Pelvic Curl & Lifts

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A gentle warm-up exercise for the spine and the abdominal muscles. It strengthens the lower body and helps coordinate breath with movement. For those with upper back or neck problems, you may practise engaging and releasing the pelvic tilt or roll up just part of the way. Shoulders and neck should remain relaxed throughout the exercise.

Instructions:

  1. Set Up
    Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Make sure that your feet, ankles, and knees are aligned and hip-distance apart. This exercise starts in neutral spine. In neutral spine, the natural curves of the spine are present so the lower back is not pressed into the mat.
  2. Begin Sequential Breathing
    Bring your breath into your chest, then belly, and down to the pelvic floor. Exhale. Release the breath from the pelvic bowl, the belly, and then the chest. Inhale again.
  3. Exhale
    Do a pelvic tilt by engaging the abdominal muscles and pulling your belly-button down toward your spine. Let that action continue so that the abs press the lower spine into the floor. In the pelvic tilt position, your back is very long against the floor and the pelvis is tilted so that the pubic bone is a little higher than the hip bones.
  4. Inhale
    Press down through your feet allowing the tailbone to begin to curl up toward the ceiling. The hips raise, then the lower spine, and, finally, the middle spine. Keep your legs parallel all the way through. You will come to rest between your shoulder blades, with a nice straight line from your hips to your shoulders. Do not arch beyond this point. Be sure to support this movement with the abdominals and hamstrings.
  5. Exhale
    As you let your breath go, use abdominal control to roll the spine back down to the floor.
  6. Inhale
    Release to neutral spine. Prepare to repeat the exercise by initiating the pelvic tilt on the exhale. Repeat this exercise 3 to 5 times.

 

Pilates Chest Lift and Single Leg Stretch

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This is a powerful duo in targeting your lower abs which results in the flatter tummy everyone desires.

The Chest Lift creates a deep curve of the abdominals down toward the mat. It is done very slowly with the breath and no momentum is used.

The Single Leg Stretch teaches you to move from the centre. It trains the abdominals to initiate movement, and to support and stabilize the trunk as the arms and legs are in motion. Especially helpful in targeting the lower abs, good coordination is achieved as well.

When you build abdominal strength and understand the lengthening move of the Pilates Chest Lift, you will have a good foundation for working with many of the forward flexion Pilates exercises like the Single Leg Stretch and The Hundred.

Instructions:

  1. Lie on the back with both feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Adjust shoulder blades so that they are lying flat on the floor. Inhale to prepare. On the exhale, draw the navel in toward your spine and lift your head, shoulders and feet off the floor.
  2. Place the right hand on right ankle, left hand on right knee, and keep the elbows lifted on the inhale.
  3. Exhale and extend the left leg straight in front of left hip, as close to the floor as possible without letting the back arch away from the floor or the hips sway away from centre.
  4. Inhale and switch legs, but be sure to keep your belly scooped inward as you do this.
  5. Clasp left hand on left ankle and right hand on left knee as you make the switch.
  6. Repeat 10 times.

 

Standing Pilates Squat

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This exercise aims to tone leg muscles and provides a great workout for the core muscles and the entire lower body. It looks simple but should be executed with control and awareness. It can be made more challenging by incorporating small weighted Pilates balls, which will work to tone the shoulders as well.

Instructions:

  • Stand up straight with the feet about hip-width apart and the toes pointing forward. Tighten the abdominal and buttocks muscles. Stretch the arms out to the side, shoulder height with the palms facing down.
  • Bend the knees and come into a squat. Stick the hips back as if you are about to sit on a chair.
  • Press your heels into the floor, stand back up and lift your right leg up. The toes should be facing forward. Do not turn the leg out or in.
  • Lower the right leg slowly and with control so that the toes touch first and the heel last. Make sure you do not just drop the leg back down.
  • Squat down again and this time, lift the left leg as you stand back up.
  • Go back and forth for 8 to 12 repetitions. Do this with control.
  • To make this exercise more challenging, hold a weighted Pilates ball in your hand. As you lift the right leg, lift your right arm up to shoulder height, palm facing down as you hold the ball. Squat and lower both arms down. Pass the ball to your left hand. As you stand up and lift the left leg, lift your left arm up shoulder height.

 

Standing Pilates Lunge

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The Pilates lunge is a favoured exercise to strengthen the quadriceps muscles, gluteal muscles and hamstrings muscles. It also aids in hip stabilization and knee strengthening. Moreover, this routine also helps you gain a better sense of balance and an increased awareness of your body.

