PowerMoves Pilates Listens…

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Thank you for sending in your fitness queries to us. We will address your issues here on our pilates blog or directly to you should you request for privacy. Always happy to be at your service! 🙂

Q: What kind of equipment should I invest in if I want to set up a home gym in my four-room flat? What are the things I should look out for when purchasing them and how should I maintain them? I would like to own minimal pieces of equipment but be able to work out various parts of the body.

– Khal

A: Do consider light to medium hand-held weights or strap-on weights. These help to challenge your body during your regular workout routine. Also beneficial are the latest apparati like the magic circle (flex ring), the foam roller, the flex band and the fit ball. All very affordable, easy to store away, and gives you that extra oomph for whichever parts of your body you are working on that needs taking it up a few notches.

Q: Does working out during different parts of the day make any difference? I read that it is better to exercise in the morning than at night but being a working mum, I find it more convenient to workout at the end of the day after I tuck the kids in to bed than to wake up at 5.30am for a jog.

– Mary F.

A: Training at different times of the day does not make much of a difference physically. However, training in the mornings is preferred to late in the day because we find that people who train in the morning skip fewer workouts and have less difficulty making healthy food choices during the day. Deciding to train in the morning also means that you choose the healthy option of sleeping early, waking up on time and eating a decent breakfast. This in turn builds good habits, which leads to long-term success. That being said, anytime of the day is a good time to workout, as long as it fits nicely into your busy schedule and you can make it a fixture in your daily routine.

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PowerMoves Takes the Trophy for Most Beautiful Pilates Studio in the SHAPE Awards 2010

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No stranger to awards and accolades, internationally acclaimed home-grown brand PowerMoves has outshone its rivals in snagging The Most Beautiful Pilates Studio Award in the SHAPE Awards 2010. For those who have followed the rise of this powerhouse little brand from its roots in Bishan Park 2 to the opening of its spacious second outlet at Dempsey Park, this will come as no surprise.

Just last year, PowerMoves’ original Bishan Park 2 studio was nominated ‘Most Beautiful Studio in the World’ by Balanced Body®, the foremost Pilates authority in the US. This latest nod of approval from SHAPE, the unofficial fitness ‘bible’ of Singapore, is the icing on the cake. While international acclaim is of course welcomed, some would argue that approval means more when it comes from a source close to home.

Any visitor who sets foot in PowerMoves’ Dempsey studio will immediately understand the judges’ decision. Building on PowerMoves’ unique Pilates in the Park positioning, the architect-designed premises blend in beautifully with the natural surroundings of Dempsey, the undisputed ‘lifestyle hub’ of Singapore. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows are fronted by lush screens of tropical vegetation, providing privacy while admitting streams of natural sunlight that gently play on the myriad of natural textures inside. These include bamboo on portable partitions; pebble wash on indoor feature walls and the building’s entrance façade; and naturally water-resistant Chengai wood for the flooring.


Founder and Managing Director of PowerMoves, Ms Claudel Kuek, expressed her delight on being honoured in this year’s SHAPE Awards: “We are indeed very happy with the win. It’s a great honour for us to be recognised across the globe, both in the USA and now on home soil in Singapore, for our outstanding Pilates facility. I especially love that our new Dempsey studio has been deemed the most beautiful place in which to work out in Singapore. We’re on top of the world!”

When asked to elaborate on her views on the importance of beautiful surroundings, Claudel had this to say: “Beauty works something like osmosis. Surround yourself with beautiful things and it will inspire you to think beautiful thoughts. Beautiful thoughts literally write themselves all over your face – as smiles. A ready smile and a positive outlook will help you in all areas of your life – not just in embracing a wellness regime but in coping with stressful situations. In short, beauty is catching!”

Come see for yourself what impressed the judges at PowerMoves’ Dempsey studio: officially the Most Beautiful Pilates Studio in Singapore. Chances are, you’ll leave with a smile on your face! 🙂

PowerMoves Pilates in the Park is located @Dempsey 6ix and 7even, 6 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249683; and @Aramsa ~ the Garden Spa, Bishan Park 2, Singapore 569931.

