘core’ muscles that stabilize and hold you up – giving you better posture to do your daily routine, creating a strong centre so that you can perform all tasks with ease and balance, and ensuring that you move your body correctly to avoid aches and pain. This core stabilization of the body also realigns the body to prevent any muscular imbalances. Pilates teaches you to connect your brain with your body, making all movement and exercises you do more efficient and effective.

Pilates can be physically challenging and keeps your heart pumping in the target zone so you burn more calories in less time. At intermediate and advanced levels, you will be able to move rapidly through the exercises without losing proper form, and your stronger core will take you from one exercise to the next with precision and control. For optimal fitness results, incorporate the principles of Pilates into your regular workout routine to combine form with function, add depth and proficiency towards an intensely beneficial workout each time.

Several benefits of Pilates rehabilitation and physiotherapy include improved postural issues; easy on the joints – low impact in nature; improved balance, coordination and circulation; increased mind-body awareness; enhanced functional fitness and ease of everyday movement.

All Pilates exercises are scientifically-based, gentle and restorative, and can be modified to meet the needs of each individual. Pilates was also designed as a mind-body regime that reduces stress and anxiety through consistent practice.

Call PowerMoves Pilates in the Park for your body makeover today!

Singapore’s SHAPE Awards 2012

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The SHAPE awards 2012 winners are out! SHAPE Singapore sent out their team of fitness editors and sports experts incognito to gyms, yoga centres and pilates studios for the best finds! If you are deciding to jump-start your fit and healthy lifestyle today, this list of award-winners will make it easier for you to choose from the best.

PowerMoves Pilates in the Park is proud to be the winner of SHAPE awards 2012 category of Best Service Standards. Thank you for your votes and for enjoying your every Pilates workout and service with PowerMoves. Available at three locations of Bishan Park, Rochester Park and Dempsey Hill. We look forward to serving you our best Pilates experience each and every time.

From all your friends on the PowerMoves Team 🙂

Singapore Tatler BEST of Singapore 2012 award

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PowerMoves wins Singapore Tatler’s BEST of Singapore 2012 ~ The Best Pilates Studios Award ~ the only comprehensive list of the country’s best as selected by the readers and editors of Singapore Tatler.

Thank you for your continued support and recognition of PowerMoves; everybody’s favourite Pilates studios in Singapore!

PowerMoves Pilates in the Park 🙂 🙂 🙂

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PowerMoves wins the Best Pilates Studio category in the EXPAT LIVING Reader Awards 2011.

For the last three months of 2011, Expat Living invited its readers to go online to vote for their favourite things in Singapore. Such categories as Best Dry Cleaner and Best Fitness Club to Favourite Airline and Favourite Medical Facility were included. Because readers use our services and know us well, they are in the best position to judge and vote.

Thank you for your votes! We are the favourite choice in the category of Best Pilates Studio in Singapore. It is an honour to win. We will continue to serve you and give you our best in the world of Pilates and in the name of fitness, friendship and fun.

Happy New Year to you and may all you wish for, dream of, work towards come true for you this fabulous 2012!

From all your friends at PowerMoves Pilates in the Park
xoxoxo

‘Tis the holiday season!

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PowerMoves’ tips on Living Well:

• Engage in something physical; my favourites are Pilates and Dance.
• Indulge in fruits and vegetables; the more colourful, the better.
• Turn in before midnight; the sleep time before midnight is deeper and more rejuvenating.
• Reach out and hug someone you love; get in touch with your inner self and bring joy to the other.
• Laugh often; this keeps you feeling youthful and happy.

PowerMoves’ tips on Fine Entertaining:

• Music; it is mood-making. Playing different types of music shifts the mood of your guests as the party progresses.
• Candles and flowers; they are ambient to cheer-making. Be careful that the scents do not clash with the aroma of the food.
• Fragrance; they do wonders for merry-making. Opt for fresh and flirty, intoxicating and intellectual, brash and breezy or whatever is your theme for the event.
• Conversation; it lends itself to charm-making. Find your way to touch base with every one of your guests and leave them with a wit and warmth that linger long after the party is over.
• Your smile; the winning accessory to every party-making.

Happy Christmas and a wonderful new year to one and all : )
From your friends at PowerMoves Pilates in the Park;
Studio locations at Bishan Park, Dempsey Hill and Rochester Park

PowerMoves’ Pilates in the Park opens at Rochester Park

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The home-grown fitness brand, PowerMoves, recently opened its third Pilates studio in the leafy enclave of Rochester Park. The move meets the growing demand for low-impact therapeutic exercise, while filling the void for a clinical Pilates practice in the new total healthcare centre situated in the exclusive neighbourhood of Rochester Park.

This charming new studio remains true to the unique Pilates in the Park concept pioneered and owned by PowerMoves. From the opening of its first studio in Bishan Park, followed by a second at Dempsey Hill, this oneness with nature has always distinguished PowerMoves from its competitors. All three studios are tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city, enveloped in lush rainforest, and housed in environmentally friendly buildings that feature an abundant use of natural materials.

In particular, the Rochester Park studio is set in a sprawling black and white bungalow that blends in seamlessly with its neighbours in this heritage-rich little pocket of old Singapore. Like its predecessors, it boasts floor-to-ceiling glass windows that invite the sunlight in while keeping the heat out.

