The potpourri of Pilates in New York City

treeDo you remember your favorite teacher from high school? If you’re like most people, your favorite teacher significantly influenced your interest in the subject she taught. Well, it’s no surprise that your first Pilates teacher will most likely shape your preferences for one type of Pilates over another — for better or worse!

As for the two of us, we don’t have “Pilates bodies” — and some Pilates teachers we’ve had through the years made us abundantly aware of that fact! I wanted to feel GOOD leaving a session, but instead felt like Quasimodo and wished I’d had a potato sack to hide my deformed, twisted, imperfect body. Of course we both ended up embracing the type of Pilates that was taught to us by a teacher who was open, fun, inspiring, life-affirming, attentive to imbalances but full of compassion and had us feeling really GREAT about our bodies and our potential after the lesson.

If you have tried Pilates and hated it, then by all means, give it another try. Maybe you and the teacher just didn’t “click.” To make this easier for you, we have included some links to some great Pilates studios in the city, all of which teach slightly different styles of Pilates. Of course we’d love to see you at our studio, Pilates on Fifth, but we also know that location and style can be everything, and there are many great Pilates studios here in NYC! Here’s the list….and we know all of these owners and can state confidently that they are exceptionally qualified AND kind individuals who are dedicated to their craft.

LindaFit by Linda Farrell: Linda is a beautiful lady both inside and out and teaches fabulous body-sculpting mat classes throughout the city (just check out her legs if you don’t believe us!) She teaches at Steps, Broadway Dance Center and Equinox among other locations.

Rolates, run by Roberta Kirschenbaum: Roberta is kind and wise — a perfect combination for a great Pilates instructor and studio owner. Rolates often conducts innovative, educational workshops and has the added bonus of inhabiting Joseph Pilates’ original studio space!

Pilates Reforming New York, run by husband and wife team Ann Toran and Errol Toran: Ann delivers challenging core-strengthening, elongating workouts conveniently scheduled throughout the day. Pilates Reforming New York specializes in energizing group reformer classes.

Power Pilates, presided over by Dr. Howard Sichel: Dr. Sichel and Power Pilates has an amazing team of leaders in the Pilates industry providing high quality instruction at 6 locations throughout New York City and more throughout the country.

So remember….if you tried Pilates once and didn’t like it, please give it another chance! Maybe it isn’t for you, but if you’re reading this, then you’re interested enough to give it another try!


March 19, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings. Leave a comment.

Add power to your push-ups with Pilates and ActivCore©

We’re sure you’ve all heard some version of the phrase “if you’re stranded on a deserted island, how do you keep your muscles bulging and ripped? Push-ups, of course!”

When push-ups are done correctly (i.e., pulled in abs, strong gluts, energized legs, etc.), they really do tackle every major muscle group. Even if you start with your knees down and progress to more advanced versions, push-ups help strengthen your core. But don’t forget, a strong core can help strengthen your push-ups!

Whether you already have excellent push-ups and are looking for a challenge or are looking to gain strength to be able to DO a good push-up, the ActivCore FEX© system can be your solution. Our clients from weight lifting men to willowy women have seen dramatic strength improvements using ActivCore©.

The instability of the cords adds two new and important dimensions to your push-ups: 1) keeping the cords still as you perform the push-ups triggers deep stabilizers of the shoulders and torso to fire, increasing both shoulder stability and core strength and 2) maintaining alignment of the torso three-dimensionally (preventing sagging or piking hips, rotating pelvis and rocking side-to-side) further strengthens the core and creates important muscle memory for proper alignment in other endeavors. Exercises range from simple, rehabilitative movements to intense, core strengthening workouts.

As dancers, both of us have always struggled with upper body strength and neither of us has ever enjoyed working on upper body strength. Thus it has remained our “weakest link” all our lives! We got the ActivCore FEX© system for our studio on January 9th and WOW! The increase in strength is dramatic, and we’re both enjoying the journey, too!

