10 Tips to Looking and Feeling your Best

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1. Maintain Good Posture

Keep your neck long, your shoulders squarely down and back, your waist long, and your buttock muscles engaged. Having good posture throughout the day is important in maintaining your body’s equilibrium. Good posture gives you proper joint and muscle alignment and also improves your mobility and stability. It increases your breathing capacity and your body’s overall balance and symmetry.

2. Exercise

Commit yourself to small amounts of exercise at least thrice a week. Throw in a cardio workout that you consider fun. Turn up the music indoors and dance while doing your chores. Try brisk-walking in your favourite park or swimming a few laps before the mid-afternoon crash. Step up to moving more no matter what your choice.

3. Build up your abdominal muscles

Contract your abdominal muscles, lifting them in and up your spine. This creates a strong foundation built to withstand the weight of your body and the tasks of everyday living.

4. Strengthen your core

This is vital to achieve ideal alignment of your back and spine that results in a stronger, pain-free back, a more perfect posture and a more elongated you. It makes you appear younger, taller and lighter!

5. Do Pilates

Pilates exercises are great for strengthening and tightening your abdominal muscles. After 3 weeks of working on your abs with the following moves (tips 6, 7, 8), you will be pleased to find that your clothes fit you better around the waist, your stomach is more taut, you become more conscious of the way you hold yourself, and you look and feel wonderful.

6. The Hundred

Lie back with arms by your sides, legs extended in a table-top position. Pull belly button in toward the spine as you lift your shoulder blades off the mat bringing your chin to chest. While in this position, pulse your arms up and down for 100 counts (inhaling for 5 counts, exhaling for 5 counts).

7. Criss Cross

Lie back with your knees bent, fingers laced behind your head. Lift your shoulder blades off the mat and exhale to twist your right shoulder toward your left knee as you extend right leg out. Pause at the inhale and then exhale to twist to the other side. Work up to 15 reps on each side.

8. Plank

Lie face down with your legs extended, forearms resting on the mat shoulder-width apart, hands in fists. Tighten your abs, tuck toes under and lift your hips off the mat so that your body forms a straight line from your head to your heels. Hold for 30 seconds while breathing normally and then lower to start. Rest before repeating 3 more times.

9. Maintain proper form

When doing your Pilates exercises, focus on doing the moves slowly and with a lot of control. Keep your shoulders away from your ears, your neck and chest relaxed. It is always more effective to do a few good moves than many haphazard ones.

10. You Are What You Eat

You are what you eat – cut back on sweets, fast food and anything deep-fried! Splurge on vegetables and fruits instead. Whole grains and lean protein are great too. Remember that proportion is key; take everything in moderation.

Hollywood celebrities are falling head over heels for Pilates — with a strong following from the likes of Madonna, Julia Roberts, Sharon Stone, Sandra Bullock, Gwenyth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, Uma Thurman, Kate Hudson, Joan Collins, Jamie Lee Curtis, Elizabeth Hurley, Hugh Grant, Reese Witherspoon, Pippa Middleton — because Pilates works as your only anti-aging exercise form!

Sharing our best with you,
PowerMoves Pilates Singapore 🙂

Gym vs Pilates in Singapore

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Question:
I am already working out in a gym. Should I also be incorporating Pilates into my regular workout? Does it help me lose weight and how does it complement my regular gym regime?

Answer:
Pilates is important to do because it strengthens your ‘core’ muscles, the stabilizing muscles. The very muscles that hold you up.. giving you better posture to do your daily routine in, creating a strong centre in you so that you perform all tasks with ease and balance, ensuring that you live a pain-free existence because you are moving your body correctly. Pilates creates long, lean muscles in you while regular weight-training exercises builds short, bulky muscles. Pilates teaches you to connect your brain with your body, making all exercises you do more efficient and more effective.

Gym work can cause injuries while you are busy performing the reps and the routines without paying attention to good form, without being armed with the principles of correct movement and correct breathing. Investing in a series of Pilates fundamental classes will ensure that you learn the principles underlying how the body should be moving for optimal function and proper execution.. ruling out all eventuality of pain, injury or mishap.

Pilates can be challenging so that your heart is pumping in the target zone and you burn more calories in less time. This is however usually in the Intermediate classes of Pilates, for by then you would have developed strong awareness in moving rapidly through the exercises without losing proper form and you would have built a strong core that will take you from one exercise to the next with precision and control. No haphazard movements are allowed in Pilates.

