Do it now: Pilates

Improve your posture and tone muscles using the 'miracle machine' that's responsible for creating some of Hollywood's hottest bodies

By Sam Lewis
Published 27 Aug 2018, 16:00 BST, Updated 15 Jul 2021, 09:43 BST
Photograph by Getty Images

Health and wellbeing companies have seen a growing demand for resorts that offer Pilates sessions — but you don't have to lug your yoga mat with you. The latest trend taking the world by storm is the Reformer, a contraption designed by founder Joseph Pilates to increase resistance on isolated muscle groups. And some are even investing in its souped-up cousin, the Megaformer. Described by some as a 'miracle machine' (and others as a torture device), it combines Pilates with a low-impact cardio workout, using a variety of straps, springs and platforms on a moving carriage.

Where to try it: London's Studio Lagree in the City, Canary Wharf, White City Place, plus the five-star Nobu Hotel Shoreditch, which has 10 Megaformers in its studio. From £30 a class.

Long haul

Absolute Sanctuary, Koh Samui, Thailand: Ideal for all abilities. A five-day Pilates bootcamp package includes an hour's private Reformer class plus a daily Pilates Reformer group class (60 mins), postural analysis and unlimited group fitness classes. Full board, excluding flights, from £1,287 per person.

Short haul

Palácio Estoril, Portugal: This luxury coastal resort has a stunning Banyan Tree spa and offers a four-night Pilates break that can be tailored for beginners and experts. Includes three private Reformer classes, a Pilates mat group, B&B accommodation, one massage and airport transfers from £600 per person, excluding flights.

Try this: seat lift

Celebrity Pilates instructor Kristin McGee suggests trying this on a plane or train: sit at the edge of your seat, engage your core and press your hands into the sides of the chair to lift your body up. Keep your shoulders pressed down and lower abs hollowed out. Hover for five to eight breaths and repeat two or three times.


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