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Pilates Fitness

Pilates & Blood Pressure Control


Pilates & Blood Pressure Control


Adding to the growing research evidence of the health benefits of Pilates is a new study showing that hypertensive women who practiced mat Pilates experienced a significant reduction in blood pressure. Since resistance exercises benefit people with high blood pressure, researchers from the Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, in Brazil, wanted to evaluate whether Pilates, as a form of resistance exercise, would offer similar reductions in blood pressure. 

Investigators enrolled 44 middle-aged hypertensive women who did not participate in any structured exercise and were taking blood pressure-lowering medications under supervision from their respective doctors. The women were divided into two groups: a control group that did not add any new exercise train­ing during the study period; and a training group that attended a 60-min ute mat Pilates class twice a week for 16 weeks. All subjects underwent blood pressure assessments, among other physical tests, at the beginning of the study and after 16 weeks. 

Data analysis showed that women in the training group experienced a significant reduction in blood pressure during all measurements over a 24-hour period (awake and sleeping). Control group members did not demonstrate any comparable changes in blood pressure. 

Study limitations included the fact that only middle-aged women who wanted to take the training participated. But the authors noted that, in other research, both men and women have responded equally in exercise interventions designed to lower blood pressure. 

The authors consequently recommended "mat Pilates training on a regular basis as a non-drug treatment for the prevention, treatment and control of hypertension, provided that the same will be applied in accordance with the criteria and appropriate care and by a trained and qualified professional for [Pilates mat exercises] and [for people with high blood pressure]."

The research was published in International Journal of Cardiology (2015; 179, 262-68). 

Article from IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL, April 2015


Sleep & Pilates


Sleep & Pilates

What Do Pilates and Sleep Have in Common?

The answer is quiet a bit. Getting more ZZZs might be as simple as coming to our classes. We all know how terrible we feel trying to make it through the day after a restless night’s sleep. What if a simple routine of doing some exercise a couple of times per week could help? A preliminary study in the Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies (2013; 17, 5-10) reported that healthy, inactive adults who participated in 2 - one hour Pilates mat classes a week for 12 weeks reported better sleep and quality of life.  The participants reported better depth as well as quality of sleep.  So get yourself into a few Pilates classes and see what a difference it can make for you.

Yellow Feather Photography



Why Should You Stay Active

We have found a wealth of information about diet, exercise and health on WebMD.  Here is a recent article on the benefits of exercise and staying active.  We thought we would share some of the highlights. No matter what your size or shape, being active:

  • Makes you feel better.
  • Helps you fall asleep and sleep well.
  • Gives you more energy.
  • Helps you think better and faster.
  • Helps you handle stress.
  • Makes you healthier.
  • Helps you live longer.
  • Fitness benefits everyone. in your family

By being active you can prevent many of the diseases that are plaguing our nation right now.

  • Coronary artery disease.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Some cancers.
  • If you already have any of these problems, staying active may help you to have better control over them, feel better, and live longer.

Being fit includes keeping your muscles, bones, and joints as active and healthy as possible. Make your muscles stronger by lifting weights—even small ones—is a good way to do this. Weights also increase bone density, which is especially important for older adults

Being more active burns calories. That can help you get to and stay at a healthy weight. Getting regular exercise:

  • Helps your body burn more calories even when you're resting.
  • May lower your percentage of body fat and increase muscle strength and tone.





May Vacations

After a busy winter at the studio, a few instructors are taking some vacation time.  Please check with the studio to make sure your class or private is still be held while your instructor is away.  With all our summer activities starting, hiking, biking, boating, now is the perfect time to add an extra class in so you are fit and ready to be outside.  We all want to remain strong for our sports and an extra session a week will get you there.  Check out the schedule in the studio or here and find a class that fits your needs! Steve is aways May 12 to 16th

Sonia is away May 14 to 16th

Helen is away May 16 to 23rd



Sitting and Quality of Life!

