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Get Movin' Monday: Self-Improvement With Pilates

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- On this week's Get Movin' Monday, we are exploring the world of Pilates.

Maybe you've seen the sliding machines with pulleys, loops and springs and always wondered, what is that all about?

WCCO's Natalie Nyhus visited Pilates ProWorks in Edina to see what's up.

"We like to say it's a workout that's going to loosen what's tight, and tighten what's loose," regional fitness director Jeanine Peters said.

It's a 55-minute, fast-paced workout of slow, long movements. Sounds like a contradiction, right? Wrong. It's hard.

"That's one of the reasons I love it," Peters said. "It took so much control, I can't be thinking about anything else. Your core is constantly working. You are focusing. You are on the FitFormer, which has all of these moving parts and pieces. You really just have to have a total body awareness."

Pilates is known to lengthen and tone, often by using the reformer. This studio, however, uses the FitFormer.

"It's different from a regular reformer machine. This has an extra back section. It's wider, longer and can accommodate people up to 6-feet-7-inches, so pretty tall people, like athletes, can get on here no problem. And it's more comfortable, the padding is thicker," Proworks co-owner Devon Ericksen said.

It's a machine that was originally designed to help people rehab from injuries. Now, there are full blown fitness classes keeping people in shape.

"From athletes, to kids, to moms, to grandmas, to all types of people," Peters said.

Mary Wagner drives 45 minutes to class four days a week to work with the FitFormer.

"My schedule revolves around coming to Pilates. I work full-time," Wagner said.

Wagner has lost a pant size in seven months.

"I can go out on the boat with my husband in a bikini for the first time in a long time," Wagner added.

Another participant, Cynthia Knox, has lost 4 inches off her waist in six weeks.

"I though Pilates was a lot about stretching. I learned about reformer Pilates, and this is not stretching," Knox said.

If you want to check out Pilares ProWorks in Edina, click here. They are offering a free week to anyone who says they saw the WCCO story.

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