At the new Rochester Park studio, the clinical focus is supported by two resident physiotherapists cum Pilates instructors. For clients with specific muscular or skeletal problems, they are able to customise therapeutic Pilates workouts that are informed by their medical training.

When asked to explain the growing popularity of Pilates, Founder and CEO of PowerMoves, Ms Claudel Kuek, said: “Pilates is growing more popular as our lifestyles become more sedentary, resulting in back problems and poor posture. This is compounded by the fact that our population has begun to age sharply.”

Physiotherapists, chiropractors, orthopaedists and all fitness professionals recommend strength-and-flexibility Pilates exercises on entering middle age, since it improves flexibility and staves off the stiffness commonly associated with an ageing body. Pilates specifically works on the core muscles to protect the spine, build bone density and add muscle mass – which in turn speeds up the metabolic rate. In short, it fulfils every woman’s fitness wish list as she enters her 40s and moves into her golden years. Of course that’s not to say that Pilates doesn’t benefit the male physique – it does. Indeed, PowerMoves boasts a number of high-profile celebrity couples among its clientele.

With the opening of the third PowerMoves studio at Rochester Park, fitness-conscious individuals residing in almost every part of Singapore are able to find a PowerMoves Pilates in the Park close to home. An hourly session is not just an investment in graceful ageing, it’s a therapeutic workout for the mind, body and soul, and a retreat to nature.

And here’s a final little sweetener. All three PowerMoves’ Pilates in the Park studios are surrounded by excellent watering holes and superb eateries. So when you’ve worked out and worked up an appetite, you can indulge in moderation knowing you’ve earned the right to do so guilt-free.

Enjoy PowerMoves’ Pilates in the Park, in every sense!

Written by Suzanne Lauridsen
for PowerMoves Pilates in the Park 🙂

Singapore Pilates Mat Exercises for Runners

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Runners usually exhibit great strength in their legs but may have issues with tightness in the hips, with lower back or knee pains, and/or problems with balance. Pilates exercises help runners improve on their core strength allowing them better posture while maintaining the balance in the muscles of the back and hips. Pilates also teaches runners proper breath control which help to increases their stamina and endurance.

The chosen exercises herein are beneficial to the runner because they challenge the core and emphasize the neutral positioning of the pelvis and hips. They also help correct postural imbalances, create flexibility and stretch the lower body.

For all exercises, remember to draw your shoulders down towards your hips and far from your ears, and keep your abdominal muscles engaged while long in the waist.

  • Side Lying Kick (stabilize hips, strengthen hip flexors, abdominals and back extensors)

Lie on one side leaning on the elbow of the lower arm with hands behind your head. Stabilise the bottom leg on the floor and hold the top leg at hip height. Minimise the rocking of your trunk by engaging your abdominal muscles. As you exhale, swing the top leg as far forward as possible with a flexed foot. On your inhale, swing the top leg as far back as possible while pointing your foot and elongating your leg. Keep your pelvis neutral and quiet throughout as you repeat the back-and-forth swing 12 times.

  • Leg circles (stabilize hips, stretch hamstrings, control hip flexors and lengthen hip abductors)

Lie on your back with arms out in a T-position. Legs are together, straight and slightly pointed. Exhale as you bend one leg in toward your chest and straighten it upward, perpendicular to the floor, foot flexed. Keep other leg and pelvis on the mat quiet and stable. Inhale as you circle the raised leg inward past the centre of your body, then down and around. Make your circle only as big as you can without moving your hips and pelvis. Exhale on the next circle, alternating the breathing on each circle. Repeat 10 times before switching to the other leg.

  • Swimming (thoracic extension, stabilize hips and strengthen back extensors)

Lie face down on mat with legs and arms. Inhale as you slowly lift right arm and left leg off mat as high as you can (extending fully your arms and legs away from each other in opposite directions). Hold for one count and then lower to start as you exhale. Repeat on opposite side and work up to 12 reps on each side.

  • Saw (strengthen back extensors, lengthen hamstrings and develop flexibility in rotation and flexion)

Sit upright with straight legs opened slightly beyond shoulder-width, feet flexed. Arms are in T-position reaching far out to the opposite sides. Inhale as you rotate your torso to face the side of room. Keep pelvis anchored as you move the arms and head with the trunk. On the exhale, reach forward long over the leg, left hand extending past small toe of right leg. Inhale to extend farther deepening the stretch of hanstrings and lower back. Exhale to pull yourself back up to sitting tall, rotate back to centre starting position and repeat to the other side. Work up to 6 reps on each side.

  • The Roll-Up (lengthen lower back muscles, articulate vertebrae and strengthen the core muscles)

Lie back with legs straight and arms extended overhead (but not touching the floor). Pull belly button in toward your spine. Exhale as you bring arms overhead and lift shoulder blades off the mat, curling all the way up until arms are parallel to legs. Exhale again as you slowly uncurl back to start. Do this 8 times.

  • Single Leg Kick (stabilize hips, strengthen back extensors and stretch hamstrings)

Lie prone engaging abdominal muscles, lift the chest and extend the back. Your legs are in a straight line behind you, lifted off the mat. Place your elbows directly under the shoulders, your lower arms parallel to each other. On the exhale, bend the right leg and pulse it twice. As you straighten the right leg, bend the left leg to pulse twice on the next exhale. Repeat the pulses while alternating legs working up to 10 sets of pulses each leg.

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