By Suzanne Lauridsen
PowerMoves Pilates Studio Singapore

Pilates in the Park welcomes 2010

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A wonderful, fit and healthy year ahead to one and all! 2010 promises to be a great year; one where all your resolutions are kept and all your personal goals are achieved. We wish you the most abundant of blessings and the most incredible of successes!

From everyone at PowerMoves Pilates in the Park :-*




PS Hey Claire & all your guys n gals at the office;
Appended below is the list of 3 Pilates stretching exercises that you have requested for, to be done at your desk to recharge yourselves and regain the energy needed to complete your work days:

Pilates Chair Twist
Sit on the front edge of a swivel chair, hands placed palms down on the desk. Squeeze your knees together tightly and lift your feet 3-4 inches off the floor. Without moving your chest that is facing forward while keeping your elbows close to your sides, begin twisting the chair from side to side. Perform 10-20 rotations like this.

Pilates Air Chair
Place the palms of your hands on the arms of the chair, press down hard to lift your buttocks off the seat of the chair and hold yourself in mid-air for a count of 3. Make sure your tummy is pulled in. With your knees tightly squeezed together, try picking your feet off the floor. Lower completely after another count of 3. Take care not to slip on arms of chair. Perform this lift-and-lower 5 times.

Pilates Knee Stretch
Sit on the front of your chair, press the heels of your hands down on the chair by your sides to help lift yourself from your waistline. Alternate lifting your knees as high as you can for as long as you can, one at a time. Extend your leg straight with the lifted knee while keeping your back straight and your tummy in. Perform this 10 times on each side.

Hugzz 🙂

PowerMoves Pilates at Dempsey Hill

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Pilates @ Dempsey
@ DEMPSEY 6IX AND 7EVEN
6 Dempsey Road
Singapore 249683
6472 2221

Destined for Dempsey:


The First Name in Pilates Opens
a Second PowerMoves Pilates in the Park

Home-grown PowerMoves Pilates in the Park is set to flex some muscle on the local fitness scene with the opening of its second parklands studio in Singapore. The bold move will see the powerhouse brand add ‘largest Pilates studio in Singapore’ to its already impressive string of ‘firsts’, ‘bests’ and ‘mosts’. Just a few months ago its original Bishan Park 2 studio was nominated ‘Most Beautiful Studio in the World’ by Balanced Body®, the foremost Pilates authority in the US.

Building on the success of the Pilates in the Park concept pioneered in Bishan Park 2, the architect-designed premises of PowerMoves’ Dempsey studio blend in with nature rather than intrude on it. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows admit streams of natural sunlight filtered through lush screens of tropical vegetation, and all materials have been thoughtfully selected with aesthetics and environmental friendliness in mind. They include bamboo, for tasteful partitions; pebble wash, liberally used on indoor feature walls and the building’s entrance façade; and naturally water-resistant Chengai wood for the flooring.

Unlike the single open-space studio in Bishan Park 2, PowerMoves’ spacious 3,400 sq ft Dempsey studio houses four generous-sized studios in one. Each studio ideally suited to both private one-on-one lessons as well as small group classes. A key point-of-difference that sets PowerMoves apart from its competition is the size of its classes. Group sessions are limited to a maximum of six clients for work on the Reformer (a bench-like piece of equipment exclusive to Pilates), and eight for work on the mat. Consequently, clients receive personalised attention from trained instructors who are fully conversant with the personal fitness challenges and goals of each.

The founder and famous face of PowerMoves, former ballerina Claudel Kuek, has lined up a veritable ‘United Nations’ of qualified Pilates instructors for her new studio. The new staff includes American, English, Thai, Filipina and Singaporean instructors. It’s a cosmopolitan mix that feels right at home in Dempsey Park, arguably Singapore’s foremost lifestyle and leisure destination. In the immediate vicinity are French, German, Indian and fusion cuisine restaurants, as well as a wine bar – which makes it very handy indeed for an after-workout supper or cocktail.

