5 SF Studios That Provide The Ultimate Pilates Workout

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If you have yet to try a Pilates class, what are you waiting for?! Thanks to the fitness craze that’s taken over San Francisco, there are countless studios that offer Pilates, from hardcore mega-reformer workouts to gentle stretching-based mat Pilates. Here we share our five favorite studios for Pilates—the best places to build strength, flexibility, and long, lean muscles.

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MNTStudio

At the gorgeous, recently renovated MNTStudio, six different Pilates classes are offered throughout the week. Most of the classes are on the reformer; although there is one mat Pilates class taught on the schedule. The great thing about MNT (which stands for Move, Nourish, Transform) is there are only eight Balanced Body reformers, so everyone in class gets one-on-one time with the instructor. Form is emphasized and the teachers are hands on.


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Pilates ProWorks

Pilates ProWorks has eight different studio locations in the Bay Area including several in Marin and one in Sonoma. However, our personal favorite is the studio in the Marina on Union Street. Founder Oscar Sanin, along with his wife Taylor Carter, worked with industrial designers and fitness consultants to create a proprietary type of Pilates machine. Known as the FitFormer, the ProWorks machine ensures that the entire body is challenged and that transitions are seamless. It’s the only reformer on the market that can suit a traditional Pilates class as well as new contemporary-based exercises.


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Core40

Need a workout that causes you to sweat quickly? Core40 is the answer to your prayers. This 40-minute reformer class is one of the most challenging Pilates class you’ll ever take. Core40 follows the Lagree Fitness Method, a type of Pilates on steroids that was developed by a man named Sebastien Lagree. Movements are incredibly slow and the core is constantly engaged resulting in a resistance-based class where your muscles can’t help but shake like crazy. Note that some of Core40’s classes are ramped—this means that the mega reformer machine is elevated and lowered throughout the routine making the motions more difficult. Take at least five regular Core40 classes before you jump into a ramped session.


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The Pad

At The Pad on Union Street, only six students take each pilates reformer class. The small group setting is perfect for students who want extra attention or to focus on technique. The Pad’s instructors are available for private Pilates classes and prenatal/postnatal classes are offered regularly for those mommas who want to get their workout on.


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Simply Balanced

Simply Balanced is a quiet studio on California Street near Fillmore where classes are incredibly small. We love Susan Himes-Powers‘s gentle Pilates mat class. This hour-long workout is more like a stretching routine with foam rolling and slow movements that elongate the body and improve flexibility. Himes-Powers teaches the class three times a week—adding it to your regular workout sessions is the ideal way to loosen the body up.

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