Sitting for extended periods of time throughout the day has been linked with increased risk of health problems and even with death. A new study from BMC Public Health (2013: 13[1071]) says that quality of life may also suffer in people who sit for long periods.The large study included 194,545 Australian men and women aged 45 and older who were randomly selected from the Medicare Australia database. Participants answered questions about physical activity levels and intensity, daily sitting time, and feelings of health and quality of life.

Of those surveyed, 16.5% reported excellent overall health and 25.7% reported excellent quality of life. Women who sat the least were more likely to report greater overall health and quality of life. The same was true for the most physically active women. "The study's findings bolster evidence (that it is beneficial) to increase moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and decrease time spent sitting (in order to promote) better health and...successful aging," said the authors.

"What’s the bottom line? If you have a job that requires long periods of sitting, set a timer every half an hour (or whatever works for your job) and get up and get moving for five minutes. That movement can include stretches, walking, going up or down a set of stairs, pushups, sit-ups, or anything that gets you out of your static position."

Excerpted from IDEA Fitness Journal, April 2014.



Why come to a Mat Pilates Class and what does it focus on?

mat pilates

It's Thursday January 2nd, you are looking at your New Year resolutions to get more exercise and get back into the studio.  Guess what we have a 9am mat class to start you on your way.  If you haven't done a mat class before here are some reasons why.  If you have here are some reminders.  The cost of mat classes are less, especially with a punch pass and Sonia is great about changing them up.  A few weeks ago we even did some TRX in one of the classes.  It is never boring and always a great core workout.  Many think it get's the core, your powerhouse, even better than equipment.  Plus you can target specific area's like upper body or arms! Mat Pilates is a form of exercise that is done on the floor. It utilizes the core (which helps with stability and teaches you control), lengthens your muscles and strengthens you from the inside out. It focuses on internal obliques, stablizers in your spine and is very flowing, it’s a non stop (work out). It targets every single muscle in your body and aligns muscles and joints. It focuses on core control. Joseph Pilates called it ‘contrology’. You teach your mind to control your body instead of your body controlling your mind. In Mat Pilates you use your weight as resistance, on equipment you have the springs and pulleys to help guide you.

“In 10 sessions, you will feel the difference. In 20, you will see the difference. And in 30, you’ll be on your way to having a whole new body.”

– Joseph Pilates

We hope to see you there bright and early, Thursday morning to start your year off right!  Remember, 9am mat class, put it on you schedule NOW!



Today is Joseph Pilates Birthday


Joseph Pilates, know as the father of Pilates, was a true visionary.  Here are a few of his most famous quotes: “The acquirement and enjoyment of physical well-being, mental calm and spiritual peace are priceless to their possessors if there be any such so fortunate living among us today. However, it is the ideal to strive for, and in our opinion, it is only through Contrology that this unique trinity of a balanced body, mind, and spirit can ever be attained.”

Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure."

“Physical fitness is: “the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure”

“Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.”

“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.”Joe said this one year before he died at the age of 87.

Happy Birthday Joseph!



Time to Spin!

With the weather getting colder, is it getting harder to get out on your bike?  spin bikeMaybe you hung your bike up already and decided to let all your conditioning go for the winter or you are looking for a way to compliment your days on the mountain.   Don't fret, we have the answer, SPIN CLASSES!  We have room available on Tuesdays and Thursdays early mornings to put a class together.  You know how important aerobic activity is, by adding a spin class or two you will easily hit your goals.  If you are interested in both or either day, let us know.  Call the studio at 719-539-4210 or email  


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15 Minute Pilates Mat Workout!

So, you only make a mat class once a week or you only work on the equipment.  What are some mat exercises you can do at home in 15 minutes to keep your core strong and you instructors happy? ;-)

  • Pelvic Curl/Bridge
  • Spine Twist Supine
  • Chest Lift
  • Roll-up
  • Spin Stretch
  • Side Leg Lifts
  • Basic Swan

Many times we set unrealistic goals for our at home practice, like doing at least an hour of Pilates a day.  Then if you don't find that hour or are not motivated to exercise that long you do nothing.  A 15 minute time slot is perfect for doing a brief, full body session touching all the primary ranges of motion and working the key muscle groups.  This is great for a maintenance program to use between your sessions in the studio.  It is an excellent way of staying connect to the work and in shape while traveling.  If you don't know these exercises, ask one of our instructors to show you them or write down the steps for you!  There are also many instructional video on the internet on each of these exercises.  

