IMAGE VIA @ANDREWSTINSONPHOTO_ | INSTAGRAM
For those who crave that jello feeling after a great workout, Pilates and Lagree may already be on your radar. For those who love that feeling but have always been confused by the workouts, and all the machinery that comes with the two, we’re here enlighten you.
Pilates uses slow and precise movements to strengthen and lengthen your muscles, while Lagree stacks cardio, strength, and endurance on top with plenty of leg pulses and planks. Both have fervent followings, and NYC is no stranger to the sought-after burn, so we’ve picked out all the spots you can try a reformer on for size.
SLT launched in NYC in 2011 and has spread to five different states across the US since. With 12 locations in the city and two out in the Hamptons, it’s possible you may just stumble into a studio without even trying. SLT, an acronym for “Strengthen, Lengthen, Tone”, is known for using a Megaformer—think Pilates reformer but even more intense—and their 50-minute classes pack in the burn. Fitt Tip: their Hardcore class is aptly named and not for beginners. And with their abundance of locations, it’s hard to find an excuse not to pop by and see what all the buzz is about.
Founded by Pilates guru Heather Andersen, New York Pilates has grown from a single Village basement studio space to a cross-city staple. Now, with locations in SoHo, the Bowery and Montauk (seasonally), New York Pilates is a go-to all around NYC. Even better, the first location took a jump from the Village basement to a Houston Street storefront in 2018, taking over the same space that was once Bob Dylan’s recording studio. New York Pilates has a range of class options, from Sculpt + Restore to Abs Arms Ass, so you know you’ll leave totally lengthened and strengthened. Plus, how could a fitness studio that shares some history with Bob Dylan not be an important training stop in NYC?
This spot is known for its hands-on corrections, so if you’re more of a hide-in-the-back type, Flex Studios may not be for you. The key to their classes is that Flex combines the reformer and the Pilates chair for an effective total-body workout — they call that particular signature combo FlexFormer. From there, you can mix it up with Arms & Abs, Butt & Legs, and even Prenatal; there’s a class for every target zone you want to hit. Find Flex at Union Square or out in their newer space on Long Island.
This studio has built a cult following across the nation, and NYC is no different. [solidcore] refers to each of their custom reformers as [sweatlana] — they even refer to [sweatlana] as a “she” in hopes that it will help you feel a little closer to their patented machine. The trendy dark and contemporary vibes—with loud music—permeate at [solidcore], and luckily for you, they make it easy to earn a serious sweat — there are locations in Chelsea, Nomad, SoHo, Williamsburg, and out in Roslyn Heights.
With 400 locations worldwide, including Lagree NY in Astoria, Lagree Fitness has built quite the empire. Featuring Megaformer classes that burn 500 to 800 calories, you’ll leave feeling extra wobbly and extra accomplished. The Lagree method differs from Pilates in that it combines strength, endurance, cardio, balance, core, and flexibility into one low-impact workout. Hence, the extra wobbliness. Nonetheless, their classes are great for all levels — Foundations for beginners, All-levels for the bread & butter, and Advanced when you want an “enjoyable butt-kicking”.
Some may think of Erika Bloom as a magician of sorts — she has a keen sense for detecting and correcting imbalances in the body, and she’s built a Pilates empire on her gift. She started Erika Bloom Pilates right here on the UES, but it has spread across the US to LA and internationally all the way to Turks & Caicos. She has weekly class schedules for her studios, but her team truly thrives in their private sessions, where they work on clients’ posture, help with injury prevention, and offer pre- and postnatal care. With 21 years of teaching Pilates under her belt, Bloom and her team will have an answer for whatever imbalance your body may be feeling.
This studio brags that they use over 500 moves to build up lean muscle in your body, so Power Pilates is probably an appropriate name. Though Power Pilates now has locations all over the world, their first-ever studio is located right here in Midtown Manhattan. With reformer classes, tower classes, and mat classes, you have all the Pilates modalities to choose from — and whichever path you choose, you’ll surely be feeling those 500 moves for days to come.
East River Pilates owner Kimmy Kellum’s following has grown quickly. Just a few years back, she was simply teaching Pilates classes for her friends on her Williamsburg rooftop. From her rooftop to temporary rentals and finally a permanent flagship studio on South 1st St. that opened in 2016, Kellum now has three East River Pilates locations spanning Brooklyn. The newest location on North 11th St. puts a unique twist on Kellum’s traditional reformer classes with a wall-mounted springboard that allows clients a larger range of motion. Don’t worry, though — the studio still brings it back home with traditional reformer classes, as well as mat Pilates and HIIT classes.
IM=X is cross-training at its finest. The studio’s methods are Pilates-based but also incorporate cardio and strength training for a cohesive workout. Self-proclaimed as “the next evolution of pilates workouts”, the classes at IM=X Pilates range from reformer classes to tower classes, as well as cycling, yoga, barre, and interval training. Whatever workout you’re looking for, you can find it in the middle of it all in Midtown East.
Owned by siblings Meredith and Adam Drushal, Uptown Pilates isn’t necessarily just uptown. Though they do have locations on the UES and UWS, Uptown Pilates has spread to Midtown East and the West Village as well. One thing to know is that the instructors at Uptown Pilates must be certified—like, very certified—to teach. After 600 hours of training under their belts, Uptown instructors are authorized to teach a range of classes — from reformer, tower, and mat classes to private sessions as well. With the vibe these siblings have instilled running through all their studios, you may just find yourself coming back to Uptown Pilates for the family feel.
Get the latest news on New York City’s fitness scene.