Remember, if you can, waaaay back in January when you made that New Year’s resolution to workout more often? Whether you’ve fallen off track or just feel like you need to reboot your routine we’ve got the inspiration you need to get sweating again. We asked one of our favorite fitness experts, Daniel Datzer of Strong Body Pilates in Los Angeles to give you a little Pilates-centric inspiration to get you back in the studio and re-committed to your workout goals. Daniel is one of LA’s top trainers and he also co-owns one of the city’s best Pilates studio, Strong Body Pilates, so he’s just the pro to ask all about this innovative and popular practice—here, Dan discusses the benefits of Pilates, why you should give it a try and how it will revolutionize your body in ways other workouts can’t!

The Chalkboard: What exactly is Pilates?
Daniel Datzer: Pilates is a system of exercise using ones own body and sometimes machines to create a flexible, strong and lean musculature.

TCM: What makes it better for you than other fitness classes?
DD: It combines mind/body with strengthening core and overall physique improvement.

TCM: Can you give us a brief history of Pilates?
DD: Pilates was designed by Joseph Pilates a German-born physical-culturist around the turn of the 20th century. He developed a system of exercises which were intended to strengthen the human body and focus the mind—he believed that mental and physical health are interrelated.

TCM: Why should people choose Pilates over other disciplines?
DD: It puts emphasis on spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing, and developing a strong core or center, and improving coordination and balance. Pilates’ system allows for different exercises to be modified in range of difficulty from beginning to advanced. Intensity can be increased over time as the body conditions and adapts to the exercises.

TCM: Who is pilates for?
DD: Everyone of all ages and all body types and ability levels. I have clients who are professional athletes and clients that are stay-at-home moms and people recovering from spinal surgery.

TCM: Why Strong Body Pilates—what differentiates it from the rest of the pack?
DD: We are a small, private facility dedicated to the best in Pilates instruction, whether it be in our ‘small’ group classes or in our one-on-one private sessions. We teach the classical method infused with each instructor’s individual training and personality.

TCM: Tell us about the equipment at Strong body pilates?
DD: We are a full service Pilates studio and have 4 Gratz reformers, 2 Cadillacs, wunda-chairs, electric chair, barrels and assorted other pieces of equipment.

TCM: How many times a week should you do it?
DD: To get the best results and ‘feel’ the difference, most clients come in two to three times a week, but some are there as many as five or six.

TCM: What are the benefits?
DD: Pilates is a body conditioning routine that builds flexibility, muscle strength and endurance in the legs, abdominals, arms, hips and back. You will be blown away by the results you see in all areas of your body but most people see the most marked results in their abs or powerhouse and we often hear people tell us how much better their posture is after just a few sessions!

TCM: What, if any, are the cons?
DD: We certainly do not discriminate if someone has a history of ‘doing time’. Pilates is for the criminals and non-criminals. (Ed. note: A healthy sense of humor is an important part of living well!)

TCM: Does it help rehabilitate people after injury?
DD: Yes. It is brilliant for rehab and works in conjunction with many physical therapy practices. I’ve been an athlete my entire life, starting with tennis at the age of 5. I was introduced to the ‘method’ in Chicago in 1994 after I ruptured my Achilles tendon during a tennis match. The traditional Physical Therapy was not giving me the results I wanted, so I found a Pilates studio and was blown away by the flexibility and strength I regained in a short period of time.

TCM: Do you need to eat a certain way to see results in Pilates?
DD: I always say nutrition is 80% of any ‘lifestyle’ regime… so yes, a healthy diet is key to losing and maintaining a healthy weight if weight loss is your goal. But I would recommend Pilates to anyone even if you aren’t trying to lose weight—and I would recommend eating well to everyone, too!

TCM: What would you tell someone who is on the fence about starting pilates?
DD: I think the best thing to do is just try it! I LOVE the look on a new student’s face when they find their ‘power house’. That’s what we call the core, the abs -the place where every Pilates exercise begins and ends. It’s revelatory! Most people are like, “How did I not know those muscles where there all along?”

Curious to know more? Call or click over to Strong Body Pilates to learn more about Pilates and inquire about class schedule! Strong Body Pilates, 13033 Ventura Blvd (at Valley Vista Blvd); 818-510-0827.

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