Written by West Village Instructor JulieAnne Hull
1. Isolation. The apparatus is sleek and lean, just like the muscles it will help you sculpt. The majority of Tower exercises focus on one area of the body at a time, making it easier to isolate muscle groups. Want “sun’s out, guns out” arms? Ask your instructor to challenge you with an extra arm spring variation or two.
2. Flow. Unlike Pilates Mat and Reformer workouts, there is no set classical order for the Tower exercises. This means that beginner Tower students enjoy a much lower learning curve. Instructors create a flowing combination of exercises to fit the class in front of them and all students must control their movement and follow along with patience instead of prematurely setting up for the following exercise.
3. Advancement. Although we love to say, “Pilates is a practice, not a performance,” Tower students actually do advance quickly which is a nice perk of the apparatus. After just few visits to your favorite studio you will be familiar enough to move through the work and sign into an intermediate class. There is always something to be gained from revisiting the basics though, so don’t fret if the advanced Tower class is full when you go to book it. Trust me that a beginner level will always offer a challenge.
4. Stretch. The stretch on a Tower is unparalleled. Have you been pounding the sunny streets of tourist New York? Dancing all night on a rooftop in the LES? How about that ten mile hike you took upstate last weekend? And when was the last time you really stretched? The Tower exercises assign a great deal of focus to opening the hips and lengthening the spine, with a special emphasis on breathing to deepen each stretch. A Tower class is guaranteed to leave you feeling taller and lighter.
5. Core. It’s still Pilates, but with spring options for extra resistance, which means it still chisels the abs and builds deep abdominals. Almost all Pilates core work is taught to come from the deepest layer of the abdominal wall, the transvers abdominis. Continual engagement of the TVA during Pilates exercises ultimately results in a tighter waist, a healthier posture, and a visibly flatter midriff. While Pilates fanatics enjoy these benefits year-round, there’s no better time to showcase all that hard work than in the sunshine of the summer months.