5 ways the Pilates Power Gym will change your life!

5 ways the Pilates Power Gym will change your life!

So you’ve made the decision to incorporate Pilates into your fitness routine, but did you know there’s a way to maximize the benefits of Pilates even more with the Pilates Reformer?

You can take your workout a step further by using a Pilates reformer. Sure, you can spend hundreds of dollars taking classes at a Pilates studio, but who has the time or money for that?

If you really want to set new fitness goals and stick to them, you’ve got to get the Pilates Power Gym! Pilates, cardio and strength training are all available to you in the comfort of your own home with this fantastic piece of fitness equipment. It may sound too good to be true, but the Pilates Power Gym can literally change your life!

1) Target your core

If you haven’t heard by now, having a strong core is the basis of being in good physical condition. Celebrity Pilates trainer, Kristin McGee, says that the Pilates method is so important to the world of fitness “because of its focus on core strength. Our core is our foundation and we all need to learn how to lead from our center and support ourselves from our powerhouse. Then we can do anything in life and other fitness modalities.”

Combining smooth, continuous resistance with the body’s natural movements, the Pilates Power Gym delivers efficient, effective workouts. That means longer, leaner muscles, increased flexibility and enhanced joint mobility.

“The best part of working out on a reformer is the gliding sensation — it always makes me feel like I’m flying,” says Heather Andersen, studio owner and director of a Pilates studio in New York City. She explains the reformer is there to “resist and assist your body weight to help find and strengthen your core and limbs.”

2) Cardio goes vertical

Imagine lying down and still being able to run and jump! Our Power Flex Cardio Rebounder serves as a mini trampoline of sorts located on one end of your Pilates reformer.The rebounder provides a cushion like platform for your feet, knees and legs to rebound from. As a result, you will not wear out your joints or cause strain. The rebounder accessory provides a unique low-impact version of running or jumping when compared to doing these activities on a hard surface.

The rebounder attaches to the footbar enabling you to bounce on and off the canvas with your feet. The glideboard allows you to relax and lay comfortably while your legs and feet do all the work. No more treadmills or long walks outside in the elements needed! This low-impact movement gives you a great cardio workout.

3) Elevation increases intensity

“One of the best things about the reformer is its versatility,” says Jean Chen Smith, Pilates studio owner.  “Exercises can be done lying down, sitting, standing, pulling the straps, pushing the footbar, perched on the footbar, perched on the shoulder blocks, with additional equipment, upside down, sideways and all kinds of variations.”

But wait there’s more! The inventor of the Pilates Power Gym added something that most large and expensive reformers don’t have – an incline. Different height elevations allow for more intensity in your workouts and added strength training options.

4) Safe, low-impact workouts

By being in control of each movement using the Pilates Power Gym, you exercise efficiently, reduce stress on your body and enhance your overall health and well-being. That is why Pilates is a game-changer for those in physical therapy, rehabilitation and even pregnancy!

“There are many exercises an individual can do on the Reformer – it is not limited to a specific body part,” says Jean Chen Smith. “That, in my opinion, is one of the many benefits of the Reformer. This piece of apparatus can work the legs, arms, abdominals, glutes and extension – all with no impact.”

5) Save money and time

For an affordable price, you can bring the gift of physical fitness into your home with the Pilates Power Gym. You’ll save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars by not having to pay gym membership fees or taking expensive studio classes. On the Pilates Power Gym, you’ll be able to tone and strengthen every part of your body: abs, back, shoulders, arms, thighs, hips and calves thanks to the machine’s fluid, organic movement.

Plus, you’ll be able to save time by doing workouts in your own home – and in as little as 10 minutes a day, you can do a quick variety of exercises that will start producing results.

“The best thing about Pilates is that you don’t have to be good at it to get the most benefits,” Andersen says. “Pilates is designed to help you be stronger and more fit, no matter where you are in your practice.” – T.Y.

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Challenging Pilates Workout Will Push Your Core Strength To A New Level

Challenging Pilates Workout Will Push Your Core Strength To A New Level

“A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence,
are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion.”
– Joseph Pilates

Joseph Pilates designed the Pilates method so that you can achieve effective fitness results by challenging your body with controlled movements. For those who want to step up your Pilates workout, we recommend The Pilates Power Gym Challenge Workout.

Celebrity Pilates instructor, Kristin McGee, takes you through a fast-paced series of Pilates exercises using our mini-reformer that target virtually every part of your body.

“Because of its focus on core strength, Pilates is by far one of the most useful methods in fitness,” Kristin explains. “Our core is our foundation and we all need to learn how to lead from our center and support ourselves from our powerhouse. Then we can do anything in life and other fitness modalities.”

During this 34-minute class, available on The Fitness Channel, you will perform a wide variety of exercises targeting your arms, legs, abs and thighs.

