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’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 🙂

Tell your friends – PILATES IS A WALK IN THE PARK

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The last time I exerted myself was more than a month ago, and all I did was go for a short walk at a nearby park. As you can see, I don’t like to exercise – no aching muscles, no panting, no pain, thank you very much. But I feel no trepidation as I head for my first Pilates Fundamentals class at PowerMoves, a boutique Pilates studio in Bishan Park. How hard could it be? Though I don’t know much about this fitness technique, I’ve heard that it involves stretching and muscle control, which I think I’m perfectly capable of handling. Besides, the studio sits adjacent to Aramsa ~ The Garden Spa, and resembles a cosy beach bungalow with resort-like wood decor and lush green landscaping. Seems more like a walk in the park than a workout.


Before the class, I had a short chat with PowerMoves director Claudel Kuek, a lithe and graceful 45-year-old who is also one of the studio’s eight Pilates instructors. She explained the benefits of Pilates, which is a series of continuous exercises based on the six principles of breathing, concentration, control, centering, precision and flow.

Besides improving coordination and flexibility, Pilates also tones and tightens typical problem areas like the abdominals, arms and thighs. Due to its emphasis on the quality of its movements rather than the number of repetitions, you are supposed to leave feeling invigorated rather than exhausted.

An accomplished ballerina, Claudel tells me it was only after she became a mother in her 30s that she discovered Pilates and was won over by its elegant and fluid dance-like movements, which made her so much fitter and stronger. Ah, I am feeling more confident already. That is, until I step into the studio and spot a series of complicated-looking bench-like machines called Reformers. Sensing my apprehension, Claudel assures me that beginners start off on floor mats and, if they choose to, can then progress to the Reformers after a few sessions. For this evening’s hour-long session, there is just me and another woman, led by our Filipino instructor Eric Samonte, who boasts a lean, mean machine of a body. Pilates classes here are kept small, with a maximum of six students to an instructor, so students are closely supervised to minimise the risk of injury.

We start off with basic stretches to loosen up. As each step is introduced, we perform a few repetitions before moving on to the next. Our individual body movements are then combined to form a flowing sequence resembling a choreographed dance.

So far, so good. I get plenty of attention from Eric, who hovers over us to ensure each position is executed correctly. I also like that the poses can be adjusted to a person’s comfort zone or to accommodate those recovering from an injury.

It’s been a long day at work, but right now, I feel as if I’m exercising in my very own private villa in a secluded resort, thanks to the personalised attention, soothing ambient music, and the view of a lush tropical garden outside the floor-to-ceiling glass wall.

Soon, I’m perspiring in the cool air-conditioned comfort – I’m breathing harder and my heart is pumping faster too. Deep in restful concentration, I lose count of the number of poses we are put through. As the class progresses, the movements become more challenging and ache-inducing – from bending over to touch our toes, we are made to lift our shoulders and legs from a lying position.

Some of the moves employ the Magic Circle, a steering wheel-like exercise aid that measures 35cm in diameter, and which provides added resistance to strengthen and tone specific parts of the body, depending on whether it’s pressed between the palms, the ankles or the thighs. Squeeze, release, squeeze, release… Using the wheel, I find, also helps to regulate my breathing, which I tend to neglect.

As someone who has always deemed exercise a necessary pain, I am pleasantly surprised at the fun I am having while getting a good workout, although I must admit that bending and stretching my stiff body wasn’t as easy as I thought. My abdominal and calf muscles are starting to protest, and my joints are creaking a little.

But it sure feels good. I catch my reflection in the studio mirror – I look much calmer; nothing like a harried journalist with a backlog of deadlines. As I swing out of the studio doors after the session, my steps feel lighter and my posture is more upright, just like a dancer’s. The feel-good effects lasted for the next few days – and there was no trace of muscle pain or exhaustion.

Am I game for a few more sessions? Intuitively, my body tells me that Pilates will now be my perfect respite from daily chores and routine; the best stress relief answer to work and what-knots.. Much like the perfect walk in the park.

