worth the trek uptown: moving strength, uws

Moving Strength

When it comes to fitness, the Upper West Side of Manhattan can be a woeful place. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by the fitness Flatiron district, replete with sundrenched studios and inspirational quote boards, but some of the spots I’ve visited uptown are downright creepy. From the dark and dank spaces nestled in old brownstones to women who complain through the workout {granted, this happened on the UES, but uptown is uptown, and I’m an admitted downtown snob}, you’ll rarely find me above 23rd Street, unless I’m taking in a museum or relaxing at The Cloisters.

Until now.

Simply put, Moving Strength is the gift that keeps on giving. From affordable class deals {I got offered three Pilates Reformer or TRX classes for $59} to tiny classes and personalized, deft instruction, you’ll feel as if you’re getting a hands-on private at a group fitness cost. Case in point: I took a Pilates Reformer class with the very lovely, Jose Angel Sepulveda, who essentially tailored the class to my fitness level and body.

Did I mention that I was the ONLY ONE IN CLASS? While the idea of having a private is a rare privilege for some, it’s sheer terror for me. I’m not left to my own devices, and I can’t creep in the back and essentially hide from the instructor. I think I might have told Jose five times that I was SHY and being the only one in class was TERRIFYING. However, his calming energy and effusive personality set me at ease. And the work began.

While I’ve taken a considerable amount of Reformer class, I loved how Jose really worked in the Pilates band, blocks, and other tools typically ignored by most studios. We opened and closed the class with stretches and Jose’s adjustments were spot-on. His repeated reminders of how to breathe, where to place your seat and how to engage different parts of your core were like symphony to me, and I felt more meticulous about my body in this class than any other Pilates class. While I didn’t violently weep like I would in a BBB class, I left feeling stronger after the moving squats, inner thigh work and lat raises. All the while Jose served as my constant cheerleader, as I cursed my weak core whilst rocking out to his #pants playlist.

Trust me on this, friends. Moving Strength was worth my Odyssean trek from Brooklyn.

What to Know: The space is cozy, but consider that an advantage because you’ll get small class sizes and lots of attention. While there are no showers or formal changing rooms, there is a bathroom outside the studio. Bring towels.

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