Do virtual Pilates classes even work?

I got this note from a client who does our virtual classes this week:   

“Happy to report I just got done doing the recording of class! At the end I was going to turn on my microphone to thank you and then realized it’s a recording!!” 😂

This client had a great workout and the session felt to her like she was live and even in person with her instructor during class! How great is that?!

I had to share because I think there are so many people that don’t give virtual classes a chance because they have told themselves things like: I can’t trust myself to take a class at home, taking class on a screen just isn’t as effective as in person classes, I need a teacher in person pushing me to actually do the workout…

Our clients have found that virtual classes can be a super effective way to keep themselves consistent in their Pilates and Yoga practices!

  • They have found that even though the classes are virtual, the connections they have to their teachers helps them stay accountable and get results in their life.
  • And they have found that often taking a recorded class feels like they were taking class live or in the studio!

If you are wanting to add more movement time into your life and haven’t tried consistently adding virtual classes into your routine I would highly suggest it!

Try grabbing a band and practicing with the short video below as a test to see if you could feel better in your body by simply practicing movement at home, watching a video!

Please let us know if it helped you by sending me a quick email!

This short series is less than 10 minutes long and can be so effective for releasing tightness in your back, hips and legs.  All you need is a resistance band!

Pilates is perfect for scoliosis!

If you are one of the many people with scoliosis, you know that not all exercises are equal when it comes to strengthening, stretching and balancing your body.  Depending on the severity of your scoliosis you probably figured out at an early age that many traditional exercises and sports just plain do not feel good in your body.

If no one ever explained to you why this is, you may have even learned to dislike exercise and movement because of your bad experiences.  Movement and exercise are supposed to help you feel better, stronger and move easier.  Unfortunately for those with scoliosis this is not always the case.   Your curve and twist in your spine can make certain movements painful and even impossible.   Many movements can actually create more imbalance in your body and cause pain.

Here is where the Pilates method of exercise  (with the guidance of a professional Pilates instructor) comes in.   One of the founding principles of the Pilates method is creating balance in the body which is done by strengthening  while in alignment.  Another key to the Pilates method is that each exercise is individualized to the body doing the exercise with their specific alignment and body features in mind.  What this means to you is that each Pilates session should be tailored to your body(and your spinal curve) so that you can create balance in your musculature that eases some of the common aches and pains caused from scoliosis.

Please note that Pilates as an exercise form has become very popular lately and not all instructors and all classes are created equal.  I recommend that everyone start off their Pilates journey with an experienced instructor one on one if possible.  A professional Pilates instructor can evaluate your individual body and give you recommendations specific for your body.  This is especially important if you have scoliosis.

Every body with scoliosis is different and there are not cookie cutter adjustments to exercises that everyone with scoliosis should do.  Having a properly trained instructor will allow you to learn the method properly without getting injured.  Need to find a qualified instructor?  Click here to find a PMA certified instructor near you.  Be sure to ask lots of questions about their experience and training working with individuals with scoliosis.

If you have scoliosis and are looking for an exercise method that is enjoyable and makes your body feel better when you do it- check out Pilates!

Schedule a complimentary private Pilates session today and learn what Pilates can do for you!

“I think that benefit of Pilates over other other forms of exercise is the focus on precision and balance. Scoliosis causes imbalance in both flexibility and muscle strength. Pilates’ focus on precise, controlled movements allows me to work on building strength in weak areas and improving flexibility in muscles who range of motion is limited by my curvature. Even in group classes, the instructors are always paying attention and offering suggestions on how to improve balance and symmetry in execution of the exercises.”     ~Angela

Missy Arey IOM

“I have scoliosis with a triple curvature in my spine, (the largest at 69 degrees) and then  had back surgery to improve it.  I was unable to move easily through my spine and through the scarring.  Pilates has changed this completely.” ~Missy

The #1 reason people don’t try Pilates

Could this “excuse” keep you from being healthier and happier?

“I am too out of shape to even try it!”  or “I tried a few of the moves at home and I can’t do them at all!”


We don’t expect you to be able to do everything perfect on your first session (or even your 30th session)! 

Pilates at Rivercity Pilates is designed to take you from whatever level you are at (from a true to beginner to someone with years of experience) and give you the tools to take your Pilates practice to the next level.

Our experienced instructors, small group classes and private sessions create an environment that allows you to be comfortable learning, strengthening, stretching and balancing your body.

We want everyone to know that there are NO prerequisites to starting a Pilates fitness program.  The Pilates method of exercise is adaptable to any body of any size, shape, or physical condition.

You don’t need to be able to do a push up, touch your toes or even sit criss-cross applesauce with your legs to start Pilates!

Our instructors can create an exercise program individualized to your body that will leave you feeling energized, de-stressed, healthier and happier!

We also want you to know that Pilates is a method of exercise and not just a series of choreographed exercises.  What this means to you is that not every exercise is good for your body.  Every body has its own unique characteristics and your instructor will help you learn what types of movements and exercises will best benefit your individual body.

