Pilates Chair at JFit aids in recovery, overall strength, and flexibility

by | Feb 10, 2022 | Other News

The JFit training circuit at the Simon Family JCC has a new addition. It’s simply referred to as “The Chair” for those who speak “Pilates talk.” While many may have seen or be familiar with The Reformer—another, larger device used in Pilates training—the new Split Pedal MVe® Chair is more diverse in range of exercises that can be done with it. In basic terms, to those not already doing Pilates training—the Chair is a great way to kick off a Pilates training regimen—especially for those who may have been too intimidated to try before.

JFit’s dedicated Pilates trainer, Sonja Anderson-Struzzo, says people shouldn’t be afraid to try a few Pilates exercises, test the waters, and learn more about how beneficial it is—including seniors coming off of surgeries or ailments. In fact, one member, Joan Benas, credits her husband’s speedy recovery from hip surgery to his Pilates work with Anderson-Struzzo.

Jewish News: Why should people NOT be intimidated to come in and try a Pilates session? How easy is it to begin?

Sonja Anderson-Struzzo: Pilates is considered mind-body work so the student is taught to be internally aware of the nuances of each movement. The instructor is with them each moment to help them feel safe and comfortable while challenging to move and stretch in new ways. The body thinks of this as playtime as the student learns to relax and stretch in new ways. For new students, it only seems intimidating at first because everything is new and unfamiliar, but soon, the workouts become super fun and rewarding! There is truly nothing else like it to enhance movement and the corresponding quality of life.

JN: For people who have yet to take the plunge into Pilates, can you say why it’s such a great and all-encompassing workout?

SAS: Pilates was created to encourage the entire body to work. Originally, The Method, as it came to be known, was done on the floor and was very challenging due to the pull of gravity. Equipment, such as the Reformer and the Chair were invented using springs as resistance, so muscles could be supported as they train. It allows you to feel every muscle work to perform the exercises and limits strain on the back and neck. All of the abdominal muscles are also recruited when practicing with the Pilates principles of centering, breathing, precision, flowing movement, and concentration, resulting in a total body workout that is both challenging and transformational. People love how it improves their appearance through better posture, balance, flexibility, and muscle tone. Pilates makes you look better, feel better, and move better with enhanced power and grace. It also helps people prevent and heal and bounce back more easily from injury and surgery.

JN: What about the range of exercises that can be achieved with the new Chair?

SAS: Pilates Chairs take the Reformer to an upright position allowing many more challenges to the body. You sit and stand with spring resistance either assisting your movement or increasing the difficulty as you learn to navigate gravity with increasing proficiency. JCC’s new Chair is a top-of-the-line, contemporary design. It has split pedals to train left and right sides equally and adjustable handles that assist beginners and advanced exercisers alike to perform increasingly difficult movements safely.

To meet Sonja Anderson-Struzzo, or set up an initial chat about how to start using The Chair and Pilates, contact Tom Purcell at TPurcell@UJFT.org or 321-2310.

-Brian Berusch