(part of this sequence was taken from Pilates Style Magazine, by Rael Isacowitz)

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Labor Day Weekend!

We want to wish everyone a wonderful Labor Day weekend holiday!  The last long weekend of the summer, so get out and have some fun!  With that said, the Studio will also be closed Friday August 30th and Monday September 2nd. With the kids back in school and everything returning to a more normal schedule, we want to remind to you look at our schedule and see if there is something you are interested in.  We have a lot of fun classes going offered and are always adding new things.  If you haven't check out the schedule recently here are the links to our schedule:

Mat Classes                          Equipment Classes                          Spin Classes

Maybe you need a little than just a class.  Check out our punch pass for private lessons!  It never expires and you can get that one on one coaching you may be needing to take things to the next level, work out a kink or two or refine you Pilates technique.




Spread the Word Again!

We are letting you know!

We had a great response to our ad last month that we decided to run it again for July!  Tell your family and friends The Pilates Studio is offering a free private session!  Read our ad below, which is appearing in the paper and spread the word!

pilates ad



New Class Added, Specifically Designed for Dancers!

Learn why dancers like Mikhail Baryshnikov, George Balanchine, Rudolf von Laban, Four BallerinasHanya Holm used Pilates.  We are adding a Pilates Equipment class starting in July and running for 10 weeks, designed specifically for dancers.  The class will start Friday July 12 and run for 10 weeks on Fridays at 11am!   As a special offer for the 10 week series, the introductory cost will be $175.00 for the series.  A savings of $20 off normal equipment classes. The Pilates Studio, Pilates for Dancers  10 week program will help you:

  • prevent injury,
  • improve dance technique
  • increase understanding of movement principles
  • prepare the dancer for the demands of their dance form
  • use your core (powerhouse) for grace, stability, better extension and balance
  • create long, lean muscle

Kyanne Danowsky has taught dance for over 25 years.  She tried Pilates to recover from a back injury.  As her strength and balanced muscle tone returned after only three months, she was hooked.  She continued teaching dance with renewed vigor and endurance.  Now as a certified Pilates instructor,  Kyanne is excited to offer this class to the dance community.

Please contact the studio 719-539-4210 or email



Did you know we offer a prenatal class?

We offer a prenatal class on Thursdays at 4:30!  All of our pregnant ladies have gone andTummy of a Pregnant Woman given birth, imagine that!  So, we are looking to spread the word again to get the class filled back up.  It is an equipment class, which is perfect for women throughout their pregnancy.  The Pilates Studio offers many ways to stay in shape through out your pregnancy and loose that baby fat afterwards!  If there is enough interest we would put together a post natal class, designed to specifically address moms after they deliver.  See below for some of the benefits of post natal Pilates.  We are putting this out there to you our community and we hope you can help us spread the word to current non-Pilates women.  We all know and see lots of moms to be! Whether it’s private lessons, group classes or a prenatal class designed especially for expectant mommies, we offer it all!

Benefits of prenatal Pilates:

  • Increased body awareness with better posture and support a more comfortable pregnancy and delivery.
  • Improved control and strength of pelvic floor region
  • Supports joints and ligaments that may be compromised with increasing strain from developing baby
  • Develops flexibility and muscular endurance in the body.
  • Relieves common problems associated with pregnancy such as backache, thoracic pain, sciatica, ligament pain, and pubic symphysis pain
  • Helps with breathing techniques that can be employed effectively during labor
  • Makes it easier for pelvic floor to release in those crucial latter stages of giving birth
  • Speeds up recovery after birth

A woman’s body is certainly put through its paces during pregnancy and beyond that into labor. Even once the baby has been safely delivered, your body will be rapidly readjusting itself. 

