I’ve been meaning to try a class at ChaiseFitness for over a year now. With so many studio options in the city and race training taking priority, it never happened. I’m so glad that I was invited to finally take a class last weekend. Chaise was exactly the type of low-impact strength training I needed the day before my 20-miler. Unlike other barre and pilates classes, Chaise uses a special Reinvention Chair and overhead bungee system to increase extension through your spine, lengthening your muscles and strengthening your core.
Chaise was founded by mother/daughter duo Lauren and Rachel Piskin. Lauren grew up as a competitive figure skater and merged into the fitness industry by founding Physicalmind, an Upper East Side pilates studio. Her daughter, Rachel, became a member of the New York City Ballet at 16 but started to feel her body shutting down after a few years. Together, the two developed the Reinvention Method to build on Lauren’s personal expertise and to give Rachel and others a new, effective way to be active. Chaise takes “pilates off of its back and brings it into the modern upbeat vibe of New York City.”
I took a Cardio Chair class with Nick Sciscione, also a professional dancer. Nick started class by introducing the group to the chair. The two important pieces of the equipment are the seat and the pedal, which has adjustable resistance. He showed us how to perform lunges (with one foot on the seat and one on the pedal) and pikes (with hands on the seat, feet on the pedal, and hips in the air). Talk about a core and glutes warmup. The class, which had about a dozen students in it, consisted of strength movements with five dance-inspired cardio intervals. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it on the blog before, but I’m a huge fan of bungees. They’re such a fluid way to add resistance to movement. The strength exercises were compound movements that used both the chair and the bungees.
Images & video via ChaiseFitness
I’m looking forward to going back to Chaise to try their Reinvention Chair class, which is similar to Cardio Chair but does not include cardio intervals. Bouncing on my toes during cardio left my calves sore for about two days. That’s fantastic, unless you have to run 20 miles the next day. I recommend Chaise for anyone who is looking for a low-impact strength option in a city that’s obsessed with high intensity. You can check out Chaise in Flatiron or the Upper East Side using their 3 for $33 new client special. Chaise is also looking to franchise to other cities very soon!