Pilates Studios US-New York City

Great Free Pilates Workout Videos

The holidays, with all their diet-busting treats, are here, but economic uncertainty is causing cutbacks on gym memberships, personal trainers and other fitness expenses. Pilates experts Katherine and Kimberly Corp are introducing UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com, their new Web site that helps people tighten their belts in more ways than one via free, full-length exercise videos. The site presents a variety of Pilates workouts, from traditional mat routines to workouts with stability balls, small balls, exercise bands and BOSUs(R). Users who want to learn Pilates in depth can also view detailed videos about specific techniques.

The instructors featured on the online workouts are the owners of Pilates on Fifth in Manhattan, twin sisters Katherine and Kimberly Corp. "We know of only one other site on the Internet that offers anything like this," said Kimberly.

The site's videos accommodate fitness levels from beginners to seasoned enthusiasts. More than 15 free workouts are currently available and new workouts will be added each month. All the videos are downloadable to computers, MP3 players and iPods. Users can even stream the videos straight to their TV sets.

"During our time as Radio City Rockettes, we endured a demanding performance schedule and used Pilates to stay injury-free," explained Katherine. "We knew that many people could benefit from this exercise system, which is why we opened our studio eight years ago. Now we're Manhattan's largest Pilates studio, but we don't want to restrict instruction to individuals with direct access to us. That's why we launched this site; with it, anyone can do Pilates anywhere."

One of the people already using the site is a personal trainer located in Istanbul, Turkey. "I use UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com to provide workouts for my clients when their busy schedules prevent them from taking a lesson with me," she stated in a testimonial.

The basic subscription plan allows for unlimited free viewing of all mat-based Pilates workouts. Those who wish to access more routines can purchase the fee-based subscription packages called the Deluxe, Premier and Ultimate plans for three, five and unlimited free monthly downloads, respectively. They will also soon offer a "Create-A-Workout" feature so that users can create their own video with the exercises they either like the most or need the most. The site will also add more traditional floor/dance aerobics as well as CARDIOLATES®, their own alignment-focused rebounding program.

The Corp sisters are certified through the Pilates Academy International and are ACE and NASM certified personal trainers. In addition to receiving NYC Small Business Awards, they have been featured in numerous publications and have appeared as fitness/body image experts on "Martha," "Geraldo at Large" and many local TV programs. Citysearch named their staff members "Best Personal Trainers" for two years in a row.

Back Into Pilates


Jennifer Whittemore of InnerPillar, a Pilates, Yoga, and Reiki practitioner who teaches in NY at my favorite studio, Lesley Powell's Movements Afoot, came to Pilates by way of rehabilitative exercise for a herniated lumbar disc.

She has an absolutely inspiring article on Lesley's blog, "Backing Into Pilates".

"During my investigation, I came across Joseph Pilates’ original mat series. Pilates was very much a part of the modern dance community, but was not widely known in other circles. After my first attempt at the exercises, I suffered a serious setback. Even though I had always been an active person, I wasn’t very core-connected. I didn’t understand how to use the triumvirate of musculature—the deep abdominal muscles, pelvic floor, and paraspinal muscles—required to stabilize my spine. My low back took over and I strained it as soon as I attempt to perform the hundreds.

I was lucky that I had friends in the dance community who directed me to an instructor with expertise and compassion. I first studied with a dancer and teacher who had extensive experience in Pilates and Body-Mind Centering. Her approach was rehabilitative and focused on helping me stabilize my spine. Cathie Caraker was a caring instructor who encouraged me to keep moving and exploring my relationship to my body. She offered far more than Pilates—she offered movement education, which helped forge a connection with my body that would serve me through many physical passions. Within three months, I was pain free.

It was years later that I decided to become a Pilates and Yoga instructor. The “cure” that I found as a young person morphed into a deep-rooted curiosity about the process of physical transformation. During my back pain episode, friends and family were crucial support systems, but the healing journey was ultimately my own. Pain, in the broadest sense, was an indicator that something needed to shift in my body, mind, and spirit to make way for a deeper understanding and appreciation of life. I had to face my fears and take on new ways of treating my body so that it could repair itself and stay well.

With back-pain clients, I am acutely aware of the distress that comes from living life in constant suffering. I see my role in the process as part inspiration, part expert, and part witness. My work focuses on identifying clients’ pain patterns, strengthening the core and deep spinal stabilizers, and improving whole-body functional movement. My mantra is awareness—when we perceive what is going on in the body, we can relax into our strength. We not only get longer, leaner, and more supple, we begin to move with intelligence. I have seen many clients shift from disability to athletic ability in a few short months."

Pilates is an amazing tool for body awareness and recovery, but as happened to Jennifer if you jump right in without the proper guidance you can strain the exact muscles you are trying to strengthen. So if you tried a class, a dvd, or with a friend and Pilates strained your back or made things worse, I highly recommend that you try it again with a certified teacher who is aware of your issues. It can make all the difference.