Starting a new exercise program can be very intimidating and we know that often the hardest part is that first step of getting started.  This is why at Rivercity Pilates we offer a no pressure, completely free private session for all of our new clients. We are passionate about the Pilates method of exercise and want as many people as possible to experience what it could do in your body and in your life.  This first session is a wonderful way for you to experience Pilates with us and see if it’s something you want to pursue.

Be sure to watch Audrey’s video to hear her talk about what scared her most about coming in to the studio and how she felt after she started!

Click here to get started at Rivercity Pilates and schedule your complimentary private Pilates session.  We look forward to seeing you at the studio!

Can exercise be enjoyable??

How do you feel about exercise?  Is it something you enjoy and look forward to?  Or do you think of it as a chore, something you know you should do, but not necessarily something you want to do?

At Rivercity Pilates we believe that movement and exercise should be fun and enjoyable.  Exercise should be something you look forward to and something that leaves you feeling energized, accomplished and ready to face the rest of your day!

As instructors some of our most memorable moments are when our new clients are introduced to the Pilates work and have the realization that they are enjoying what they are doing and they actually are looking forward to their next session or class!

Rivercity Pilates client & instructor, Kimberly Burke, when talking about why she does Pilates, stated,” My mood is always better after class- even when I start out happy, I get more so.”

For many people, there is a belief that exercise has to be miserable and that if you aren’t dripping in sweat, huffing and puffing with muscles that are so sore you can’t walk up the steps, then it’s not doing you any good.

At Rivercity Pilates we know that this is not true and we would love to prove it to you!  We offer a complimentary private session to ALL of our new clients so you can experience the Pilates difference yourself!

Rivercity Pilates client Michelle Johnson, was asked what she would say to someone who was thinking of starting Pilates and here’s what she said, “I encourage everyone to try Pilates.  Pilates is gentle, progressive and movements are performed slowly so you learn to do each exercise precisely.  There is something for everyone and it will improve how you feel. You will walk away from every class feeling motivated and wanting to come back again.”

If you’re ready to find an exercise and movement program you LOVE contact us to set up your complimentary session.  We would love to share our passion for Pilates with you!

Mat Pilates or Equipment Pilates?

Have you ever wondered what is better- Mat Pilates or Equipment Pilates?  Or maybe you are curious about what the difference is between the mat work and the equipment work.  Keep reading and hopefully we’ll answer your questions!

First of all it’s important to realize that Pilates is a method of exercise and there are lots of different ways you can practice Pilates. The effectiveness of the Pilates work doesn’t necessarily come from having a particular piece of equipment to use, but really comes from HOW you do it. That being said, the Pilates equipment was to designed to help you learn the method more efficiently and to allow your body lots of different variations to do different movements.

What is Mat Pilates?
When we talk about Mat Pilates, we are talking about using the Pilates method to do exercises using only your own body as resistance.   Sometimes we use small props in the mat work such a a small ball, a theraband or a Pilates Magic Circle(a small ring that provides flexible resistance).   Joseph Pilates created a sequence of exercises that is often called the traditional Pilates Mat sequence. Since the method is highly adaptable to any body, there are lots of different variations of these exercises that can be incorporated into any workout. The mat work is especially nice when you are traveling or just don’t have access to any equipment.

What is  Pilates Equipment?

Joseph Pilates designed spring based equipment to support and advance the body while practicing the Pilates method of exercising. The movements that we do during mat work and while using the equipment are very similiar. The springs of the equipment are often referred to as extra muscles, or an extention of the body.  They allow the body to experience a movement that they maybe could not do otherwise. They help teach the body how to move properly so that it can repeat that movement in other situations.

What should I do?
I like to encourage our clients to do a mix of both mat work and equipment work.  During private sessions, your instructor will combine various mat and equipment exercises to create a workout program optimal for your body’s needs.  If clients are primarily taking group classes I really encourage them to take a mix of both mat and equipment classes.

What are the benefits of doing both?
Doing the Pilates Method in a variety of ways will create the optimal results in your body and allow you to continue to progress through the exercises.  The different pieces of equipment and mat work really work together to create change in your body.  For instance, there may be a particular movement or exercise that is challenging for you( for example: teaser on the reformer long box).  By practicing the mat variation of this exercise you will create the strength and balance to help you perfect it on the reformer.  Another great example is an exercise called the roll-up.  In the mat work we try to leave the legs anchored to the mat as we roll down through the spine to a lying position, and then roll back up to a starting position with the same control.   Doing this same exercise on the Pilates equipment called the Cadillac (holding on to a bar attached to springs), teaches your body this same movement and helps you build the strength to do the mat version, in a very supported way.

Is Mat or Equipment better? 
Both Mat and Equipment Pilates are great for your body and equally effective.   If you have the opportunity I suggest using a variety of both mat work and equipment work to help you strengthen, balance and align your body to receive optimal results!

Try it today!

Your Guide to New Fall Classes!

We have so many new classes on our schedule this fall and we’re so excited for you to try them!  As you look over our fall schedule you might be wondering if one of these new classes might be a good fit for you. So we decided to make a quick guide giving you a description of each class so you can see what resonates with you!