SHAPE SEPTEMBER POWERMOVES SPECIAL

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Powermoves is holding an exclusive Pilates workshop on Sept 24, 2016.  This one-hour event will guide you through fundamental Pilates moves on the reformer and on the mat, while introducing the full range of techniques and principles.

DATE Sept 24, Saturday

TIME 2.30pm

VENUE #02-05 Novena Specialist Center

 

SIGN UP Call 6455-2221 or visit www.powermoves.com.sg

 

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 🙂

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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

‘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

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


Pilates Abs to Die For!

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These Pilates ab exercises are great for strengthening and tightening of the abdominal muscles. After 4 weeks of working on your abs with these moves, you will be happy to find that your clothes fit better around the waist, your stomach is more taut, you become more conscious of the way you hold yourself and you look and feel positively different from before you started. Your waistline will be slimmed, you will stand taller, and you will eliminate the flabby tummy syndrome.

As an added bonus, the strengthening of the core with these Pilates ab exercises and using that strength to stabilise and lengthen the torso and its surrounding muscles, your posture is improved. Good posture is important in maintaining the equilibrium of the body resulting in improved mobility and stability, increased breathing capacity, proper joint and muscle alignment, overall balance and symmetry. Contracting your abdominal muscles, lifting them in and up your spine, creates a foundation built to withstand the weight of your body and the tasks of everyday living.

Let’s begin our program towards getting Pilates Abs to die for! Listed below are the 7 Pilates exercises to achieve the abs of your dreams:

The Hundred

Lie back with arms by your sides, legs extended. 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).

Lower Abdominal Lift

Lie back with arms by your sides and legs extended toward the ceiling, toes pointed. Contract belly muscles and exhale to slowly lift hips straight off the mat a few inches. Slowly lower to start on your inhale. Do this with control and without rocking the hips. Lift and lower for 10 reps.

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.

Roll Up

Lie back with legs straight and arms extended overhead (but not touching the floor). Pull belly button in toward your spine. Exhale as you bring arms overhead and lift shoulder blades off the mat, curling all the way up until arms are parallel to legs. Exhale again as you slowly uncurl back to start. Do this 10 times.

Swimming

Lie face down on mat with legs and arms extended. Inhale as you slowly lift right arm and left leg off mat as high as you can (extending fully your arms and legs away from each other in opposite directions). Hold for one count and then lower to start as you exhale. Repeat on opposite side and work up to 12 reps on each side.

Plank

Lie face down with legs extended, forearms resting on the mat shoulder-width apart, hands in fists. Tighten abs, tuck toes under and lift hips off the mat so that your body forms a straight line from head to heels as shown. Hold for 30 seconds while breathing normally and then lower to start. Rest before repeating 3 more times.

Standing Side Crunch

Stand with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, knees soft, elbows bent, hands in fists by your shoulders. Tighten abs and exhale as you lower your torso to the left, then to the right in one continuous movement, keeping your lower body very still throughout. Inhale as you come back to upright starting position. Work up to 30 reps on each side.

Always in fitness and wellness with you,
CLAUDEL KUEK
PowerMoves Pilates n Dance Singapore