By Cindy Wee


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;

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

Fitness FAQ for Pilates Blog Singapore

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Thank you for sending in your fitness questions!
Allow me to address them two at a time. Am
always delighted to be able to serve you and to

help in every which way I can. 🙂



I am sick of my flabby arms. How do I get rid of them? I have tried to lift some dumbbells (2kg, in repeated sets of 15) at home for the last few months but have only succeeded in toning my biceps slightly. My arms still look fleshy overall. I am a 35-years-old female.
– Pat Kee

Using those same dumbbells, place your arm behind your back in a
straight line with your shoulders. Keeping your shoulders down and your elbow very still, bend only your forearm in towards your body so that your dumbbells are now very close to your arm-pit. Inhale as you straighten that arm behind you again and exhale as you flex to bring your forearm in towards your body. Do this 15 times and then switch arms.

I injured my right knee ligaments some years back and recently felt some pain whenever I try to stand up from a squatting position. I would like to do some light exercises to ease this pain so I won’t get rheumatism when I’m older. Please recommend some suitable exercises I can do which can tone my legs at the same time.
– Terry

Standing up tall, heels together, toes apart, place your hand gently
on the back of a chair for support. Contract your abdominal muscles as you inhale to rise gently up to the balls of your feet. While on tip-toe, exhale and lower to bend your knees out to the sides for a count of four. Keep your tailbone tucked under you and your abs engaged to avoid losing your balance. Lower your heels to the floor in this bent-knee position and then stand up to straighten your legs as you squeeze those inner thighs together. Repeat 10 times and reverse the movements.


Pilates Singapore ~ Fitness Exercises with the Magic Circle

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If you find yourself running around in circles, always out of time for a workout, Claudel Kuek has a suggestion: Use the Magic Circle to stay in shape.


The flexible ring, which has two padded handles to ensure you do not end up with unsightly marks on your skin, provides firm resistance and is great for toning the muscles. Roughly the size of a car’s steering wheel and under 1kg in weight, it can be packed easily when you travel.


Claudel Kuek, 45, runs PowerMoves Pilates And Dance Studio in Bishan Park. Despite being a fan of traditional pilates, which involves machines such as the Reformer, she is also an advocate of the use of fitness equipment like the Magic Circle as it is so handy. “The Magic Circle gives your regular routine added resistance training (much like using weights), thus it helps to pump up the intensity of your regular pilates mat workout,” she says.


“Best of all, it strengthens areas that are the hardest to get at such as the pelvic floor muscles and the inner thighs.”


The Magic Circle is available from PowerMoves

(tel: 6455-2221) for US$75 (S$113)




MAGIC CIRCLE ARMS

What it works: Arms, shoulders, chest

How to do it: Sit on the floor, legs crossed in front of you and upper body erect. Flexing the core region and pulling the shoulders down towards your hips, hold the Magic Circle in front of you with the palms of your hands on the handles and fingers extended. Exhale as you squeeze the Magic Circle in a few, short pulses. Inhale as you release. Repeat 10 times.


MAGIC CIRCLE LEGS

What it works: Hips, thighs

How to do it: Lie on your left side, body in a straight line from neck to feet, and lift your upper body off the floor by placing your left forearm on the floor. Stabilising yourself with both palms on the ground, hold the Magic Circle between your ankles and squeeze it as you exhale. Hold the squeeze for a few seconds and release as you inhale. Repeat 10 times on each side.


MAGIC CIRCLE BRIDGE

What it works: Core, buttocks

How to do it: Lie on your back, knees bent and feet placed hip-width apart. With your arms by your sides, hold the Magic Circle between your knees. As you exhale, flex the abdominal muscles and slowly lift your hips and then the lower back off the floor. Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed as your legs squeeze the Magic Circle. Exhale as you slowly return to the start position. Repeat five times.


Fitness Article by Pradeep Paul

Fitness Exercises by Claudel Kuek


PowerMoves Pilates Studio in the Park


Pilates Exercises for Pre and Post Natal Women in Singapore

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Pilates works on developing functionally strong abdominals, a flexible and powerful pelvic floor and a supportive back which is of utmost importance to all women involved in pregnancy and childbirth. Along with these essentials, Pilates also guides you through the discipline of ideal alignment and coordinating movement with breath.

Integrated into all PowerMoves Pilates sessions is also legwork and upper body routines so that your every session is a full-body integration workout. Pilates can transform your pregnancy and fulfill your need for the knowledge and the skill towards a more comfortable, rewarding and wonderful experience in pregnancy.

Come join us for our prenatal and postnatal Pilates Exercise Programmes (Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons). Call 6455 2221 to book your Pilates sessions in our Bishan Park studio today.

Pilates as a lifestyle and philosophy because it works,