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 🙂

Pilates at PowerMoves Singapore

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When I moved to Singapore I was keen to try a different form of exercise. After looking around, I decided to join the classes at PowerMoves Pilates in the Park. I’ve been attending classes there regularly for the past two years.

The staff at PowerMoves made me feel welcome from the very beginning. My Pilates instructor instantly recognised my postural type and was able to tailor exercises to suit me. The classes are always varied, well thought out and great fun.

My posture has improved hugely, my back is much stronger and I’m working on a six-pack! I’ve increased my body awareness and I’m able to apply the Pilates principles to other activities I enjoy, like horse riding and running. I’ve also made some great friends! 🙂

Susannah Chamberlain

Your Best Self through Pilates at PowerMoves Singapore

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1. How long have you been doing Pilates and how often?

I started practising PowerMoves Pilates in Sep 08 and average about 2 sessions per week.

2. How did you get started? What were the triggers / motivations? Who introduced you to Pilates?

I underwent surgery to remove a slipped disc in Aug 08 and wanted to do something that will not only help me recover but also to make me stronger in order for me to continue to pursue other sports that I enjoy e.g. swimming and cycling.

My wife, Sharon, started on Pilates first as she too was looking for a form of exercise that helps build and strengthen the body’s foundations. She convinced me to give it a try and we’ve not looked back since.

3. What has Pilates done for you, healthwise, so far? Can you compare your present condition to your condition before you did Pilates?


One obvious advantage from practising Pilates is the speed in which I recovered from my surgery. Combining Pilates with regular swimming minimized “down time” post-surgery and allowed me to participate in the swimming leg of a triathlon in March this year, as a member of a relay team.

Since I started practising Pilates, I’ve come to be more aware and have a greater sense of how to control the movements of the various parts of my body to avoid exercise injuries.

4. Looking forward, what are your health goals and for how long do you intend to practise Pilates? Will you get your family and friends to try it?


I plan to remain actively engaged in sports that I enjoy e.g. swimming and cycling, and will continue to complement these with Pilates at PowerMoves.

I would most definitely encourage my family and friends to take up Pilates to improve their overall well-being and more!

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

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.


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

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


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,
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