Nearly four years into his rollout of studios in Ashburn and Potomac Falls, and after capturing a “Best Health & Wellness Business” award from the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, Ryan Ask’s Club Pilates has at last opened its doors in Leesburg at the Marketplace in Potomac Station. The studio is welcoming newcomers with a free, 30-minute intro class and a 20% discount for the first three months on all its classes.
We’re huge fans of Ryan, not only because he’s supported our publication from day one, but because his studios’ workouts serve to fill a critical niche in Loudoun County’s fitness environment with their focus on balancing the mind, body and spirit. The studio’s main apparatus is a “Reformer,” designed to provide resistance training and support while you lie, kneel, stand or sit on the sliding bench to perform various exercises. TRX® straps, Pilates rings, bar, balance balls and bands combine to provide a full range of stretching, cardio and strengthening workouts.
In anticipation of the new studio location, we stopped into the Ashburn studio to tap trainer Carlota Tulloch’s expertise in distinguishing among the eight different classes, each with levels 1, 1.5, 2 and 2.5. The classes are small and the exercises – some 500 of them – may each be modified to each person’s ability and needs. There’s just so much to choose from that we thought a short primer would be useful. In short, a picture’s worth 1,000 words, so with the help of Rex Larrabee, the Ashburn sales manager and “model,” we put together this brief tutorial.
First, just a word about Carlota (https://bit.ly/CCTulloch). After 30 years in hospitality, she injured her back snowmobiling a few years ago. Her doctor advised low-impact exercise like swimming or Pilates and because she found swimming boring, she started practicing Pilates. Within six months, she says her back pain was gone and she was hooked. The training even helped her strengthen her knees so she was able to return to running without pain. After belonging for two years, she decided to quit the corporate world and become an instructor. It usually takes a year to become an instructor, but because she was able to do the training during COVID, it took her only four months.
[ball between legs] To illustrate the intro class, which offers an overview of all the various class formats, Rex places a rubber ball between his knees to create thigh muscle tension as he straightens then bends his legs.
In an excerpt from the Club Pilates (CP) Reformer Flow class, Rex demonstrated a chest expansion exercise sitting on a box on the reformer. As his arms press back against the tension, he squeezes his shoulder blades, keeping his shoulders back, chest “proud.” In a second exercise, he leans back with one leg in a tabletop position and does bicep curls to increase arm strength.
CP Cardio Sculpt makes use of the Reformer “jump board” to do low impact jumping, straight legged and with alternating legs up.
To illustrate the CP Center and Balance class, Rex next stands on a Bosu ball at an adjacent bar, lifting one leg back and extended while squeezing the glutes. Center + Balance puts the emphasis on both posture and strength, so it is also illustrated here with weight-enhanced bicep curls on a Bosu ball.
CP Control makes the most use of barre-based moves in a workout that primarily tones legs and glutes. Rex illustrates by performing squats on his toes using the barre for balance.
The CP Suspend class makes use of TRX® straps, so Rex does a series of squats using the straps for balance. The straps also are useful for stretching out tight back muscles.
And finally, CP FIT is a blend of cardio and Pilates-based strength training.
The CP Restore class is best alternated with other workouts to stretch and lengthen tight muscles. One sample exercise involves kneeling with hands above the head on the Bosu ball, allowing the back and neck to stretch along its contours. Classic muscle rollers are used for deep tissue massage and muscle recovery.
CLASSES AND LEVELS
CP INTRODUCTORY CLASS
A 30-minute overview of the club’s full curriculum provided free of charge.
CP REFORMER FLOW
Club Pilates signature contemporary Reformer class helps to strengthen and lengthen your entire body. The benefits of classical Pilates with a contemporary twist.
CP CARDIO SCULPT
This high-energy, low-impact class is perfect for the cardio junkie. Using the Pilates jumpboard, you can experience an aerobic workout that won’t stress your joints.
CP CENTER + BALANCE
Re-center and re-balance your body with apparatus-assisted stretching. This class involves light movement and deep stretching to leave you feeling long, loose and ready for the world.
In this class you’ll experience the benefits of foam rolling and myofascial release.
Not your average barre class, the regimen is exclusive to Club Pilates. It was co-created with Leslee Bender of the Barre Above™ method. You’ll sculpt and tone your legs and glutes as you learn to use the barre in a whole new way.
This is a Reformer-based workout that combines Pilates work with highly effective TRX® suspension training.
CP F.I.T. is the perfect mix of high-intensity calorie-blasting cardio work and low-intensity, Pilates-based strength training in a dynamic, boot-camp-style class.
For information or to book an introductory class, call 703-260-8397 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.