And for you men out there, if you want to see some “real men” practicing on ActivCore©, click on this link and watch the video of Norwegian skier Kjetil Andre Aamodt, the only Alpine skier to win 8 Olympic gold medals in addition to many other titles, using ActivCore© to train.


March 10, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . ACTIVCORE®, Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings. Leave a comment.

Pilates mat vs. Pilates equipment: which is better?

lindafitClients new to Pilates often ask, “which is Pilates, the mat or the equipment?” Well the answer is BOTH! And both are excellent ways to strengthen your core, increase strength and flexibility and tone the entire body.

What is known today as “Pilates” began as a series of mat exercises Joseph Pilates created to rehabilitate himself and others. He later expanded these fitness and rehabilitative ideas to develop equipment out of hospital beds by attaching springs to bed frames or walls and supports overhead. Thus, bed-ridden individuals could begin to strengthen their muscles with support and without the misaligning effects of gravity.

Linda Farrell of LindaFit Pilates is a beautiful example of the effectiveness of Pilates mat work. “Over the years, the mat has become my preferred workout due to its convenience and portability,” Linda states. “As my professional life has demanded more of my time and energy, I have been happy to discover that I can still sneak in my Pilates mat workout — even for only 15 minutes — between classes, meeting and teacher trainings.” Linda has been known to squeeze in workouts anywhere from beaches to airport terminals! As Linda says, “the simplicity of the mat with its minimum set-up requirements and continuous flowing nature has seduced me, so to speak, and is my preferred Pilates workout.”

But don’t let this “simplicity” fool you! Pilates mat work can actually be harder than the equipment work. Individuals who can successfully complete an hour of advanced Pilates mat work are truly strong people! Because the mat requires you to support your own body weight constantly, mat exercises can be very challenging, especially for those with tight lower backs or limited flexibility. We enjoy the support that the equipment provides. Those who feel they can’t “do” the Pilates mat exercise properly can have more success with the equipment.

teaser-on-cadillacThe beloved (or notorious) “Teaser” is a great example of an exercise that is far more challenging on the mat than it is on the Cadillac. On the mat, you must articulate your spine off the mat, lifting your head, shoulders and legs all smoothly and beautifully without any assistance. If you have a tight lower back or abs that aren’t yet strong enough, you know how impossible this is! But the Cadillac helps you accomplish this move as the springs coming from above assist you.

For great mat classes throughout the city taught by Linda Farrell, visit for a schedule. For mat and equipment workouts online, visit or come by our studio, Pilates on Fifth.

Photos: Above, Linda Farrell of LindaFit Pilates. Below, Katherine and Kimberly Corp of Ultimate Pilates Workouts and Pilates on Fifth.

March 4, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, Postings. Leave a comment.

Break it Down!

pai-2Ultimate Pilates Workouts offers the most comprehensive Pilates instructional videos and DVD downloads available online! The simple, effective and exciting approach draws from the technique repertoire of The Pilates Academy International. The Pilates Academy International is New York City’s leading Pilates instructor certification center. Headquartered in New York, and offering satellite certifcation centers worldwide, The Pilates Academy International has a reputation for certifying highly respected and knowledgeable Pilates instructors.

The Pilates Academy International advocates a system that fosters extensive understanding of anatomy and biomechanics. Providing our students with the necessary tools and information regarding the science of the body in turns produces instructors capable of working with clients with injuries and special conditions. Graduates of The Pilates Academy International are sensitive to pregnant, senior, athletic, injured and rehabilitating clients alike. They are also equipped with an extensive set of exercises perfect for strengthening both beginner and advanced students. The Pilates Academy International acknowledges the broad spectrum of Pilates followers and therefore, effective applications of the method.

pai_logoUltimate Pilates Workouts expands on the principals of The Pilates Academy International by making its resources available online. As creators of both The Pilates Academy International and Ultimate Pilates Workouts, we understand that convenience counts too! We realize that many of our clients have busy schedules and cannot always commit to working out at our studio on a regular basis. We empathize with this situation, but believe that personal fitness should be able to find its way into your life both consistently and conveniently! Ultimate Pilates Workouts translates the exercise repertoire of The Pilates Academy International and makes it free to view from the convenience of your own at home computer! Free pilates online! And, pilates at home! With New York City’s top certifying Pilates instructor trainers! Who could ask for more?