Benefits of post natal Pilates:

  • Rehabilitation of pelvic floor, abdominal and spinal muscles
  • It provides an avenue for the body to regain strength
  • Retrains muscles to recover from extensive changes experienced during pregnancy
  • Provides an outlet and social activity for new
  • Prepares the body for aerobic or more high impact exercise
  • Helps with Rectus diastasis (abdominal separation) recovery.




Spread the Word!

We are letting you know first!

Tell your family and friends The Pilates Studio is offering a free private session!  Read our ad below, which is appearing in Mondays paper and spread the word!

pilates ad




Friday Strong-Arm Added and Evening Mat Classes!

Our strong-arm class has become so popular that we have added an additional one on Friday at 11:00 am.  These classes have morphed from a half hour class to a full 45 minute class.  Students are seeing great results in tone and strength in their upper bodies.  Other strong-arm upper body classes are Monday at 9:00 am and Wednesday at 3:00 pm. You can use your unlimited mat punches for strong-arm classes. Speaking of mat classes we offer several great late afternoon, early evening classes.  We have several die hards that make them every week, but there is plenty of space for others to attend, so we wanted to extend the invitation out to you to try one.  With the upcoming time change it will make it even easier to get to an evening class.  We currently have 3 later in the day mat classes:  Monday at 4:00pm, Tuesday at 5:00pm and Wednesday at 5:30.  See you at the studio!



Get Out There and Play!

Two People SnowshoeingWith all this awesome snow, we know you are going to get out and play in it this weekend.  Here are a few Pilates exercises that are good for winter activities, like skiing, snow boarding,  ice skating and snowshoeing.  A number of Pilates exercises can help with our winter sports, by helping with balance, keep us injury free and sport specific strong.  All the above sports require agility along with a strong core and lower body strength.  Flexibility is also important, in our achilles tendon and hip flexors. Strong quads, glutes, and calf muscles are necessary for most of our winter activities and keep you out of the bushes!   Of course our core is always engaged to keep us balanced, strong and ready for anything. Here are six exercises that will work all these specific muscles, to keep you strong and flexible in most winter sports:

  • The Hundreds on a mat 
  • Clam on the mat
  • Achilles stretch on the chair
  • Step ups on the chair
  • Eve's lunge on the reformer
  • Tendon stretch on the reformer

    April Prout-Ralph skiing powder at Monarch.

If you want to do these exercises at home ask one of our instructors for a variation that will work without equipment.  In most of our classes we teach these and many other exercises that are perfect for your winter activities.  As a matter of fact we think, Pilates is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself in shape for winter sports.  Just ask April Prout-Ralph, one of our Pilates students pictured here, how much Pilates has changed her skiing and other winter sports.  Way to rip it up April!  



Why Dudes Should Do Pilates, by Greg Sher

I've been a personal trainer in New York City for four years now, and whenever I tell newSteve on reformer male clients that we'll be incorporating Pilates in our training programs, they all say the same thing: "Isn't Pilates for women?" I tactfully explain to my client that Pilates is definitely not just for women. In fact Joseph Pilates, the guy who invented Pilates was...

A) a dude

B) a beer drinking, cigar smoking boxer who lived to be 84

C) a handyman who turned hospital beds into exercise equipment

You'd think that a man who was half pugilist and half MacGyver would be deemed quite "manly" in the eyes of most males, but apparently not.

Anyway, I think it's important for guys to do Pilates. And if you're a woman who wants your male companion to join you for your next Pilates class, this blog may be for you.

Here are my top 4 reasons why dudes should do Pilates...

1. Six Pack Abs.  Joseph Pilates had a six-pack, both in his fridge and under his shirt. You, too can achieve the latter of the two by incorporating Pilates in your workouts. If you're a guy, you're more prone to developing body fat around the abdominals than women.

Pilates incorporates slow and controlled moving core exercises that sometimes requires you to hold a pose for an extended period of time. This makes for a very intense and different type of (isometric) contraction for the abdominals that a lot of people aren't used to. New contractions/exercises shock the muscle group you are exercising and make for great new results.

