Erika Bloom On The Power of Pilates

The owner of Erika Bloom Pilates studios in Water Mill and East Hampton (along with locations in New York City, Greenwich, CT and, this fall, LA) epitomizes the long, lean, posture-perfect Pilates bod—so it’s no wonder that she relies on this celeb-favorite workout to stay fit and injury-free.
photograph by Jaimie Baird

How she got into Pilates: I first began studying Pilates to help remedy an injury when I was a professional dancer. It proved to be a perfect form of body conditioning for me, both during my time as a dancer and now, as a business owner and mom. Pilates aligns the body for ideal mechanics, which lets one move freely, find one’s full physical capabilities and remain healthy and injury-free.

What makes Pilates unique: It targets not just the big, prime “mover” muscles, but also the small intrinsic musculature that supports the joints and the spine. It corrects faulty movement patterns and alignment, which prevents injury and can actually heal existing issues. It corrects posture and teaches awareness of how we move, sit and stand throughout the day, even when we are not in a session.

The Pilates machines versus Pilates mat classes: Pilates can be done just using your body, so you can do it at home or on-the-go. Props can be added for additional resistance. Pilates can also be done on the machines—Reformer, the Cadillac, the Wunda chair—in the studio. The springs on the apparatus steadily increase resistance as they are stretched, which facilitates a profound lengthening of the body. They also provide support that allows one to achieve new movements and find deeper connections, plus they can also add resistance, range or instability to make an exercise more challenging.

How Pilates anticipated the hot new breathwork trend: Pilates is also about connecting to the breath. Proper breath mechanics have wide-ranging benefits including improved immunity, better digestion, improved metabolism and lower stress levels.

Her personal practice: I do an at-home mat and props workout about four times a week and then two sessions on the apparatus. I vary my routines based on my energy level and my mood.

Her other workouts: I like to stay active with my kids. We go ice-skating and hiking and take walks around the city. It is so amazing for me to spend that time with my children, and it teaches them to have movement and exercise as a central part of their lives.


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