Sport rock-hard abs worthy of a magazine cover. By Estelle Low
It's no secret: Pilates is every fit girl's tool to sculpting an enviably toned tummy, Hollywood celebrities included.
Saw that of Kate Hudson, Cameron Diaz and Sandra Bullock? Those incredibly fit stars have pilates to thank.
What's so great about pilates?
Kate's long-time pilates instructor, Nicole Stuart, said in an interview with Shape US: "It primarily works your core, but not just the front. You’ll work the entire body - front, sides, back, your whole midsection, trunk - it pulls everything in and together. You’ll become tighter, more toned, and stronger. It makes you stand taller, makes you have more confidence, makes you more grounded. You’ll lose inches and get that leaner, longer look. After the first 10 sessions, you’ll feel different. After 20 sessions, you’ll see a difference!"
Now, time to get down to it. The Shape team and a panel of fitness enthusiasts recently sussed out pilates studios in Singapore to scout for the best classes in terms of instruction, structure, pace and environment.
Check out the top three.
Alpha Balance – Pilates Mat
Photo: Alpha Balance
Best Mat Pilates Class
What A series of controlled movements that will build strength without bulk, improve flexibility and agility, and prevent as well as rehabilitate injuries. Props like the exercise ball and fitness ring may be used.
Our tester says The exercises were intense, yet manageable and enjoyable. The instructor Heidi gave clear instructions on breathing and which muscles to activate. She made sure everyone was challenged in a safe way.
Breathe Pilates – Reformer and Tower 1
Photo: Breathe Pilates
Most Beginner-Friendly Reformer Pilates Class
What An introduction to the reformer and other pilates apparatuses, this beginner class is great for pilates newbies and those who need a refresher.
Our tester says "A conducive environment for first-timers. The instructions were well-delivered and easy to understand."
Focus Pilates – Strength and Conditioning
Photo: Focus Pilates
Most Challenging Pilates Class
What Taught at both beginner and intermediate levels, this class fuses pilates exercises with suspension training using the pilates tower.
Our tester says "It was a tough and effective workout. Though I do pilates regularly, my muscles ached the next day. The teacher paid a lot of attention to form and would push us to our limits."