2. Flexibility.  Strengthen and lengthen your muscles! Women are typically 7% more flexible than men in their ligaments and tendons, which means guys need to catch up! During the first few weeks of my apprenticeship before I began teaching Pilates myself, I pretty much became the model for what to do if you were training the Tin Man, or someone who seriously lacked flexibility. Towards the end of the comprehensive program, I was able to perform the exercises and stretches that I originally could not even come close to doing!

3. Rehabilitation.  I had bursitis in my hips when I first started doing Pilates, and now that bursitis is simply a memory. Exercises like side leg kick series did amazing work rehabilitating my hips. I later learned that many doctors recommend Pilates for patients who undergo back surgery.

One of my instructors during the 6 month comprehensive program once suffered a broken back and was now able to do some serious core intensive exercises. Another student in my program had a herniated disc and was still schooling me on some of the techniques we were learning. It became abundantly clear to me that Pilates had some of the greatest rehabilitation work I've ever seen.

4. Longevity.  You can't run everyday and not blow out your knees. Strength and endurance programs requires you to rest in between workouts. You can't grapple or kickbox everyday without injuring yourself somehow. Pilates is one of the few forms of exercises you can do every day, and instead of breaking down your body, you continue to progress in strength and flexibility. Bikram Yoga falls into the same category.

Published January 8, 2013 at 7:01 AM

About Greg Sher:  My name is Greg Sher, founder of I Kill Fat - Manhattan Personal Training. If you would have told the couch potato version of me 6 years ago that I'd be an expert in resistance training, I probably would have been too deep in a food coma to laugh. I've been a personal trainer/Pilates instructor in NYC for the past 4 years, and my clients are the proud owners of ultra personalized exercise programs tailored to help them reach their fitness goals. I love incorporating traditional weight training with Pilates and yoga. Each world of fitness offers a wide variety of different resistance training methods to strengthen and lengthen your muscles. Check out my website and download my free eBook Killing Fat Through Resistance Training at


Follow me: @ikillfat

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Feel the burn with the Magic Circle

We all know how much we love the magic ring! Here are a couple of pointers to get the most out of the ring for your next workout! Thanks Pilates Style Magazine for the pointers! PILATES STYLE - LIVE LIFE TO THE CORE December 11, 2012 Ring of Fire: Feel the Burn with the Magic Circle! Web Editor by Kris­ten Matthews

Every time I tell my clients we’re going to use the Magic Cir­cle, more often than not the response I get is “there is no magic in the circle,” and we all laugh. They view it more as a nec­es­sary evil, know­ing it pro­duces results. So when I was try­ing to think of a name for a Pilates Magic Cir­cle work­shop, Ring of Fire seemed apro­pos, and because I per­son­al­ly love John­ny Cash, I couldn’t resist.

While the Cir­cle, one of Joseph Pilates’ inven­tions, doesn’t actu­al­ly offer magic, it can add vari­ety to your work­out, chal­lenge your core, help to increase your flex­i­bil­i­ty, tone your arms, back and chest, and sculpt your butt and legs. The best part is you can buy one at any sport­ing goods store. If you want­ed, you could prob­a­bly bring it with you on vaca­tion and not skip a beat with your Pilates work­outs!

I per­son­al­ly love the Cir­cle as I truly feel it helps to tar­get hard-to-reach areas. When I want an intense work­out but don’t have a full hour to spare, I’ll grab the prop and choose exer­cis­es I feel are the most effec­tive for the whole body. I always add in a stretch that I find extreme­ly help­ful for tight­ness in the legs and hips. So grab your Cir­cle and be pre­pared to feel the burn with this work­out, cen­tered around the “ring of fire.”


The Hun­dred

1. Lie on your back, and place the Cir­cle between your ankles. Bring your knees to table­top

2. With your arms long by your side, lift your head and shoul­ders off the floor, and extend your legs to 45 degrees.

3. Start to vig­or­ous­ly pump your arms between your hips and knees, breath­ing in for 5 counts and out for 5 counts. Do 10 rep­e­ti­tions.