Instructions:

  1. Start in a position where your right heel touches the inside of the left foot, your right knee should be looking to the right.
  2. Take the right leg out diagonally in a wide stance and lower the hips to come into a lunge position. This will bring the bent leg into a 90-degree angle. Allow the back leg to stretch out with your foot and heel on the floor.
  3. Bring both arms to stretch above you next to your ears. The body now is in one straight diagonal line from the fingers down to the heel of the back leg.
  4. Hold this position for 5 counts then push up from your right bent leg and take the leg diagonally behind you, do a curtsey taking the body down.
  5. Push up and come to standing third dance position. Repeat 3 times with each leg.
  6. Do not allow the knee to go beyond the toes; keep the knee in line with the ankle when in a lunge position.

 

Get Fit News ~ Shape August 2014

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Pilates exercises for runners with tight hamstrings.. Make your next run your best yet.. By following the Pilates Saw and Single Leg Kick as demonstrated here by Susie Chamberlain.. Pilates Instructor at PowerMoves Pilates in the Park 🙂

PowerMoves Pilates in the Park

www.powermoves.com.sg

Pilates is not Yoga

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So you have heard that Pilates and Yoga are similar in many ways. Yes, both disciplines help you create greater awareness of your body’s posture and its alignment. Yes, both disciplines improve and enhance flexibility and strength. Pilates and Yoga also emphasize coordinating breath with movement.

Both these disciplines of Pilates and Yoga have amazing benefits. They are both fitness regimes that are integrative; they are associated with stress reduction and increased well-being. They can both also be adjusted to a wide range of people and fitness levels, and both support the achievement of very high levels of body, mind and spiritual fitness.

Pilates aims to reach high levels of fitness goals for the mind and body, however, through a series of controlled movements. The Pilates technique not only has a full complement of matwork exercises, but it incorporates work on Pilates machines as well.

Pilates is a series of controlled movements; movements that are not performed rapidly and/or excessively. The focus is on the quality of the movement and not the quantity or the repetitions. There are additional exercise equipment like the magic circle, elastic band and foam roller one could use to add resistance to help make your workouts more challenging. Pilates has several machines designed to achieve its purpose such as the reformer, the wunda chair, the ladder barrel and the cadillac. Pilates exercises on these Pilates equipment machines are designed to cater to every individual’s needs.

The emphasis of Pilates exercises is to strengthen the abdominals, improve posture, stabilize and lengthen the spine, improve balance, flexibility and overall strength. Pilates gives you a long and lean, evenly-muscled look. Pilates works the whole body; emphasizing control, precision and concentration in both the mind and the body.

Whereas Pilates is scientific-based and its movements are always dynamic and in a flow; Yoga is spiritual-based involving meditation and reflection and its exercises are held in poses.

The abdominal muscles, lower back and butt muscles serve as the center of all movement. In Pilates, this is called the core or the powerhouse. This focus on core stabilization makes one stronger from the inside out and allows the rest of the body to move freely. The low-impact nature of Pilates makes it ideal also for injury prevention, rehabilitation and physiotherapy.

All Pilates exercises are formulated on the six principles of breathing, concentration, control, centering, precision and flow. These principles train the body to move efficiently and expertly with minimal stress on its joints and with maximum benefits on the entire physiology of the body. The Pilates method and using it regularly creates a healthy, vivacious and more symmetrical body which results in a lean, balanced, strong and supple body with very efficient and well-toned muscle groups.

A further listing of benefits that you can expect from the Pilates method include long and lean muscles, strong core and stability, injury prevention, better posture, improved balance and coordination, relief from stress and back pains, enhanced athletic performance, effective post-rehabilitation, and increased self-confidence.

Warm Regards,
Mrs Claudel Kuek

NB Click here to find out if Pilates is what you need to create the makeover in you!

Pilates Singapore Interview with Claudel Kuek of PowerMoves

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Claudel Kuek, Founder and CEO of PowerMoves Pilates in the Park, discusses what PowerMoves Pilates Singapore can do for you!

Learn also what Pilates is, what the PowerMoves edge is, what Pilates can do for you and what the Power Pilates Promise assurance is.

First in Pilates Singapore, PowerMoves is an award-winning Pilates chain of studios, with awards in Most Beautiful Pilates Studio, Most Outstanding Service Quality, and Best of Singapore Pilates; awarded by SHAPE, Tatler and Expat Living magazines.

PowerMoves’ exclusive studios specialize in Pilates Matwork, Pilates Reformer, PreNatal Pilates, Pilates Physiotherapy and Clinical Pilates; Group and private classes. Our parkland studios are located at Bishan Park, Rochester Park and Dempsey Hill, with an upcoming branch at East Coast Park. PowerMoves provides the best in Pilates classes to achieve all your health and fitness goals, including weight loss and specific sports-related needs.

All PowerMoves Pilates instructors are physiotherapists who will work with you to correct all physical and physiological issues, with an emphasis on strength and flexibility training.

Your first choice in Pilates always.. PowerMoves!

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 🙂

PowerMoves Rewards the Strongest, Most Flexible Characters in the World – Mums – with Bodies to Match!

