STAYING ON TRACK

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It’s common for your fitness routine to be derailed by holidays. But who says you need a gym? You just need a little willpower and a couple of minutes. We asked Claudel Kuek, founder and CEO of PowerMoves Pilates Lifestyle about her personal routine.

Q. How do you stay strong and limber on long trips?

A. I do daily express sessions before starting the day: Leg lifts (front, side and back), planks, grand plies or lunges, stomach crunches and push-ups. I do 20 reps of each exercise and give my body a good stretch immediately afterwards.

Q. Where do you do these exercises?
A. In the room, by the pool, in the gym – wherever inspires me most. Depending on the destination, this routine can be done in lovely parks or by the beach too. It is always special to embrace the vacation spot by being outdoors so playing golf, cycling and hiking are my other favourite activities to stay fit.

Q. What else gets you going?
A. I like breezy soundtracks. Think Lionel Richie’s Love Will Conquer All, Basia’s Cruising For Bruising, and Justin Timberlake’s Love Never Felt So Good.

As featured on Shape Singapore October 2015 🙂

Most Beginner Friendly Pilates, Pilates, Pilates award, Pilates Blog, Pilates Dempsey Singapore, Pilates Mat classes, Pilates Novena Singapore, Pilates Reformer classes, prenatal pilates, reshape, stress relief

Join us, PowerMoves Pilates @ Novena Specialist Centre, as we introduce you to Pilates with a workshop on 26 Sep (Saturday 2pm). You will get to try out Pilates moves and reap all its benefits. The first 30 SHAPE readers to call 6455-2221 win a one-hour pass worth $150.

Sign up now! We would be delighted to have you!

www.powermoves.com.sg

PowerMoves Pilates Lifestyle

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!

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.


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


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.