• Work the backs of your thighs toward one anoth­er.

• Length­en your legs out of your hips as you pull your low ribs toward your spine.

• Have ener­gy reach­ing out of the tips of your fin­gers and your toes the entire time.

Double-Leg Stretch

1. Lie on your back, and place the Cir­cle between the heels of your hands so that your thumb and fin­gers are on the same side.

2. Bring your knees into your chest, lift your head and shoul­ders off the floor, and hover the Cir­cle over your shins.

3. Inhale to stretch your arms back so your biceps end up next to your ears as you simul­ta­ne­ous­ly extend your legs out to 45 degrees.

4. Exhale to bring your knees back into your chest and your arms toward your shins, this time thread­ing your legs through the Cir­cle and extend­ing them out to 45 degrees.

5. Inhale to bend your knees again, tak­ing your legs from between the Cir­cle so that you can reach your arms back up by your ears and your legs back out to 45 degrees. Do 8–10 rep­e­ti­tions.


• Use your biceps to press the Cir­cle and watch that you don’t lock your elbows.

• Keep your inner thighs glued togeth­er as if they are one unit.

• Work your low ribs into the mat to help pre­vent your upper body from falling back.



8 Principles of Pilates

What you need to know to perform Pilates perfectly

By:  E.C. LaMeaux

Joseph Pilates called it contrology. In his book  Return to Life Through Contrology, he defined his work as a way to completely and thoroughly unify the body, mind and spirit. His principles, which we now call the principles of Pilates, are the foundation for his approach to physical fitness. While the principles may sound abstract, their integration, according to Pilates, helps achieve balance, grace and fluidity. Learn about these eight Pilates fundamentals:


Concentration promotes the mind-body connection. As you focus and become mindful of each body movement, Pilates states you will receive optimum physical value from each movement as well as enhance your body awareness.


During your Pilates workout, you should consciously bring your focus to the center of your body. As you focus within, this Pilates principle suggests you will bring calm to both your body and spirit. Pilates called the center of your torso the “powerhouse,” from which all energy for exercise is derived.


Pilates' method is based on mindfulness, including proper, safe and complete muscle control. With proper control, you utilize the exact and correct form, leaving no part of your body unattended. In your mindful awareness, you direct each and every movement.


According to Pilates' precision principle, executing one exercise with deliberate exactitude is more important than completing more repetitions with sloppier form. For this reason, good Pilates instructors provide detailed instructions to their students on all Pilates movements.


Deep, controlled, diaphragmatic breathing activates blood circulation and awakens cells and muscles. Pilates recommended visualizing the lungs as bellows as you bring air in to the fullest and release it in the same manner. He wrote that breathing is the most integral part of exercise, and even if one follows no other recommendation, learning to breathe correctly is the most important thing.


From head to toes, the Pilates method stresses good posture and awareness of the placement of all parts of your body. During your Pilates workout, it is important to be aware of the position of your head, neck, spine and pelvis to ensure proper breathing and technique.


Pilates routines are completed through a gentle flow. Grace, ease and fluidity are the intention Joseph Pilates applied to all exercise. Continuous, smooth and elegant movement as you transition from one pose to another will bring strength and stamina according to this principle.


Breath, control, mindfulness, centering, alignment and precision unite as the many groups of muscles work together to support and govern movement. Practicing each of the above principles achieves Pilates' goal of an integrated mind-body workout.




Colorado Bike to Work Day

Last month was National Bike to Work day and on June 27–Colorado Bike to Work Day–If you are in Denver, Bicycle Colorado will be near the State Capitol in Civic Center Park and at the REI Denver Flagship store with maps, manuals and a few other fun freebies! Come visit us. Wherever and whenever you are celebrating Bike to Work Day, make sure to sign up, so we can track the number of riders who participate in these events. Let's make June 27th, bike to everything day including your classes at the studio.  It's a good way to warm up before your class and will get your heart rate up and those muscles ready to work. Happy riding!