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The Collab You Didn't Know You Needed

By: Summer Poletti

I'm always on the lookout for other small businesses and organizations that serve the same type of people - to bring added value to our customers. And when it also helps boost awareness for another small business, even better! So when I saw my Chamber of Commerce and Instagram friend State Street Pilates posting videos during the week of the Redlands Bicycle Classic, I reached out to learn more. Here's the conversation:

Pedego Redlands: Your posts about Pilates for Cyclists caught my eye; first of all, brilliant timing to run those the week of the classic! I thought some of my folks would want to learn more about those exercises, why they’re necessary and how they could help. First, some quick interactions for anyone who might not know us or know that we know each other. I’m Summer, owner of a new e-bike shop in town. We work with all kinds of people who want electric bicycles for varied reasons. Without getting into too many details, it’s safe to say that my folks generally like to stay active for life. And I think that’s where we might have some common interests. Can you tell us a little bit about you and your practice?

State Street Pilates: So I’m Megan and I own State Street Pilates in downtown Redlands. The studio has been serving the community for over 20 years. We provide Pilates instruction for corrective exercise, rehabilitation, postural support, and overall strength and mobility training. Pilates essentially helps you do everything else in life better!

Summer: Sounds great! I am curious abut what drew you to Pilates, and since I get asked “why e-bikes?” all the time, I’ll go first. When I was a kid, riding bikes with kids in the neighborhood was a daily activity. It gave us freedom to go anywhere we wanted and it was fun. When you’re a kid, you’re goofing off and having fun and you don’t think about that as exercise, but it is. And then as an adult, we switch to thinking that exercise is a chore, but it doesn’t have to be. After a number of sports related injuries, both old and new, forced me to keep amending my activities, I ended up with walking or hiking, which felt like a chore. I live in the hills and I missed the fun of riding a bike. My e-bike helps me up the hills and it’s also a lot of fun! It feels like an activity I can continue to enjoy for as long as I want. And I like the joy it brings to other people. So now it's your turn. Why Pilates? And actually, what is it? Many of us (myself included) have heard of it and know nothing other than the machines that look a little intimidating.

Megan: Great question. Pilates does have this mysterious thing about it, plus with the chains and springs hanging, we get all sorts of double takes and looks, haha. Pilates is a form of strength training. We use specific equipment that is spring loaded for resistance as well as body weight to build functional strength and optimal mobility. Too much of either is not a good thing. Pilates is about balance; developing that in the body and in life. We like to say, what you do on the mat translates in life. We do hard things in the studio to be able to do hard things in life, but with more ease and grace! Pilates was actually founded by a man named Joseph Pilates. It was originally called Contrology because it was about developing control in the body. When he passed, his proteges renamed it because the word Contrology was just kind of hard to say and didn’t roll off the tongue that easily. Pilates is practiced all around the world from professional athletes, veterans, dancers, to average regular people wanting to stay in the best shape. I personally found Pilates as a dancer for cross-training and injury prevention purposes but it helped me recover from a hiking accident that broke my foot and I have been a devotee ever since! I love helping people rediscover what is possible. For example, my Dad had major back surgery in which he had a ruptured disc removed. He was told he would have to have L3 & L4 fused together in about 5 years. When he was cleared for exercise, I taught him Pilates mat work to correct his core workout. He was a typical “100 crunches” guy. It has been 15 years and he has never needed that spinal fusion! Summer: Wow! What a great story about your dad. I knew we'd have some common ground. I love what e-bikes can do for people who have experienced injuries, are living with advanced age, or who have mobility concerns. I’m also picturing all my rich, fancy friends who do Pilates and I never would have imagined that origin story. And as it relates to this conversation, what does Pilates have to do with cycling? I bet a common thought is that cyclists already get plenty of exercise. Megan: So for cyclists, Pilates can be used as corrective exercise. Any form of physical activity that is practiced repetitively is going to cultivate the body into a certain shape. Just think of swimmers, dancers, runners, football players, etc. They have unique shapes about them that come from the consistent training that they do. However, this repetitive movement can also lead to injury if not balanced out with other forms of exercise. We use Pilates to bring balance to the body. For cyclists, they tend to have overdeveloped quads, tight hamstrings and hip flexors, rounded upper backs and tight chests. We then work to strengthen the posterior chain muscles while also working on lengthening the hamstrings and hip flexors. We focus on opening up the upper back and chest to reverse that forward posture. And in everything we do, there is core work to support it. Our core supports every movement we do so it is emphasized in every exercise. Pilates can then help a cyclist ride longer in miles and years with minimal injuries and aches and pains in the body. Summer: Riding more miles and for more years is what e-bikes are all about! I am remembering a conversation we had a couple months back in which you mentioned how avid cyclists are quite strong, and also can have tight back and shoulders from holding their riding positions for long periods of time. Then I saw a very young competitive cyclist who fit that description – it was eye-opening. I have personally learned from my own repetitive-motion injuries that it’s not a great idea to rely on only one kind of exercise. And injury prevention is excellent. I can't be the only one who hates being stuck on the couch nursing an injury instead of doing the activity I love. For folks who are interested, how can they learn more? Megan: We provide Pilates training in one-on-one sessions of what we call “duet” sessions 2:1 if they have a partner. In these types of sessions we build a tailored program for their body and fitness goals. It’s our recommended place to start so they can build the body awareness needed for group classes. We also offer group classes if they are more of a class-type person and would prefer to start there. Folks interested can book any of these types on our website. They can also email me if they have questions- Summer: You know, your studio isn’t far from my shop – we need to do a collaborative event. Maybe in conjunction with one of my group rides – could my folks ride to your studio and get a demo? Megan: That would be awesome! Let’s do it!

So there you have it - the collab you didn't know you needed! We're going to add a State Street Pilates demo to an evening group ride in June. Follow our EventBrite page for details.

You can also follow State Street Pilates on Instagram to learn more about their practice and community events.

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