In case you’re marvelling at the apparent incongruity of pairing a workout with a wine, Claudel Kuek is all for a little indulgence. In her own words, “People should reward and indulge themselves, and Pilates grants them permission to do so. Otherwise there would be no reason to live.”

This elegant and poised mother of two is a walking advertisement for her company. Lithe and toned and emanating a positivity that cannot be faked, Claudel hails Pilates as “the miracle method”, with a passionate conviction usually reserved for religion. Then again, Pilates is almost a religion – part of a holistic philosophy that embraces a synergy of mind, body and spirit.

Said Claudel, “The benefits of Pilates filter through all aspects of life. The discipline and focus required for Pilates are transferable skills that can be applied to everything, from a workout to work and relationships.”

That’s not to undermine the purely physical benefits of this exercise form that is enjoying increasing popularity around the world. A low-impact workout that builds core strength, Pilates eases rather than exacerbates joint and back pain, improves posture, trims the figure and tones the muscles without adding excess bulk.

In Claudel’s words, “Pilates is a fountain of youth that should be shared with all your best friends.”

Bring your best friends to PowerMoves’ Dempsey studio and take a dip in the fountain of youth that is Pilates.

PowerMoves Pilates in the Park is located @Dempsey 6ix and 7even, 6 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249683; and @Aramsa ~ the Garden Spa, Bishan Park 2, Singapore 569931.

By Suzanne Lauridsen

Pilates Exercises for Osteoporosis; Pilates Singapore

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We have received many enquiries on exercise tips to increase bone mass for those suffering from osteo-related conditions. These exercises listed below will help improve one’s strength, flexibility and balance while building bone in one’s hip and spine. Try them out at home. Remember to refrain from doing any exercise with forward-bending and twisting of the spine as this may cause fracture.

In order to increase bone density, one should perform these exercises 4 times a week and ideally also do some brisk walking for 30 mins on alternate days.

Throughout these exercises, keep your chin tucked, neck long. Your spine is in an elongated position as you lengthen the space between each vertebrae. Your shoulders are away from your ears, your shoulder blades are back and down.

Pilates Pelvic Curl
Lie on the mat with your knees bent and feet placed hip-width apart. Place your arms straight by your sides with the fingers reaching towards the feet. On the exhale, draw in the abdominal muscles as you curl your pelvis, lifting the lower back vertebra by vertebra off the floor. Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed, your body still and your legs parallel, exhale as you articulate the spine in reverse order from the top of the spine, vertebra by vertebra, to bring the body back down to the mat in starting position. Do this 5 times.

Pilates Single Leg Circles
Lie flat on the mat with your neck long and your right leg up to the ceiling. The left knee is bent and the left foot is firmly planted on the mat. Keep your arms pressed down by your sides throughout the exercise. Inhale as you cross the right leg up and over your body aiming for the left shoulder. Do not allow the right hip to lift off the mat and do not allow the left knee to wave back and forth. Sweep the leg down through the centre line of your body and out in line with your right shoulder. Exhale as you carry the leg back to the starting position completing one circle. Circle 5 times in each direction, clockwise and anti-clockwise.

Pilates Front Side Kicks
Lie on your side and align your body so that it is parallel to the edge of the mat. Prop your head up on one hand and place the palm of the other hand firmly on the mat in front of you. Inhale and swing the upper leg forward. Keep the chest high and shoulders and hips stacked above each other. Keep the top leg directly in line with the hip, parallel to the floor. Exhale as you swing the leg back, stretching the front of the hip, always keeping your abdominals pulled in and up. Do this 10 times and finish by resting the top leg on the bottom leg. Switch sides.