How about more personal instruction? Sure! It’s important to execute each Pilates exercises with a clear understanding of its anatomical structure and fitness goal. Therefore, it is essential that each exercise be broken down to get the ultimate Pilates workout! To help you break down Ultimate Pilates Workouts for a fuller understanding of each exercise’s choreography, breath, shape, goals and modifications we’ve made The Pilates Academy International student manuals available to our Ultimate Pilates members!

The Pilates Academy International offers instructional manuals in Pilates Mat, Reformer, Cadillac/Tower, Chair, Barrels and Special Conditions. These manuals coincide with the exercises offered on Ultimate Pilates Workouts!

aprThe Pilates Academy International student manual collection is perfect for Pilates instructors looking to brush up on their skills, Pilates certification students preparing for examination (perfect for PAI students!!), and Ultimate Pilates Workouts members looking for further exercise clarification at home. To view Pilates Academy International manual samples online, click here! Browse the list of Pilates Academy International courses offered and their corresponding manuals.

Interested in purchasing your Pilates Academy International manual today? Perfect! Visit the Ultimate Pilates Workouts Shop menu, or click here!

Let us help you break down your Pilates workout with The Pilates Academy International!

February 27, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, Postings. Leave a comment.

Download workouts for your Pilates Power Gym™!

instructors-069A lot of fitness studios, gyms and clubs in New York that claim to offer Pilates training really only offer Pilates mat training. While we agree that Pilates mat classes are terrific, and we offer a wealth of them here at our own studio, we also understand that mat classes are only a part of the Pilates system. Pilates equipment sessions, such as Pilates Reformer classes, are an invaluable part of the Pilates experience.

At Pilates on Fifth, we have been offering Pilates Reformer classes in New York since we opened our doors in 2000. We currently have eleven Reformers in our spacious studio, including three Reformers with Tower attachments. During your Pilates private sessions (or your Pilates duets or trios) you’ll spend about 85 to 90 percent of your session working out on our Pilates equipment.

Your private, duet or trio might include use of the Reformer, the Cadillac, the Chair, or the Ladder Barrel. The Reformer is great for an all-over workout. It challenges your body as a whole, improving the strength and flexibility of your limbs and torso “in concert” –rather than working on individual, very specific parts of the anatomy (as is the case with the Cadillac), the Reformer works on the body as a collectively. The Reformer is one of the most important pieces of equipment in Pilates. The benefits of the Reformer have been recognized by commercial Pilates products, introducing at home Pilates equipment series such as the Pilates Power Gym™. The convenience of having a Reformer in your own home is unlimited! And, Ultimate Pilates Workouts can help!

doggiebesqueUltimate Pilates Workouts
was created to support all the men and women Pilateurs with busy schedules and not enough time to make it to their local Pilates studios. We understand that exercise classes outside of the home are not always the most time and money efficient answer to personal fitness. Pilates at home can be productive both healthfully and financially! Ultimate Pilates Workouts offers practioners of all levels an ever-growing Pilates Workout Library online! And, it’s free to join! Whether you be a fan of Pilates for your lower back pain, athletic cross-training, injury rehabilitation, pregnancy exercises, or general love for the method, we’ve got the perfect workout for you! Ultimate Pilates Workouts offers free and unlimited access to Pilates mat, small equipment, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair and Barrel workouts (click here for more information on membership grades)! Ultimate Pilates Workouts is perfect for the owner of a Pilates Power Gym™ and offers the benefits of Manhattan’s top Pilates studio in your own home! Select to purchase a workout to be formatted as a DVD, iPod download, or to simply play on your computer screen with an easy click of your mouse!

