Hanging in the Balance Katherine and Kimberly Corp are the owners of Pilates on Fifth, one of the largest studios in New York City with a diverse clientele. They also offer an equally diverse range of classes, which is continually evolving; they’re not afraid to try something new. So when we heard about their SilkSuspension™ equipment and class, inspired by men’s gymnastics ring training, we knew it was time to get suspended.
The Pilates Phenomenon: Where do We Go From Here? Photo Gallery
We both love suspension-based exercises for the increases in strength and stability, but grappled with the absence of fluidity and flow to the workouts,” say the sisters (pictured at right) of their impetus to create a new apparatus. “We also tried aerial silks, but the combination of the uncertain upper-body strength (meaning you never knew when your arms would give out!) and the fear of being off the ground prevented us from feeling a true sense of accomplishment.
Enter SilkSuspension, which features two independently moving suspension points (instead of just one) to force the entire body to stabilize dynamically in 360 degrees. The silks each come with three handles—one for upper body, one for lower body and another for core work—along with a sling (or small “hammock”) for more abdominal exercises and inversions. The system features 300-plus functional movements, including those inspired by suspension work, aerial silks and of course, Pilates, to catapult strength, stability and flexibility into overdrive.
OUR TAKE: SilkSuspension is as fun as it is results driven. It was nice not having to “think” so much, since, as the Corps explained, the equipment helps the body learn proper movement patterns on a neuromuscular level. And it was surprising to learn and feel how SilkSuspension is really accommodating to all levels, not just aerial artists (and people who still can’t do a proper cartwheel, like me!). The Pilates exercises challenged me on a deeper level you have no choice but to use every ounce of strength and it was freeing to be able to hang and swing in the hammock. I’m still feeling the high!
For more information, including upcoming instructor trainings or to purchase the equipment or manuals, visit www.pilatesonfifth.com/silksuspension.
Amanda Altman oller ehab
Although challenging stability and balance is a good thing, sometimes you just need to work on releasing tension and stress throughout the body. Get out the essential oil and candles, and take these new therapy-oriented rollers for a spin.
While the Balanced Body Softie Roller can function as a posture¬perfecting, total-body-strengthening device, the soft foam roller, which measures 36 inches in length, is also delicate enough for myofascial release and self-massage ($39, including instructional poster; www.pilates.com).
Massage Point Foam Roller Two-in-One doubles as a core-challenging prop and a trigger-point massage tool, thanks to its spiky exterior. Made from lightweight, nonslip foam, the roller can be broken down into two parts each 12 inches long to help you access smaller areas on a deeper level ($69.99, including a bonus exercise guide; www.merrithew.com).
Taller; Slimmer; Younger
The brainchild of Pilates teacher and fascia expert Lauren Roxburgh, the LoRox Aligned Roller is made from moderate-density Eva foam and features circular bumps. Roxburgh’s exercises on the therapeutic roller in her book Taller, Slimmer, Younger: 21 Days to a Foam Roller Physique (Ballantine Books, 2016) help hydrate fascia to boost circulation and release tension. Available in two sizes: the standard 36-inch length and a 12-incher, for when you’re on the go ($49.95 and $14.95, respectively, or purchase with the book for $55.95; www.optp.com).
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