Enjoy your portable Pilates workout anywhere, anytime;

Good Hindsight with Pilates in the Park

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How do I lose weight on my butt? That is one of the most common questions I get from female readers. Some say they never lose weight in that area despite all the exercise they do. Others have never done any exercise for that region and want to know what to do.

Well, Pilates Director Claudel Kuek is walking proof that exercise does build great gluteal muscles – the official term for “butt” – and she shares some of her best exercises here.

Claudek Kuek, 45, who runs PowerMoves Pilates And Dance Studio in lush Bishan Park, is all for the “reshaping of our backsides”. “The Pilates exercises demonstrated here target the hips and buttocks…and they may be the only way you can get rid of cellulite and dimples for good,” she says.

“You will still need to keep the abdominal muscles sucked in as you work on your derriere. Remember to keep your hips perpendicular to the floor when doing the floor exercises.”


PILATES SIDE LEG KICKS

Lie on your right side, arms behind your head and head propped up by your right elbow. Stabilise your right leg on the floor and hold the left leg at hip-height.

Minimise the rocking of your trunk by engaging your abdominal muscles. As you exhale, swing the left leg as far forward as possible with a flexed foot. As you inhale, swing the left leg as far back as possible while pointing your foot and elongating your leg.

Keep your pelvis straight as you repeat the back-and-forth swing 15 times. Repeat on the other side.


PILATES SIDE LEG DROPS

Lie on your right side, body in a straight line and head propped up with the right hand. Place your left hand in front of you. Keeping your pelvis perpendicular to the mat, lift your left leg to hip-height and flex your foot as you point your toes down towards the front.

Imagine your big toe touching a hot stove on the floor so you do not want to stay in that position for long. As soon as the toe taps the floor, lift it off with the heel of the foot pointing towards the ceiling. Stay stable and square in the hips as you tap and lift your toes 25 times while you breathe normally. Repeat on the other side.


PILATES SINGLE-LEG SKATING

Inhale as you stand on the foot platform of the Reformer (a pilates machine found in most pilates studios) with your right leg and place your left foot on the front edge of the carriage.

Squat deeply on the right leg, keeping your entire weight on it while placing your hands on your hips. As you exhale, straighten the left leg completely by pushing the carriage away. Keep your right leg stable, your trunk upright and your pelvis level.

Inhale as you return to the start position. Do 15 repetitions on each foot.


Fitness Article by Pradeep Paul

PowerMoves Pilates Studio in the Park


Singapore’s Pilates Stretch Exercises for your Legs and Feet

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If you are anything like me, you love wearing the season’s most coveted high heels. Beautiful as they are to the touch and to the sight, these heels throw one’s postural alignment off-center causing an imbalance which leads to stiff and strained muscles. Rest assured, we have developed the following Pilates stretch exercises to ease the aches and pains that come with the constant wearing of your favourite high heels.

Throughout these movements, do ensure that your spine is lifted and your shoulders are rolling back and down towards your hips. Lift up and out of your back as you keep your abdominal muscles contracted (engaged).

1. Foot Muscle Stretcher

Sit forward and on the edge of your chair with your legs hip-distance apart and at 90-degree angles. Place a dish towel on the floor in front of your toes. Keep your heels touching the floor throughout as you stretch your toes over the towel and begin by curling your toes to roll the towel and gather it up. When you have the entire towel in a roll (scroll), reverse the exercise by unrolling the towel until it is flat in front of you again. Remember to breathe!

2. Foot-ankle Muscle Lengthener

Sit on the floor as you stretch your legs straight out in front of you. Point both of your feet as strongly as possible, then flex them back as far as you can. Imagine pressing your toes to the touch-screen button and then using your heels to do the same. Do this a few timeswhile breathing calmly and deeply.

3. Calf Strengthener

Standing tall on your feet, heels together, toes apart. Contract your abdominal muscles as you inhale and slowly rise up to your toes. Ensure that your heels are glued together. Press your inner thighs together to engage your buttocks and backs of legs even more. Hold for a count of 3 as you remain in tip-toe position. You may lightly touch the back of chair or wall for support. Exhale as you slowly lower yourself back down to the floor. Complete 5 sets.

