A morning jog can be good for the heart and mind, but as scorching temperatures inched towards triple-digits for much of July — not to mention air quality issues courtesy of Canada’s forest fires — have made getting in a satisfying outdoor workout challenging.
With that in mind, changing up your regular workout may not only be necessary, but thinking outside the pavement might actually prove satisfying. Perhaps that’s something indoors, doing a low-intensity but effective workout, with the AC blasting.
Enter Pilates. The full-body conditioning workout developed and named for Joseph Pilates focuses on precise movements, breathing, concentration and flow. It centers you physically and mentally. The controlled movements involve engaging the core and pelvic floor. And mentally, the emphasis on breath work and concentrating on each move helps to focus and steady your mind.
Most experts share that the best exercise for you is one you’ll stick with. Though trying Pilates at home using apps and YouTube is possible, getting into a flow may be easier (and become a regular part of your week) in a studio. In-studio workouts also allow an instructor to check your form — and hey, you even get to mix and mingle with neighbors or fellow vacationers!
From a Heather Anderson-founded studio with locations across the Hamptons to a Shelter Island studio a soothing ferry ride away, these Pilates studios can heat up your workout routine (without forcing you to exercise in the actual heat).
A relative newcomer to the Hamptons fitness studio scene, Club Pilates opened a Southampton outpost in spring 2022. The studio focuses on a reformer-fusion, blending classical Pilates with other workouts like strength training, yoga and dance. Students may use a mat, chair, fitness ball or free weights in the numerous classes designed for people of all experience and fitness levels. Private training and special classes for teens are also available.
New York Pilates now boasts a new location in Bridgehampton, becoming the fourth East End location for the studio, which also offers classes in Southampton, East Hampton and Montauk. Founded by noted Pilates expert teacher Heather Anderson, New York Pilates offers reformer-style classes focused on toning the arms, abs and booty (the studio uses a different word that leans into alliteration). New York Pilates also nails the aesthetic side of things, hosting classes inside airy studios that let the legendary natural light of the Hamptons pour through.
A breast cancer diagnosis led former dance teacher Suzette Smith to Pilates in the 1990s, and she opened this Shelter Island studio in 2004. Classes focus on body alignment, building and maintaining good posture, mechanics and embracing your body. Private, duet and small-group lessons may occur entirely on the mat or using equipment like light free weights and cables. Barre classes are also available.
Norma Jean Pilates extended its reach this summer with a brand-new location in Sag Harbor and another in East Hampton. The studio offers private and group classes throughout the year that emphasize spinal and mental alignment. More than a Pilates studio, NJP regularly hosts art shows, offers cranial sacral massages, pays keen attention to the music and helps clients design home Pilates studios.
This upscale Pilates studio offers small-group and private lessons, allowing for individualized attention that lets students focus on form and grounding themselves. Chairs, reformers and wall-unit towers are among the apparatus that help students challenge themselves during full-body workouts. Teachers also incorporate mat work.
Owner Michelle Levy also provides instruction at this Water Mill-based studio, empowering students to become stronger through intentional movements. The appointment-only classes leave room for personalized instruction and a more intimate Pilates experience, allowing students to get the form down, take stock of their transformations and reach new goals. Levy offers year-round instruction.
The Water Mill outpost of the popular New York City Pilates studio opened in the spring and is quickly developing a following for its glasses aimed at all genders, fitness levels and ages. The studio offers private, duet/trio, small-group and in-home classes. Brand-new equipment at the Water Mill studio includes the Peak, Pilates Designs and Balanced Body, all of which engage numerous muscles to help people build muscular endurance and strength during low-impact classes.