Tried And Tested: We Tried A Classical Pilates Session At Flex Studio, Here’s What We Thought

Experienced instructors, bespoke classes and a bright, modern space—what’s not to love?
Photo: Flex Studio

As a self-proclaimed fitness buff, a day in my life more often than not begins with a workout. Whether it’s heading to my usual CrossFit gym in Chinatown or going for a run round my local stadium, I’m all for weaving fitness into daily life. After all, most of us are too sedentary for our own good.

With fitness, the experts are always talking about how variety is the best way to be truly fit. So when the opportunity to try classical pilates—a movement form that I’m not too familiar with—presented itself, I jumped at the chance. On a lazy afternoon, I headed to Flex Studio in Palais Renaissance along Orchard Road. Upon stepping into the quiet studio, I was greeted by the warm faces at reception, who welcomed me into the space before taking me on a brief studio tour. After which, I was left to freshen up in the locker room, which came stocked with simple grooming and vanity items.

Heather Thomas, founder of Flex Studio. Photo: Flex Studio

After changing into the appropriate gear, Heather Thomas welcomed me into the studio proper. Thomas is the founder of Flex Studio, having first launched Flex in 2005 in Hong Kong, before bringing Flex to Singapore last year. With over two decades of experience teaching Pilates, Thomas is a firm believer in the benefits associated with Classical Pilates, the original form of the movement created by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s.

Classical Pilates can help to reduce back pain, increase and lengthen musculature as well as strengthen one’s core. These benefits are in addition to the more obvious advantages that come with regularly practising Classical Pilates, such as better posture, greater flexibility and greater mind-muscle connection.

Photo: Flex Studio

Before we began the private session, Thomas took me through the different equipment and apparatus in the studio, including the Reformer, the Cadillac and different types of Barrels. Each piece of equipment serves different purposes in Classical Pilates and can be used in multiple ways, as Thomas explained to me before bringing me over to the Reformer. She took the first portion of the session to assess my general fitness and core strength, pinpointing any issues and strain I was feeling in my body. 

We spent the next hour on different pieces of equipment, going through a series of exercises chosen by Thomas. Each exercise was aimed at building core stability while giving my body a good stretch—this was, after all, an introductory class. Throughout the session, I was supported (sometimes literally) through each movement by Thomas. Although the movements seemed easy in theory, I found that keeping each action slow and controlled was more challenging than I had thought. It was clear that the session had been tweaked to suit my needs and my body.

Photo: Flex Studio

This is one of Flex’s main focuses: the earnest goal to tailor each session to the student’s needs. This comes through in the way the studio’s classes are structured too: class sizes at Flex are smaller, to maintain a good instructor-to-student ratio, while private lessons are also available upon inquiry. One of the key perks of having smaller classes is that it allows the instructors to adapt and change up the lesson’s flow to better suit your fitness level and age, while carefully taking into account any prior injuries. During my session, I noticed on multiple occasions that Thomas made adjustments to my form, helping me to feel each movement in its true intensity.

When I left Flex in the evening, it was clear that the session with Thomas had made an impact. My steps were noticeably lighter, and my body was warm and stretched out. I also noticed the distinct absence of pain and intense aches anywhere on my body. This form of movement is designed to give you the ability to move more, for longer. Classical Pilates works in tandem with other exercise regimens you love, improving the performance of your bigger muscle groups while providing the smaller muscles with the necessary stability and support.

If you’re looking for a studio with trusted Classical Pilates instructors, pop by Flex Studio to give their classes a try. Grab a buddy or two and enjoy a private session, your body will thank you for it.

Flex Studio Singapore
390 Orchard Road, #05-02
Palais Renaissance, Singapore 238871


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