Yours in vanity fitness,

Claudel Kuek

DeStress and ReShape YourSelf ~ the Pilates Way! At Singapore’s Pilates Best!

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1. When did you start practising Pilates, Jacquelyn, and how long have you been doing it?

I have been doing Pilates for 6 months now at PowerMoves Pilates in the Park. My girlfriend who also practises Pilates at PowerMoves kept singing praises of Pilates and its exercises and so I thought I too would give it a go. Pilates has made a new person out of me! 🙂

2. How many Pilates classes a week do you attend?

I attend Pilates classes at least once a week but I try to go twice whenever work allows me to. It is my weekly respite from the daily stresses of work and kids! Pilates gives me focus and balance.

3. What are the visible effects of Pilates on your weight and appearance?

After the 3rd month, I noticed a 2.5kg drop in my weight. But I only checked because I started feeling like my clothes were fitting better (not so tight) and it seemed easier to move my body throughout the day. I was no longer as bloated or feeling as out-of-shape and lazy as before. I found myself wanting to be more active!

4. How do you feel after having done Pilates for awhile?

I feel so much more in control of my life now. I like this feeling; it’s quite empowering and very encouraging. I feel ready to take on more tasks in my life, in a new, nicely-toned body! The sky is the limit now; well, almost! Hahaha.

5. Do you only rely on Pilates to keep a good weight and body?

I rely on Pilates to keep me motivated and stay on the right track. I can’t imagine life before my weekly Pilates fitness regime. Pilates exercises not only know how one’s body works optimally but it gives you all options to becoming your best self. This is my best-kept secret yet!

6. How much have you cut down on other forms of exercise and your eating habits?

Oh yes, I eat more carefully and healthily nowadays. I am proud of my new body and don’t want to throw junk into my body anymore. In fact, I am working on losing another 3kg and tightening up my arms, my abs and my butt some more. I am on a mission! Now that I have found Pilates at PowerMoves! 🙂


Tracking the progress of Jacquelyn and her commitment to making a positive change in her life and in her body at PowerMoves Pilates in the Park Singapore.


Best Pilates Studio Singapore Video

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PowerMoves Pilates in the Park

Naturally One of the World’s Most Beautiful Pilates Studios


Singapore
has once again made its mark on the world map. Adding to the string of ‘bests’ and ‘firsts’ earned by our high-achieving little nation, home-grown Pilates studio PowerMoves has been nominated Most Beautiful Studio in the World by Balanced Body®: the foremost Pilates equipment and knowledge provider in the US.

Nestled amongst lush tropical greenery in beautiful Bishan Park, PowerMoves is one of the best-kept secrets of the fitness fraternity. With its wooden parquetry floors and floor-to-ceiling windows admitting gently filtered sunlight on three sides, clients are transported mentally and physically to a resort-like ambience that evokes the best of Bali, Vietnam, Thailand… Privacy is assured by the screen of tall vegetation that surrounds the studio, complete with butterflies that appear as if on cue as a presentiment of the grace and lightness you’re sure to enjoy after just a few sessions of Pilates. Set back from the main road of Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, the hush would almost be unnerving if not for the gentle piped instrumental music that relaxes the mind and body.

Just one visit and it’s plain to see why Balanced Body® was won over by the unique, beautiful and inspiring setting in this tropical resort studio.

Founded and managed by former professional ballerina, Claudel Kuek, PowerMoves has a loyal following of professional men, women and home-makers who are attracted by its personalised services and truly beautiful setting, not to forget its highly effective results. Unlike multi-discipline gymnasiums and fitness centres, PowerMoves offers Pilates and nothing but Pilates.