For example, using the leg straps, Kristin shows you how to tone your muscles with “Leg Circles” working your calves, thighs and core strength:

In the Challenge Workout, Kristin utilizes virtually every position possible on the Pilates Power Gym from lying down to sitting to standing on the glideboard.

For a challenging exercise focusing on core strength, try the “Elephant.” This is where “control” of your body is really put to the test. While standing on the glideboard, use your stomach muscles to move your legs back and forth:

Then, push yourself even further by doing the Elephant with only one leg:

 

These are just a sample of the dynamic exercises you will do in our Challenge Workout. If you feel you are not up to this level yet, you can build up your Pilates strength by taking other classes on The Fitness Channel that target specific parts of your body.

To take any of our Pilates Power Gym classes, visit The Fitness Channel to sign up for immediate online access where the classes are available to you 24/7 on your computer, tablet or smartphone. Click here for more information.

5 easy ways to achieve your fitness resolutions for 2016

5 easy ways to achieve your fitness resolutions for 2016

With the new year upon us, it’s time to set some resolutions to get healthy and fit! But instead of just talking about resolutions in the abstract sense, you really need to take some tangible steps to focus on and achieve your objectives. Over the next 12 months, here are some definite strategies you can use to help you reach your fitness goals.

1) Get on a schedule

Whatever fitness routine you practice, turn it into a habit. By definition, a habit is “something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way.” Therefore, you need to pick a specific time every day to exercise.

The World Health Organization recommends “at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week” which breaks down to 30 minutes 5 days a week, while strength training activities should be done 2 or more days per week.

2) Intensify your workout

Whether beginner or advanced, you always have the capacity to progress in the level of your workout. Motivate yourself by setting small goals to increase the intensity of your workout on a monthly basis.

For example, if you start out doing 20 sit-ups a day, write down the goal to increase it by 5 more sit-ups each month. By next year, you’ll be doing 80 sit-ups a day – imagine your abs!

Also, you don’t necessarily need to increase the amount of time you spend working out. For example, you can increase the intensity of your fitness routine by increasing the resistance levels in strength training and Pilates.

On the Pilates Power Gym, you have the option of using between one and four resistance bands on each exercise. Why not set a goal to increase the number of bands used every 6 months? As a result, you won’t be working longer, but harder resulting in a much more toned body.

3) Follow a nutrition plan

The logic is simple, yet it is the hardest thing to do – eat less calories to lose weight. But how do you decrease your calorie intake without feeling hungry?

Many nutrition experts recommend eating more protein and less carbs, and also eating smaller meals and snacks six times per day. However, instead of reinventing the wheel, it’s easier to follow a meal plan that has been created by a fitness and nutrition expert.

For example, when you purchase the Pilates Power Gym, you get a guide to  weekly nutrition plans for 9 different calorie levels (ranging from 1200 to 2000 calories per day). This weekly nutrition menu suggests foods for 3 meals and 3 snacks per day to teach you how to eat healthier and lose weight in the process.

4) Add variety to spice up your workout

Don’t fall into the trap of getting bored with an effective workout! There are many ways you can add variety to an exercise routine by either trying new equipment or new exercises.

For Pilates fans, there are a multitude of apparatus and accessories you can utilize to make your workout new and exciting. Pilates equipment includes the ladder barrel, the Wunda chair, the Cadillac and the Reformer. These pieces of equipment, like our own Pilates Power Gym, offer a wide range of additional Pilates exercises not possible on the mat.

On the Pilates Power Gym reformer alone, you can add a cardio rebounder, a pushup bar and even get more intense resistance bands to diversify your workout.

5) Incorporate body, mind and soul

If you’re not doing any form of yoga or Pilates in your fitness routine, make this year the time to start! Aside from the physical benefits, Pilates and yoga teach you how to connect your mind to your body through concentration and meditation, respectively.

Taking time to relax and focus your mind can relieve stress, something that we all need. According to the American Yoga Association, “yoga helps you to access an inner strength that allows you to face the sometimes-overwhelming fears, frustrations, and challenges of everyday life.” By building coping skills with a daily routine of exercise, breathing, and meditation, yoga can reduce stress.

Furthermore, the creator of Pilates (or “Contrology”), Joseph Pilates, believed that deep mental awareness of your breathing, working your core, controlling your movements, fluidity of motion, precision of exercises and being mentally present during your workout were essential to physical health. Exercise without mental concentration, he thought, was literally a waste of time.

(Note: Always consult your doctor when you implement any changes in exercise and eating habits)

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Why Smart Men Do Pilates

Why Smart Men Do Pilates

If you think Pilates is only for women, think again! The toughest male sports athletes including football, basketball and tennis players do Pilates workouts faithfully to maintain a fit and strong body. However, the same principles that make Pilates effective for men also apply to women making it one of the most popular workouts around.

