When Am I Ready for a Level 2 Pilates Class

Not sure if you’re ready for a Level 2? Here are some suggestions. – Generally speaking, most clients are ready for a Level 2 after they have taken 10 Pilates classes. We give 10 as a guideline because that gives most clients enough experience to learn the basics of movement and start to feel like some of the exercises are familiar. – If you feel comfortable in our Level 1 classes, then there is really no reason why you can’t try a Level 2.  Level 2s are different than Level 1s, but they aren’t twice as hard. The pace is generally quicker and the exercises are a little harder, but it’s not like we’ll ask you to plank on your pinkies. As always, you can work at your own pace in any class and takes breaks if you need them. – Pilates when done correctly is always pretty challenging. So we like to tell clients that a Level 2 class is just a different type of challenge. A Level 1 is always going to be a good workout and a Level 2 is going to bump it up a notch. – Ask us if you have questions? Not sure or still feeling uncertain? Talk to us after class or send us an email. We’re here to...

Grip Socks Make it Sticky

At Core Reform, we require grip socks in all of our Pilates classes and private sessions. There are two main reasons. First, with grip socks, clients grip the reformer better with their feet. This makes it easier to do exercises properly, and, even cooler, makes it possible for the instructors to try out new moves. When the instructors know that client’s feet will grip nicely on the reformer and not slip, it’s easier for them to plan cool, innovative moves. Second, grip socks keep our studio MUCH cleaner. While this is not fun to talk about, our studio is MUCH cleaner when everyone covers their feet! We live in a flip flop type of place and feet go lots of places. To help maintain the cleanliness of our studio, we require everyone to wear socks while they workout. Grip socks are available for purchase here at the studio for $10, plus tax. Clients are also welcome to bring their...

Three Reasons We Love the Reformer 

Some studios use reformers, towers and chairs for their Pilates classes. We just use the reformer.Want to know why? First, we use Merrithew brand Pilates reformers which come with a platform extender. This extender make it possible for us to do a whole range of exercises which aren’t possible with only the reformers. In addition to standing work, we can do the whole mat repertoire on the carriage! Second, the Merrithew brand machines come with the Cardio Tramp. We just love the Cardio Tramps. They are so fun to use and allow us to add a jumping component to all of our classes. We feel this makes our classes more energetic than if we tried to incorporate chairs and towers. Third, and perhaps most importantly, we stick with one machine because we want to keep set up time to a minimum. We know our customers are paying for 50 minute Pilates classes and our workouts are planned to keep the flow smooth. If we were switching apparatus, we’d be spending more time setting up and less time teaching class. Chairs, towers, barrels and arcs are all amazing and they most definitely have their place in Pilates. For us, the Reformer is just the best “fit” for our class plan. We like to keep you going so that you feel worked out, energized and accomplished after every...

Zip Up Those Abs

You hear us say “Engage that core & zip up those abs” regularly in our Pilates classes. What do we mean? A good way to think about it is to remind yourself that your abdominal muscles cover your entire torso. When do you Pilates, you want that entire torso engaged most of the time. So imagine that you knew someone was about to punch you in the stomach – you’d tighten up your abs to try to lessen the impact. That tight feeling is what we mean when we say zip up your core. Try it next time you’re in class. If you’re new, learning to keep your abs tight through the class (even when we’re working our legs and arms) is a great extra challenge and another way to see bang for your...

If I have an injury, can I take Pilates class?

In this post, we’ll try to provide some guidance to help clients assess a regular question – whether or not a client can do Pilates classes when they have an injury. Deciding to take class after an injury or surgery is a personal decision and there is not a “one size fits all approach”. The thoughts below are based on our experience at the studio and we hope they are helpful. Our studio teachers a very fitness-y version of Pilates. We are true to Pilates, but our pace is quick and we offer a workout. Our classes are supposed to be fun and fitness-y. They are not what the doctor or PT has in mind when they recommend Pilates. If you’ve had surgery on any major body part (back, knee, neck, shoulder, etc) you probably should NOT do classes without doing privates first.  You will almost certainly need modifications, and you need to give yourself time to learn what they are. It will be extremely important for you to focus on correct form, and you’ll learn this quicker in a private. The big thing after any surgery or injury (even years later) is that it is very easy to re-injure. Taking privates to learn proper form and modifications will help to minimize the risk of re-injury. Our regularly scheduled classes are just that – classes. The instructors do their best to be helpful, but they are there to guide students through a Pilates workout. During a group class, the instructor’s ability to offer modifications is limited. There are a few things that students should be able to do in order to take a class –...

