The Power of Pilates @ PowerMoves

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After giving birth to her third child, Susie Lawson was determined to lose the extra weight she’d gained during pregnancy. By chance she was introduced to Pilates by a neighbor and, less than a year later, she has lost nine kilograms and seen drastic improvements in her body shape. I caught up with Susie at PowerMoves‘ Pilates studio to find out more.


“It’s a daunting task to lose weight after a baby,” says Susie, “but I was determined to do it while we’re here in Singapore where I have home help to look after the kids while I am exercising. I could not have done this if we were back in Australia!”

“I realised I’d need to be pushed and motivated to lose the weight,” she says, “and the personal attention you get at PowerMoves was just what I needed. They have small classes of two or three, so the instructor notices as soon as you’re doing something wrong and she corrects your posture so that you get the full benefit of the exercise time. She also keeps challenging you to do more, and you really feel it the next day — so you know you’re getting a great workout.”

Susie is also motivated by the beautiful park-like setting of PowerMoves. “It’s a great escape from the city environment and I really look forward to ‘my time’ here. It’s conveniently close to my home plus there’s a fabulous spa just next door!”

A picture of good health, Susie’s enthusiasm for Pilates is contagious and the secret of her success has clearly been the visible results of her progress. “I can now fit into clothes that I haven’t worn in years–I’ve lost seven centimeters around the abdominal area in just eight months”, she explains. “Pilates has changed my perception of exercise–I’m addicted now!”

After such a positive endorsement, I had to give it a go! The Pilates instructor under Mrs. Claudel Kuek put me through my paces on the Pilates Reformer machine, carefully explaining and demonstrating each movement with a combination of action, contraction of the core muscles and correct breathing. There’s a lot to think of at once and you definitely need personal attention to help you get it right. I like the fact that their trainer focuses on quality rather than quantity; each move is carefully controlled to maximise the strengthening and toning effects on the core muscles. “Pilates is all about creating longer, leaner muscles so you get a strong, toned body without the bulk”, she explains.

By Karen Lucas

Written for Mrs Claudel Kuek
PowerMoves Pilates studios in the Park, Singapore

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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

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 🙂

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

Jumpstart your Pilates Exercises thru the Pilates Reformer

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The Pilates Reformer is a sleek Pilates equipment that resembles a bed; attached to it are springs of varying resistance with adjustable bars and straps to give one’s regular Pilates exercise workout the extra oomph.

The stretching and contracting of the springs attached give you added resistance, as well as teach you to control your muscles during the movement instead of powering along intent only on completing the number of repetitions indicated. Pilates Exercises on the Reformer require one to focus on the details of each movement, for it is in the details that make the difference in every move. Coupled with precision and control, your Pilates Reformer workout will take you from simply superficial to intensely beneficial.

With the use of the Pilates Reformer, you will enjoy all the stretching benefits of yoga plus the great muscle tone of a nautilus workout. Added to that, after just one session, you will find yourself feeling refreshed and alert with renewed self-confidence!

Two other techniques used to take your regular Pilates routine up a notch would be to slow down the exercises, hold the body a little longer and focus on connecting and firing up every muscle being engaged, and also, to move your body in opposition, in two different directions to engage more muscle groups as well as increase the resistance of each Pilates exercise.

Do give me a buzz if you would like to find out more about the Pilates Reformer workout and I would be happy to provide more details and an in-depth guide to using the Pilates Reformer.

Pilates to bring out the best in all of us,