The Pilates advantage is that it offers an intense muscular workout focusing on controlled muscle movements. The fluidity of motion and precision of exercises that Pilates requires translates into a gentle low-impact workout which can be done sitting or lying down.

“Pilates improves sports performance. You’ll find the exercises condition the whole body—even the ankles and feet, which contribute to healthy, balanced muscles,” claims Madi Rice, writer for The Parks fitness website. “You’ll also increase in tendon, bone and ligament strength which is vital for all athletes.”

Many people don’t realize that in addition to being a great workout, Pilates is also an effective form of physical therapy. It has been shown to help people with various injuries and diseases rehabilitate their bodies. The low-impact and focused method of muscle strengthening with emphasis on the core can help people who are recovering from car accidents, cancer, athletic injuries and even those living with multiple sclerosis.

“What most guys are doing now, they’re using it as a preventative measure, so it’s almost like ‘prehab’ in a sense,” former NFL player Nate Burleson said. “Most guys, especially if you’ve been in the league for a while, your off day is a subtle work day. You’re doing some type of work to keep your body as loose and limber as possible.”

Tennis star Andy Murray recently credited Pilates for his comeback: “It’s helped my back a lot,” Murray said. “I feel physically much healthier with my back than I did at this time last year. It’s not just that – my tennis has been good as well – but it’s been a big, big factor for me.”

The reason that both men and women alike love Pilates is because it provides great results. “It’s not like weight training . . . it’s all about control and body position, which receivers like myself need the most,” Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown said.

Pilates was intended not only for mat work but also on equipment. Throughout his life, Joseph Pilates created many forms of apparatus to practice his “contrology” exercises. In addition to workouts on the mat, there are a multitude of exercises which can be done on various pieces of Pilates equipment including the ladder barrel, the Wunda chair, the Cadillac and the Reformer. These pieces of equipment offer a wide range of additional Pilates exercises not possible on the mat.

The Pilates Power Gym, a mini Pilates reformer machine created by Kevin Abelbeck, incorporates the best of both worlds, combining the targeted aspects of Pilates with strength training that appeals to both men and women.

“This Pilates equipment [reformer] is basically a platform that moves on a linear track,” explains Abelbeck. “So what I had to do was to come up with a way to increase the tension other than just with the springs… I made an incline.” As a result, men and women can get an intense workout on this type of Pilates reformer with its three levels of height elevation.

With repeated practice of Pilates, the muscles of men and women become toned and sculpted. “Muscles you don’t even realize you have you can work with Pilates because you can target and tone specific little muscle groups,” says Pilates and yoga instructor, Kristin McGee. “The beautiful thing about Pilates is it gives you that long, lean muscle tone because you’re working with that nice fluid movement and control.”

 

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Pilates

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Pilates

Attention Pilates fans, here are five facts about Pilates that you may find surprising:

1) Pilates was invented for WWI prisoners of war

Joseph Pilates was a German living in England when World War I broke out. He was placed in an internment camp where he started helping prisoners to stay fit by implementing a unique method of muscle toning and strengthening. Pilates taught exercises that he had created for himself to his fellow inmates, including those who were bed-ridden. He got his inspiration for the future Pilates reformer by using bedsprings to create resistance.

2) Pilates is a great form of physical therapy

Pilates has been shown to help people with various injuries and diseases rehabilitate their bodies. The low-impact and focused method of muscle strengthening with emphasis on the core can help people who are recovering from car accidents, cancer, athletic injuries and even those living with multiple sclerosis.
[Note: Check out our Pinterest page for more articles about “Pilates as therapy”]

3) In Pilates, control of the mind is equally as important as control of the body

The original name of the Pilates method was “contrology” which emphasized the use of the mind to control muscles. Pilates believed that deep mental awareness of your breathing, working your core, controlling your movements, fluidity of motion, precision of exercises and being mentally present during your workout were essential to physical health. Exercise without mental concentration, he thought, was literally a waste of time.

4) Pilates is a great complement to yoga

Celebrity Pilates and yoga instructor, Kristin McGee, explains why the two fitness methods of Pilates and yoga work well together:
“Yoga aids in flexibility which allows Pilates practitioners to go deeper in to their practice and connect easier with their core (when your limbs are loose you can access your powerhouse easier). I also think yoga adds a lot of standing work that you won’t find as much of in Pilates so you can find your core when your practicing your balance standing. The two are very complementary to each other and I love them both.”

5) Pilates was intended not only for mat work but also on equipment

Throughout his life, Joseph Pilates created many forms of apparatus to practice his contrology exercises. In addition to workouts on the mat, there are a multitude of exercises which can be done on various pieces of Pilates equipment including the ladder barrel, the Wunda chair, the Cadillac and the Reformer. These pieces of equipment, like our own Pilates Power Gym, offer a wide range of additional Pilates exercises not possible on the mat. – T.Y.