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Home-grown powerhouse Pilates brand, PowerMoves, is honouring mothers from 3-15 May with a FREE Pilates-in-the-Park Matwork session. Founder and Managing Director of PowerMoves, Ms Claudel Kuek, herself a mother of two, believes it’s only fitting that women of strong character and flexible attitudes should be equipped with strong, flexible bodies to match.

Pilates itself has emerged as the technique of choice among discerning and sophisticated fitness enthusiasts. Its low-impact, highly effective form of exercise has garnered a growing following, with legions of fans worldwide including Hollywood celebrities, expecting mothers and even agile grandmothers.

A matwork session is an hour-long workout on a padded mat, using nothing more than one’s own body weight and strength, and the laws of gravity. The disarmingly simple mat empowers individuals with variety and grace, and offers a wealth of fitness and wellness benefits including increased strength and enhanced flexibility.
Regular practitioners of Pilates Matwork can expect to enjoy improved coordination, posture and balance, relief from aches and pains, increased bone mass and muscle mass, improved circulation and breathing, and of course the ultimate trophy of a toned and sculpted body. It’s also the perfect low-impact form of pre-natal and post-menopausal exercise, and has been successfully incorporated into rehabilitation programmes after serious injury.

Mothers who wish to hone their bodies to match their characters should call PowerMoves at 6455 2221 and ask for the Mother’s Day Matwork Offer. You’ll be one of no more than eight ladies in the session, and you can take your pick of two beautiful locations at PowerMoves’ parklands studios in Bishan Park 2 and Dempsey Hill

Here’s to Mums – strong and flexible in nature, and, if PowerMoves has its way, soon to be buff, fit and fabulous! Happy Mother’s Day in honour of all Mothers out there! 🙂

Boost Your Body Confidence in the Bedroom with PowerMoves Pilates Exercises in the Park

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With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, there’s no better time to give your guy the ultimate gift of love – you. And like a well-wrapped gift, presentation is of paramount importance. We’re not talking ribbons and bows, but rippling muscles and pert buns. Where to get the trimmings (pun intended)? PowerMoves Pilates in the Park, at Bishan and Dempsey, has all the moves to give you the body confidence you need to be a star in the boudoir.

For awesome abs, practise the Pilates Plank
Lie face down with legs extended, forearms resting on the floor shoulder-width apart, hands in fists. Pull your navel up into your spine, tuck your toes under and lift your hips off the floor so that your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Actively maintain a firm centre, with navel to spine, and your buttocks and legs squeezed tightly together behind you. Your neck maintains perfect alignment with the rest of the body. Breathe normally as you hold for 30 seconds at a time. Lower to rest in between sets.

For bite-worthy buns, perform the Pilates Single Leg Lift
Kneeling on hands and knees, hands are shoulder-width apart, knees aligned under hips. Keep head relaxed, neck in line with the spine. Extend one leg behind, toes pointed touching the floor lightly, without letting the hip or shoulder dip as you hold your leg out. As you exhale, scoop in your abs, tighten your right buttock and lift extended right leg up to hip height. Lift and lower in a slow, controlled movement. Rotate your toes so that they point outwards and hold in your lifted position for 3 counts before lowering on the inhale. Repeat 12 reps on each side.

For thrilling thighs, execute the Pilates Shoulder Bridge
Lie on your back in neutral spine, with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Your arms are extended along your sides. Inhale as you press down through your feet to lengthen your spine and press your hips up. You will come to a bridge position on your shoulders with your knees, hips and shoulders in one line. Your abs and hamstrings should be well-engaged. Pause at the top of the bridge to lift one leg off the mat. Straighten this lifted leg as you point it to the ceiling. Exhale as you lower the straight leg to the floor pointing towards the wall opposite of you. Inhale to kick the straight leg upward while flexing your foot. Bend the knee and place the foot on the floor (starting position) before switching legs and repeating the sequence with the other leg.

For total satisfaction, take charge of your body and your man
PowerMoves’ Managing Director, Claudel Kuek, believes that strengthening the body naturally leads to a strengthening of the mind. She reasons that once you gain control of your body, you feel empowered to take charge of other areas of your life, including your love life.

Said Claudel, “Every woman deserves to enjoy the body confidence that comes from feeling sexy, lithe and toned. You never have to avoid certain intimate positions for fear of wobbly bits spoiling the mood. And you can be totally spontaneous and wild, emboldened by knowing you look great from every angle.”

The question is, once you’ve toned your bod and honed your body confidence for an erotically-charged workout in the bedroom, is your man up to it? Well, the good news is, PowerMoves offers couples classes at both its Bishan and Dempsey studios.

Pilates couples classes at PowerMoves… Sounds like the perfect Valentine’s Day gift idea! 🙂

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.