Put to the test: ChaiseFitness builds muscle with bungee cords & a chair


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If you want to lower the intensity of your workout without sacrificing its muscle-sculpting power, you may want to try this Pilates, ballet and strength-training hybrid.

ChaiseFitness was co-founded by Lauren Piskin — competitive figure skater, longtime Pilates instructor and overall superwoman in the fitness industry — and daughter Rachel, former New York City Ballet dancer and ChaiseFitness instructor. They created the "reinvention method," which blends Pilates, ballet and aerobics together for one low-impact, muscle-burning workout.

I recently took their Reinvention Chair class — which is the best way to be introduced to the reinvention method — at their new location on New York’s Upper East Side and was blown away by how much it engaged my muscles and made me sweat.

The bungees hanging from the ceiling offer the resistance needed to strengthen and lengthen your muscles for that dancer physique, and also help you find that perfect form. Whether you’re sitting on it or leaning off the side of it, the padded chair with foot bar works wonders for balance and working your core muscles.

There are other types of classes that I have yet to try, including Cardio Chair, Ballet Bungee and Chaise Bootcamp, to name a few.


Instructor report

My instructor, Criscia, was very sympathetic to my newbie status and the fact that I was quite challenged in all things bungee. I was given an easy-to-understand run-through of all the moves we’d be doing in class. I wasn’t given special treatment; every new student needs to come in 15 minutes early for this quick lesson. Once I got over the feeling that I was a puppet dangling in front of the mirror, I felt I had the “hang” of it.  

Criscia also made sure that everyone practiced good form throughout the entire class and challenged us to safely push ourselves.


Our favorite parts

The new 92nd Street location is boutique-sized and only holds 14 people per class, giving you lots of face time with the instructor. I’m usually skating, running or kickboxing, so just working with the equipment at ChaiseFitness was enough to get me hooked.

Also, the 55-minute class was the perfect length of time for a workout before clocking in at work.


How does it benefit the bod?

You will work your whole body in short period of time. Pulling the bungees down, out and in will elongate your muscles, as well as strengthen them. Also, because it's a low-impact workout, your joints are safe.

"Our method not only creates long lean muscles, a strong core and narrow waist, but it also lengthens your spine and improves posture," said Piskin on the ChaiseFitness website.


How much per class?

Both the 92nd Street and Flatiron locations charge $33.