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Take our Pilates Knowledge Quiz!

Take our Pilates Knowledge Quiz!

Pilates Knowledge Quiz!

How much do you know about Pilates?

Find out how much you know about Pilates with our basic Pilates knowledge quiz.

Top 5 reasons to do Pilates

Top 5 reasons to do Pilates

“I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.” – Joseph Pilates

Everyone’s talking about Pilates these days, especially in Hollywood! We hear celebrities raving on a daily basis about their Pilates workout. Stars ranging from Kate Hudson to Jennifer Aniston to Sofia Vergara are eager to express their love of Pilates.

But why is Pilates such a favorite of the hottest stars who could choose any type of exercise workout to do? Here are five reasons why:

1) QUICK – It takes as little as 10 minutes a day to start reaping the physical rewards of Pilates. Since Pilates is helpful in targeting specific muscle groups, only a few repetitions of each movement can make a huge difference. You’d be surprised how many different exercises you can do in such a short span of time. That’s why many Pilates instructors offer 10-minute classes. Of course, a longer workout of 20 or more minutes is beneficial as well, but with Pilates, it only takes a few repeated movements to start feeling your muscles getting a workout.

2) LOW IMPACT – When we think of traditional exercise, high intensity activities like aerobics or jogging come to mind. Fortunately, Pilates offers an intense muscular workout with virtually no jumping up and down or running. This may explain why Pilates is so appealing for pregnant women and new mothers. Actress Kristen Bell explains that Pilates is “all about core strength, I can do it at home and it doesn’t require much sweating. (Sweating means showering, which is not at the top of the New Mom Priority List.)” The fluidity of motion and precision of exercises that Pilates requires translates into a gentle low-impact workout which you can do sitting or lying down.

3) MINDFUL – Creator of the Pilates method, Joseph Pilates, believed that utilizing mental concentration during your workout was essential. By paying full attention to your movements, you can maximize the results of each exercise. Pilates stressed the balance of body and mind – “the conscious control of all muscular movements of the body.” Not only can concentration during exercise relax you, but it can also provide medical benefits for the brain.

4) CONVENIENT – Pilates is so convenient because you can do it from the comfort of your own home – no gym required. Performed on a mat or with equipment, Pilates is virtually self-contained because it focuses on controlled muscle movements which don’t involve jumping or running around. Even with equipment like the Pilates Power Gym mini-reformer, you don’t need a lot of floor space and the quiet back and forth motions won’t disturb your neighbors.

5) EFFECTIVE – Probably the most important reason to do Pilates is because it works! Pilates is so popular because it brings great results. “The beautiful thing about Pilates is it gives you that long, lean muscle tone because you’re working with that nice fluid movement and control,” says Pilates and Yoga instructor, Kristin McGee. With repeated practice of Pilates, your muscles will become toned and sculpted. “Muscles you don’t even realize you have you can work with Pilates because you can target and tone specific little muscle groups,” McGee continues. “Pilates is like an inner girdle. It just scoops everything in.” – T.Y.

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Why Pilates is a good workout both mentally and physically

Why Pilates is a good workout both mentally and physically

“The mind, when housed within a healthful body, possesses a glorious sense of power.” – Joseph Pilates

Pilates is a form of exercise that has been growing in popularity for the last 70 years ever since Joseph Pilates wrote his book Return to Life through Contrology in 1945. Pilates is the practice of controlled movements which build strength and improve flexibility throughout the entire body.

Pilates called his method of physical training “contrology” since he believed the conscious mind has the most power in controlling the muscles of the body. In this sense, Pilates is referring to deliberate concentration, as opposed to automatic movements of your body by your subconscious mind.

In his first book, Your Health, published in 1934, Pilates introduced his philosophy behind exercise with the “balance of body and mind” concept. To achieve proper balance of the body and mind neither should be considered more important than the other, but rather the body and mind are equally important to achieve health. “Man should develop his physical condition simultaneously with the development of his mind,” Pilates said.

Pilates believed that deep mental awareness of your breathing, working your core, controlling your movements, fluidity of motion, precision of exercises and being mentally present during your workout were essential to physical health. Exercise without mental concentration, he thought, was literally a waste of time.

With your mind engaged in your workout, Joseph Pilates was convinced that “Contrology correspondingly reawakens thousands and thousands of dormant brain cells, thus activating new areas and stimulating further the functioning of the mind.”

While Pilates may not have had a scientific study to backup his theory, recent research has revealed that concentration does help improve brain function, and regular exercise also has proven benefits for the brain.

As a result, regular Pilates sessions can offer 2 benefits for the price of 1 – a workout not only for your body but also for your mind. No daydreaming allowed. To do Pilates properly, you will be intensely focused on the task at hand – and that is a good thing! – T.Y.

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