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Pilates trends combine effective forms, new methods

January 24, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Pilates as a workout dates back nearly a century. Joseph Pilates created "Contrology" in the early 1900s for physical rehabilitation. Today the core-strengthening exercises that make up what we know as Pilates are now hugely popular. Here's what's trending in Pilates today.

Pilates Plus owner Sebastien Lagree has 125 syndicated studios. A trend-setter in the Pilate community, he puts a strong emphasis on strength as well as core conditioning.

"Keep the effective form from Pilates and also infuse the intensity that you need to build the muscle and burn the fat," said Pilates Plus owner Sebastien Lagree.

Lagree has also tweaked the traditional Pilates Reformer to accommodate a variety of students. Now on his fifth invention, his M3 has more resistance springs for men, wider grips and foot placement for larger people and for those with varied flexibility. Lagree is also testing a 25-minute condensed workout and adding a DJ.

"The class is a lot more fresh that way," said Lagree.

At Iobella in Santa Monica, the twist in training is a thermal pod workout. Just like Bikram ("hot") yoga, the philosophy is that having an increased body temperature means more muscle. More muscle tissue means better blood flow and wider range of motion. And that equates to better strength and flexibility.

"You activate your metabolism, you burn calories faster and the workout is really fun," said Iobella CEO Roxana Lassa.

The thermal pod is a 30-minute sweat session using 1-pound resistance cables in a pod heated to your body's temperature. Don't worry about bad hair days: Your head stays out of the pod to protect your hair.

"It's kind of fine-tuning the female curve. Which I think every girl wants," said Westlake Village resident Nicole Hammond.

Hammond already runs, lifts weights and does yoga, but she tried it to fit into her wedding dress. She lost 7 inches.

Pacific Palisades resident Goli Shamie got her body back after two babies.

"So far I've lost almost 4 inches," said Shamie.

Pilates Plus offers single or block class rates, while Iobella goes with a pricier women-only spa package, complete with Physical and dietary assessments and pampering.

Those with limited budget and time might choose the latest trend of fitness online, like Pilates Anytime. For under $20 a month, a variety of classes and instruction come to your computer or smartphone.

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