What do Pilates Trainers Eat? Our first recipe.

Our trainers are a pretty healthy crew. We all eat pretty healthy and have found a way to make healthy living part of our lives. In the coming weeks, we’re going to have some fun on our Instagram page. We’re going to show what our trainers are eating in one day so that you can see all the different ways there are to eat healthy. You’ll also see that we all find time for indulgences. Follow us @corereformpilates on instagram. To kick it off, here’s our first easy weeknight meal recipe. Pasta with roasted cauliflower, tomatoes & arugula. You’ll need: cauliflower, garlic, tomatoes, arugula and pasta. For our purposes, this was a meal for one. Just double the quantities to make it for two. – Bowlful of cauliflower: Cut into small pieces, coat nicely in a good quality olive oil and with 1 clove garlic mixed in. Roast at 500 for a short amount of time, probably 10-15 minutes. Set aside. – A generous handful of cherry tomatoes: Cut in half with a small coating of olive oil. Roast for a few short minutes – 3-5. Set aside. – Arugula – a good sized amount. It gets smaller once it wilts. – 1 serving size pasta – any kind you want. Cook the pasta, drain the pasta. Then, add all ingredients back into the pot & mix together. If you’re pasta is still hot, your arugula will wilt nicely. If you roasted in advance, no worries, just add heat for a minute or two to heat everything up. If you’re super hungry, add a protein, like turkey or vegetarian meatballs....

Planning a Class

Our Instagram post from today shows a few photos from a morning Pilates class as well as our trainer’s outline. We want to talk about that a little. Before every shift, our teacher’s plan what they are going to teach. The look at the class schedule and they create an outline of what they want to cover and then they adjust the outline slightly for each level class they teach. For example, if the trainer noticed that one class had a handful of new people, she’d probably look at her outline and take out anything too complex. Outlines are important because they give the class direction and...

Planking

Planking is one of our favorite Core Reform Pilates class exercises. Planking challenges the entire body. It strengthens the shoulders & promotes shoulder stability. It strengthens the abdominals. It uses the back. It teaches principles of alignment and stability. It forces clients to focus one breathing and form. We love planks because they can be done as isometric holds or we can add movement. Planking is also about goal crushing. For new clients, planks are really hard. Sometimes clients start on their knees. Planks can be improved. They can be worked towards. More time can be added and form can be...

Tips for Newbies

New to Core Reform Pilates Classes? Here are some tips to help you get started: Enjoy! Our classes are supposed to be fun. We want you to have a good time & to take things at your own pace. Learning something new takes practice. It’s going to take you a few classes to get the hang of things – that’s normal! Everyone starts somewhere. We see brand new clients who have been doing Pilates for a long time. We also see (lots) of clients who are brand new. Wherever you’re at, you’re welcome at our studio! Turn your listening ears on. Our instructors give very detailed cueing about how to set up and complete exercises. Listen to them for guidance. Ask questions. Our instructors always love when students have questions about the workout or how certain exercises should feel. If you’re not sure about something, ask us! We look forward to seeing you at our Newport Beach or Laguna Niguel Pilates...

Guest Blog – Top 3 Ways to Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet

Thanksgiving has come and gone, which means we have officially entered the holiday season and before you know it, you’ll be watching the ball drop and counting down to 2018! It’s common knowledge that the New Year brings with it the time-old tradition of News Year’s resolutions; and while this tradition may be a little played out, the ideas of bettering yourself and setting attainable goals are always good ones! Here are the top 3 ways we think you can make 2018 your best year yet: Try a new workout This may always be a common resolution but getting in shape and expanding your workout horizons is always a good idea! Living in Southern California, with our great weather, we have plenty of opportunities to get outside. Now is a good time to explore some hiking trails or pick up jogging. If outdoor activities are not your thing or you’re interested in a more structured environment, Core Reform offers a Pilates classes to work the entire body in 50 minutes. Spend More Time on Yourself Everyone needs some extra TLC after the holiday season! Between hosting family members, cooking holiday favorites, and fighting through the crowds of holiday shoppers at the mall, January is the perfect time to unwind and relax. Check your mental health and make sure you are taking some time to de-stress, whether that means posting up next to the fire with a book or relaxing at a mani/pedi, make the time! Enhance Your Look The new year is arguably the best time to try something new with your look or enhance your appearance! If you’ve...