EARN YOUR SIX-PACK

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Don’t let love handles peek out from under your cropped top..

These Pilates core exercises shown here will sculpt your midriff, and give you toned and defined abs that you can show off in the latest fashion runway looks.

PowerMoves Pilates in the Park

www.powermoves.com.sg

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!

‘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 🙂

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

PowerMoves Wins Most Outstanding Service Quality

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The home-grown fitness brand, PowerMoves was recently honoured as the recipient of the SHAPE 2011 Best of the Best Award for Most Outstanding Service Quality.

PowerMoves’ win was ultimately determined by readers’ recommendations and votes. Glowing accolades from readers and clients were peppered with words like ‘professional’, ‘reliable’, ‘committed’, ‘patient’, ‘caring’ and ‘passionate’.

The latter echoes the pledge of CEO and Founder, Claudel Kuek, who says: “At PowerMoves, we are passionate in our service to clients, finding the best fit for every client and class. We do our utmost to ensure the highest standards of care and conduct at every level of our operations.”

SHAPE, the Singapore edition, is itself no stranger to awards. The dedicated health and fitness magazine is the MPAS (Magazine Publishers Association of Singapore) Health/Fitness Magazine Gold Award Winner for 2010. Its annual SHAPE Awards are widely recognized as an authoritative arbiter of standards in the health and fitness industries.

While on the subject of awards, the latest honour conferred upon PowerMoves adds to an impressive trophy cabinet. PowerMoves’ Bishan Park studio was voted Most Beautiful Studio in the World by Balanced Body® in 2009, the foremost Pilates authority in the US. It received the selfsame honour the following year when it was voted Most Beautiful Pilates Studio in the SHAPE 2010 Awards. On entering this tranquil oasis, flooded with sunlight filtered through lush greenery, it’s not hard to understand why.

Though awards are gratifying, and serve to maintain and push standards ever higher, Claudel Kuek attains the greatest satisfaction from helping her clients optimise their personal fitness and hence lead fuller, richer lives. Perhaps her personal philosophy best explains all: “I believe in always being the best you can be, in whatever path you choose to take.”

In PowerMoves’ case, ‘the best you can be’ happens to be the ‘Best of the Best’, according to the SHAPE 2011 Awards. And you can’t get better than that!

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.

Written by Suzanne Lauridsen
For PowerMoves Pilates in the Park 🙂

Prep Your Bod for Festive Flirting

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The party season will soon be upon us and, with it, those inevitable pangs of fear and body-loathing that can afflict even the most outwardly confident of women. The double-edged sword is drawn – the cocktail parties with free-flow canapés and champagne, the groaning buffet tables and the calorie-laden cocktails conspire to sabotage your figure… at the time when you want to look your very best.

However, with some simple preventive and remedial moves, you can have your body party-ready long before the first champers cork is popped. Ms Claudel Kuek, Managing Director of PowerMoves Pilates in the Park network, suggests you should work on all of your body but concentrate on one or two of your best features. That way you can magnetise all eyes on – say, your lithe and lovely legs – and divert attention from your slightly thick waist or your less-than-ample cleavage.

Here are all the moves for priming and prepping a party-ready bod.

For ladies with lovely long legs suited to strutting in a pair of killer heels, try toning them with Side Kick Kneeling. Here’s how… 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 12 times before switching sides.

For damsels with delicious derrieres, why not add a little extra oomph to an already perky butt with Single Leg Drops? To begin, lie on one side in a straight line with the bottom arm supporting your head up. The top arm is bent with hand placed on the mat. Keep your pelvis in a perpendicular line to the mat. Lift your top leg to hip height and flex your foot as you point your toes towards the mat in front. Imagine your big toe is touching a hot stove on the mat so you don’t want to stay there long. As soon as the toe taps the mat, it lifts off the mat again with the heel of foot reaching to the ceiling. Stay stable and square in the hips as you tap and lift your toes for 25 times without stopping. Breathe normally.

For graceful gals with alluring backs, lengthen and strengthen your spine with the Swan. Lie on the mat face down, keep your arms close to your body as you bend your elbows to bring your hands under your shoulders. Extend your shoulders away from the ears. Keep your legs together as you engage your abdominal muscles, lifting your belly button up and away from the mat. As you inhale, lengthen your spine, sending energy through the top of your head as you press your forearms and hands into the mat to support a long upward arc of the upper body. The elbows are close to the body, the head stays in line with the spine, and the hips stay on the mat. On the exhale, release the arc, lengthening your spine as your torso returns to the mat in a sequential way (low-belly, mid-belly, low-ribs until you are in prone position again). Repeat 6 times.

For misses with sexy midriffs, define your admirable abdominals with Long Arm Crunches. 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.

For a sexy cleavage, enhance what Nature gave you – or didn’t – with a Wonder Bra. (Sorry, Pilates can only do so much in this department – but it can improve your posture so that your back is straight, your shoulders are drawn back and your chest is both standing to attention and attracting it.)

Once you’ve optimised your physical assets with Pilates, you’ll feel confident to walk into a roomful of beautiful people and hold your head high, confident in the knowledge that your bod is party-ready and flaunt-worthy. And while you’re at it, permit yourself a little guilt-free indulgence… Chocolate fountain, anyone?

By Suzanne Lauridsen
www.powermoves.com.sg

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