Big-name studios that remain loyal to Joseph Pilates’ original method, like Power Pilates in Chelsea, dominate the New York market.
But operating in their shadow is Kinected, an insider’s studio that uses modern medicine and anatomy to expand on Pilates’ classical choreography, shaping it to serve each client.
“Joseph Pilates was a genius, but he only had so much information to work with. We have so much more contemporary knowledge,” says Matt McCulloch, co-founder of Kinected. “The question is: Do you keep this pure method and adapt the body to fit it? Or do you adapt the method to fit what the body needs?” McCulloch is a fan of finding a happy medium.
McCulloch, a master Pilates instructor, founded Kinected with his wife, Carrie, an M.D. who is also the co-founder of Living AnatoME.
The duo and their instructors host the well-known Kane School, where they teach alignment and the way bodies function—it’s meant to help you better understand and adjust your movement and postural habits.
Their insider clients are athletes, dancers, and people recovering from injuries, with the typical New York woman working towards a strong core being a smaller percentage of their business. Classes start at $18; privates at $42 (with an apprentice).
During a session with McCulloch that involved several machines and props such as foam rollers and weighted balls, he evaluated my posture and then led me in exercises to address the imbalance in my hips and shoulders. The cause? My two-ton de rigueur New York handbag, which I always carry on my right shoulder.
Next he addressed my slightly rounded shoulders (also a common problem among New Yorkers with desk jobs) by teaching me to activate muscles behind my rib cage that I’d never felt before. My issues didn’t magically disappear, but I felt like I had a better handle on how to improve them.
On my way out, a Parisian woman new to New York told me she had been trying Pilates studios all over the city. “They’re very respectful of your body and intelligent here,” she said. “This is the best place I’ve found.” —Lisa Elaine Held
What do you think? Should Pilates instructors adhere to Joseph Pilates’ original choreography or should they adjust it to fit each client?