treeFor instance, start with My First Reformer workout to learn the basics…  Then, enjoy Fit & Fluid to stretch, strengthen, and tone your whole body.  Like a harder workout, or more of a “gym rat workout?  Then try Corps Physique: Gym Rat Reformer Workout or Strengthen and Define for a fast-pace, challenging workout that will invigorate the whole body and sculpt long, lean muscles.  Put a few more sentences at least here….  We know that the spring settings will be different for each manufacturer.  On, we use Stott Pilates® Reformers, but we will help you with spring conversions if you need them for your Pilates Power Gym™.

The deep breathing, stretching, and strengthening associated with Pilates will help you release tension. During your workout, you’ll feel better and more alive. When your workout is done, you’ll feel energized and refreshed. This isn’t the kind of workout that leaves you limp. Instead, you should feel renewed after your workout, ready to tackle the rest of your day!

Visit Ultimate Pilates Workouts today at to get the ultimate workout on your Pilates Power Gym™!

February 24, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, Postings. 1 comment.

Online Resources for Pilates

If you’re looking for a New York City Pilates certification center, keep in mind such centers vary quite a bit in technique and quality. Some teach only the basics of each exercise and little else. Then they leave it to you to figure out why the Pilates exercises improve the body, and how to pass on the instruction to others. At Pilates on Fifth, however, we emphasize the importance of understanding both the principles of anatomy and the best methods of Pilates instruction. After all, clients who truly appreciate fitness and the benefits of Pilates instruction will want a trainer who deeply respects and feels passionately about this fun and exciting exercise.

Pilates on Fifth, located in the heart of New York City, is a top-notch certification center and the headquarters of the Pilates Academy International. Our team of certifying instructors are pros at sharing their Pilates expertise and training techniques. Our spacious, 5,500 square foot facility is fully equipped with Pilates equipment, including reformers and cadillacs, and holds classes like mat Pilates. Even better, we’ve created a separate facility for our certification courses, ensuring there’s always plenty of room to learn.

Pilates certification centers have become more and more popular in recent years for good reason. Pilates is a proven exercise system that helps everyone from the pure beginner to the fine-tuned athlete. Your lower back gains extra support and protection from the stronger abdomen. Muscles all over your body gain strength, becoming toned, lean, and flexible without the bulk. Anyone who’s hoping to slim down and tone up at the same time should definitely look into this one-of-a-kind, inspirational exercise program.

The Pilates Academy International exercise repertoire is now available online! The creators and directors of Pilates on Fifth and the Pilates Academy International, Katherine and Kimberly Corp, are sharing their expert understanding of Pilates with Ultimate Pilates Workouts! Ultimate Pilates Workouts ( is a one of a kind website, that offers free and unlimited access to a variety of full-length Pilates mat and equipment workouts! The innovative site also provides a training library replete with instructional videos for Pilates mat, reformer, cadillac, chair and barrel exercises for beginners to advanced Pilates practitioners alike! The Pilates Academy International houses a sensitive and articulate methodology of Pilates ranging between 5 levels of performance and understanding. It also offers specific programming and modifications for clientele with special conditions and injuries. The Pilates Academy International provides the Pilates community with a wealth of knowledge and support for offering high quality Pilates conditioning for seniors, athletes, dancers, pregnant women, injuries, lower back care, and the everyday Pilates enthusiast alike! Ultimate Pilates Workouts is the ultimate online Pilates resource available! It is perfect for certified Pilates instructors looking to spice up their repertoire or to find specific instructions for dealing with special populations. And, it’s also terrific for Pilates lovers who crave one-on-one instruction, but can’t make it to the studio! Bring the Pilates Academy International into the convenience of your own home!

Join the ultimate online Pilates resource for free! Visit today!

February 17, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, Postings. Leave a comment.