I went to a beginner’s class. I wasn’t expecting to sweat, but this is dynamic Pilates and I should have known better. Ten Pilates has been flying the flag for this strenuous and innovative form of the discipline ever since they opened for business in 2007. Now with six locations across the capital, it’s within reach of just about everyone.
The new studio on Middlesex Street, just minutes’ walk from Liverpool Street station, offers perhaps the most accessible location to date. The space is bright and clean. The instructors are extremely knowledgeable and mercifully patient.
The ten custom Reformer beds that adorn the main studio space take some time to master. They operate using springs of varying tensions, which you control using the guidelines set out by the instructors. I spent a few embarrassing moments sliding back and forth on the carriage having managed to detach all the springs at once. I was forgiven, and told to stand up when altering the springs.
Once the initial kinks are worked out, the machines become quite intuitive, and the multifaceted nature of them allows the class to flow in a way that many Pilates classes can’t. We were able to move seamlessly from exercise to exercise maximising the time we had in the studio.
Speaking to my instructor after the class he informed me that Ten Pilates makes a real effort to standardise their routines. The trainers regularly get together to normalise their varying methods, allowing for the most efficient use of time, and the machinery on hand. The classes range from beginners to advanced, by which point the movements between exercises are so fluid that it almost becomes a form of dance. I am not there yet.
There are a number of classes on offer at the new location, and all are conveniently priced in blocking, or single sessions. This is the ‘pay as you go’ philosophy. It’s a breath of fresh air in a world dominated by 12 and 24-month contracts.
As with all Pilates disciplines the focus is on the development of core strength. But I’ve rarely felt such a tangible strain during, and after the class. Luckily, Ten Pilates has an equal focus on injury prevention with specialised physiotherapy and sports massage sessions available, allowing you to get the most out of every session in the studio.
This is a perfect opportunity to take a look around and familiarise yourself with the equipment before signing up for some classes, the first of which won’t set you back a penny for the month of September, just a few sore days, if you’re as stiff as I am.
Ten Pilates City
119-121 Middlesex Street
City of London
Tel: 020 7247 8895