The Pilates workout engages you both mentally and physically. Using Pilates principles learnt into your regular workout routine also enhances your regular gym regime because Pilates combines form with function, adds depth and proficiency, makes the difference between good and great! 🙂

Excitedly making the world a better place through Pilates,
PowerMoves Pilates in the Park

Singapore’s biggest fitness trends in 2011:

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Keeping Fit while Having Fun in our integrated waterways and parklands: Through Singapore’s ABC (active, beautiful and clean) waters programme, more people are finding new vibrancy and quality of life in our revamped parks. With meandering rivers and tranquil lushness spanning the length of our urbanised city-state from Pandan to Punggol and Bedok to Bishan, families are embracing the outdoors in the park for fun and fitness as a way of life.

Low Impact but High Yield Exercises through Pilates: People today are growing more affluent but the population is ageing and the stresses of balancing work and family can be intense. Both physical health and mental wellness have become a priority. Besides lengthening and strengthening your muscles, Pilates is low-impact on the body and benefits your emotional health. The smooth, steady movements calm your mind and soothe your nervous system. Pilates improves your circulation and builds endurance in a therapeutical way. Each workout will leave you feeling calm, centred and balanced, and you walk out of each class looking leaner, taller and more toned; and feeling recharged and youthful.

Multiple Benefits in One Regime: Men and women today have less time but want all the benefits available from a cardiovascular workout (to build endurance and burn fat), interval training (to intensify workouts and calorie-burn), and weight training (to maintain bone density and increase muscle mass ~ the more muscle you build, the more efficient your metabolism will be). Pilates offers them their choice of all these benefits in one fitness regime.

Here in Singapore, we would like to see you:

Make healthy food choices ~ fruits and vegetables have antioxidants that protect against major illnesses, calcium is good for our bones, protein like fish aids cell renewal and keeps your heart healthy, fibre-rich foods leave you feeling more satisfied for longer;

Stay active ~ the body was created to be a moving one ~ do something you enjoy, do it with a friend or a trainer, do it often and do it right!

Here at PowerMoves Pilates in the Park, our new programmes for you:

Unlimited Matwork ~ four weeks is all it takes to strengthen and tighten the muscles holding your body together ~ look and feel positively different with your daily dose of Pilates in just one month ~ now $498, usually $698;

Jumpstart Fitness ~ achieving your 2011 resolution of a fit & fab body thru Pilates ~ every workout forces the use of core muscles and combines the benefits of strength training, calorie burn and the flexibility benefits of Yoga ~ 10 sessions for $600 now, usually $760!

Power Moves!
Your partner in fitness through Pilates 🙂

3 Weeks to Trim & Slim ~ Pilates Singapore

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Yes, it’s true that you can too! 3 weeks to trim and slim! We show you how:

Muscle cells are many times more metabolically demanding than fat cells. This means that the larger the percentage of muscle you have in your body, the faster your metabolic rate becomes. Even while you are at rest, your body will burn about 8 times more calories than normal.

Pilates weight-bearing exercises builds muscle mass and density helping you to burn more fat and calories; thus achieving your weight-loss and shape-up goals in half the time.

The workout: Do these moves as a group or incorporate them selectively into your current fitness routine, 3 to 4 times a week. Combine your workout programme with 15 to 30 minutes of your favourite cardio exercise at least 3 times a week. Eat healthy and reduce your regular portions by some and you will expect to see a tighter, slimmer you in 3 weeks!

Long Arm Crunch
(abdominals)

Lie face-up with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Interlace your fingers, extend arms above your head and pull your abs in. Inhale to prepare. As you exhale, lift your arms, head and shoulder blades off the ground at the same time in a slow and controlled manner. Inhale to lower in 2 slow counts. Repeat 8 times.

Side Kick Kneeling
(quadriceps, glutes and abdominals)

Start by kneeling on both knees with your hands behind your head. Reach your left hand down to the mat and raise your right leg parallel to the mat. Your left hand is under your shoulder, your left hip over your left knee, your right elbow reaching to the ceiling. Inhale to prepare. As you exhale, kick your right leg toward the front of the room and then toward the back of the room. Bring your leg back to centre and repeat 15 times before switching sides.

Bridge (with ball)
(hamstrings, buttocks and abdominals)

Lie face-up on the floor, knees bent, feet resting near the top of the ball, arms relaxed at your sides. Inhale to press your feet into the ball. Exhale as you engage your abdominals curling your tailbone and the rest of your spine off the floor until your shoulders, hips and knees form a straight line. Hold the ball for 5 breaths, lower and repeat 8 times.

Side Raise (with ball)
(