For those who are familiar with the concept of Pilates, it’s not hard to understand why a ballerina such as Claudel was attracted to the gentle strength-building moves of Pilates. Explained Claudel:

“Pilates was a natural transition for me from ballet. Both emphasise a strong core and require a synchronisation of mind and body. Likewise, the benefits that arise from mastering either ballet or Pilates can enhance many other areas of one’s life, especially the ability to focus.”

Speaking of focus, PowerMoves sets itself apart from other Pilates studios by offering a very personal service that’s focused on the individual. Hence, our Pilates classes centred on the reformer, a sophisticated bench with a system of strings, straps and pulleys that enables more than 100 exercises, are limited to a maximum of four clients per class. Classes centred on mat work are limited to a maximum of six clients per class, and one-on-one private classes are available by arrangement.

All of PowerMoves’ instructors are internationally qualified and registered with many years of experience in teaching Pilates. With a gentle but firm hand, they deftly guide individuals of varying degrees of fitness along the Pilates path to total mind-body wellness. Clients of all ages are welcome, including expecting mothers who wish to tone up in preparation for the rigorous task of childbirth.

Though praise for PowerMoves abounds – the testimonials of satisfied customers can be found on the website at www.powermoves.com.sg, possibly the most compelling endorsement comes from the words of the founding father of Pilates himself, Joseph Pilates:

“In 10 sessions, you’ll feel the difference; in 20, you’ll see the difference; in 30, you’ll have a whole new body.”

For those literally seeking a whole new body, in terms of a complete fitness and aesthetics makeover, PowerMoves is ideally situated next door to Aramsa™ Spa, a botanical sanctuary for the senses fronted by former MediaCorp artiste Jazreel Low. It is part of a larger group, Aramsa™ Spas, which includes two food and beverage outlets, Canopy and The Green Room Café, in the immediate vicinity. Generous discounts for the spa and dining outlets are extended to all clients of PowerMoves.

If you’re thinking of practising Pilates, it’s only natural that you consider one of the most beautiful studios in the world, right here in Singapore at PowerMoves.

By Suzanne Lauridsen
Written for Mrs Claudel Kuek
PowerMoves Pilates Studio Singapore

Pilates Abs to Die For!

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These Pilates ab exercises are great for strengthening and tightening of the abdominal muscles. After 4 weeks of working on your abs with these moves, you will be happy to find that your clothes fit better around the waist, your stomach is more taut, you become more conscious of the way you hold yourself and you look and feel positively different from before you started. Your waistline will be slimmed, you will stand taller, and you will eliminate the flabby tummy syndrome.

As an added bonus, the strengthening of the core with these Pilates ab exercises and using that strength to stabilise and lengthen the torso and its surrounding muscles, your posture is improved. Good posture is important in maintaining the equilibrium of the body resulting in improved mobility and stability, increased breathing capacity, proper joint and muscle alignment, overall balance and symmetry. Contracting your abdominal muscles, lifting them in and up your spine, creates a foundation built to withstand the weight of your body and the tasks of everyday living.

Let’s begin our program towards getting Pilates Abs to die for! Listed below are the 7 Pilates exercises to achieve the abs of your dreams:

The Hundred

Lie back with arms by your sides, legs extended. 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).

Lower Abdominal Lift

Lie back with arms by your sides and legs extended toward the ceiling, toes pointed. Contract belly muscles and exhale to slowly lift hips straight off the mat a few inches. Slowly lower to start on your inhale. Do this with control and without rocking the hips. Lift and lower for 10 reps.

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.

Roll Up

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 10 times.

Swimming

Lie face down on mat with legs and arms extended. 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.

Plank

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

Standing Side Crunch

Stand with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, knees soft, elbows bent, hands in fists by your shoulders. Tighten abs and exhale as you lower your torso to the left, then to the right in one continuous movement, keeping your lower body very still throughout. Inhale as you come back to upright starting position. Work up to 30 reps on each side.

Always in fitness and wellness with you,
CLAUDEL KUEK
PowerMoves Pilates n Dance Singapore