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Pilates studio helps strengthen mental, physical core
by Sarah Cooper
Feb 25, 2008 | 2259 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Tony Contini - In addition to an abundance of pilates equipment, IM=X has a separate room for cycling.
Tribune/Tony Contini - In addition to an abundance of pilates equipment, IM=X has a separate room for cycling.
slideshow
Tribune/Tony Contini - The newly opened IM=X Pilates Studio displays many pilates machines in its Vista Boulevard location in Sparks.
Tribune/Tony Contini - The newly opened IM=X Pilates Studio displays many pilates machines in its Vista Boulevard location in Sparks.
slideshow
Kellie Bedinger gazed intently as she pressed the weighted handles forward and slowly pulled them back. Her abdominal muscles tightened and a small dew formed on her forehead as she worked through her fifth pilates class at im=X pilates on Vista Boulevard. Bedinger had been coming to the studio since the day after it opened its doors and she said she is “absolutely addicted.”

After four spine surgeries and a desire to get fit, Bedinger wanted a form of exercise that would focus on her core.



“I had heard that pilates focused on this area,” Bedinger said pointing to her waist. So she decided to give it a try.



Last Sunday she walked into the studio on Vista Boulevard where Lynette and David Marshall had just opened their franchise for business.

The subdued lighting in the large studio room shone on 10 pilates reformer machines surrounded by plum-colored curtains and beige walls.

“We wanted the interior to be just as opposite from normal gym as it could be,” David said. “That’s the reason for the candles and the other features.”

Pilates is a concentrated form of low-intensity strength training that targets and isolates specific muscle groups. Traditional pilates centers around a philosophy of deep mental focus on the abdominal muscles in an effort to support and strengthen the deepest spinal support muscles, according to the business’s Web site.

Im=X is short for Integrated Movement Xercise. David said its main difference from traditional pilates comes with the addition of low-intensity cardiovascular exercise.

“It concentrates on the core training,” David said. “If you think about your body in two parts, the core and appendages, core strengthening is at the root of most of the exercise.”

A typical routine on the reformer machine moves class members though slow muscle-building movements with the resistance coming from the handles that are attached to tightly coiled springs.



Throughout the hour-long workout, Bedinger pursed her lips and forced out air from the deep recesses of her belly.

“You should feel your ribs contracting,” pilates teacher Natalie Kendrick said as she guided Bedinger through the reformer class.

Early in the class, Kendrick replaced the foot rest on Bedinger’s reformer with a jumping board. The woman lay on her back and with pointed toes propelled herself off the jumping board, her upper body gliding with the carriage along a horizontal track.

“The first time people come in they might feel a little clumsy,” Kendrick said. “But that is what I am here for. My job is to correct you.”

The Marshalls moved to east Sparks from Incline Village several months ago and began the search for a franchise that fit their personalities.

“To be honest, I am a retired businessman who has gotten tired of being retired,” David said.

After searching through dog grooming and in-home senior care franchises, among a sea of other business ventures, the Marshalls went to New York and sat down with representatives from Im=X.

“We signed the papers that day,” David said.

Lynette is a self-proclaimed “fitness nut” who has worked as a registered nurse for the past 18 years.

“I wanted to do something fitness oriented,” Lynette said. “I believe that if you have the passion for something you should be doing it.”

Im=X pilates is located at 4830 Vista Blvd. across from Pinocchio’s restaurant in the Vista Village shopping center.



Pilates and spinning classes are available by appointment that can be made in person, by phone at 354-0770 or online at www.imxpilates-sparks.com.
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