As an exercise routine that doesn’t involve treadmills or kettlebells, it’s easy to dismiss Pilates as “just another stretching exercise”. Yet those who practice it regularly will know that it’s easily one of the best ways of improving your general fitness, from simple goals such as fixing bad posture, to boosting your metabolism in the long run.
First developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, the physical fitness system was originally called “Contrology” because of its emphasis on well, control. The regime is designed to improve balance, flexibility and strength simultaneously, and has often been credited for alleviating back injuries in the long run. Which comes as no surprise then, that Pilates has been a top pick for elite athletes and dancers for years.
Like yoga, Pilates incorporates plenty of stretching poses that are interspersed with precise, low-impact movements that does wonders for the core and specific muscle groups, sometimes with the help of the reformer machine.
To get you started on your journey to Pilates greatness, here are five of the best Pilates studios in Singapore’s CBD to hit up during lunch or after work.
This multi-discipline boutique fitness studio makes it easy to fall in love with the exercise, especially since it offers one of the most comprehensive set of classes for every need. Both Pilates Mat and Reformer sessions are available here; the former ranges from an abs and core-focused workout to one that encourages self-myofascial release after a long day at the desk.
Those looking to have a go at the latter will enjoy the Reformer Cardio Sculpt — a 55-minute strength and stability workout — or the Reformer Mixed Apparatus, which incorporates different equipment to help lengthen and align your body.
As a dedicated pilates studio, Breathe Pilates offers both private and small group classes daily, each specifically designed to cater to different objectives. The Gyrotonic class, for example helps correct poor biomechanics and posture, while the Fat Blast is a fast-paced workout that emphasises the core-strengthening elements of Pilates. Every instructor here is certified by Stott Pilates, and a large handful are also trained in treating spinal conditions and sports rehabilitation.
Core Collective goes above and beyond here by not only offering both mat and reformer Pilates classes, but also other services such as sports massage therapists and chiropractors. Here, three studios are kitted out with Basi Systems reformers, where moves to improve strength around the core, hamstrings, and spine are incorporated for an all-rounded workout.
The latest addition to the Virgin Active brand in Singapore is also home to the largest reformer studio, so you don’t have to scramble to get a session in order. A comprehensive range of classes are on offer here, but those looking for a refreshing spin on the workout will enjoy POP Pilates — a high energy class where movements flow with upbeat music — or the cardio-heavy Reformer HIIT, where strength is built with the help of sandbags, handrails, and bear crawls.
Having carved a name for itself with its well-equipped studio, Focus Pilates boasts reformer classes that tone muscles while improving flexibility. A strong foundation of Pilates is encouraged here, so those who have yet to try their hand at the reformer can book a 45-minute trial as a gentle introduction to the exercise.
The space also sees a physiotherapy studio which aids in the recovery of injuries, making it a conducive space for those seeking holistic treatments.