Progressive Bodyworks | Pilates Mastery with Clare Dunphy


It’s the Height of Summer!

August 8, 2016

We're now officially in the thickest part of summer, and there is no better way to soak it in than to get outdoors. Everything slows down now, leaving you time to work on your fitness goals.

One great feature of Pilates Avatar is you can take the lessons with you anywhere. We're an audio program.  There’s no need to be cooped up inside a studio. With longer, warmer days, head outside and feel the grass between your toes as you perfect a pose. Pilates Avatar offers several workouts of varying lengths where all you need is a mat. Grab a matand your smartphone or tablet, and make your favorite park a pilates studio for the day. 

Summer is the time to rededicate yourself to fitness and set objectives for the remainder of the year. Pilates Avatar wants to support your goals. 

Shop Workouts

Filed under: Lifestyle Matters,Pilates Avatar

Pilates Day 2016:  Pilates Prince Tribute

May 5, 2016

I love Pilates Day!  Thank you PMA for intiating this community building event each year to bring Pilates out into our communities.  These last few years when I am teaching a 4-day intensive at Pilates Erlangen (Germany) we like to add our spirit to the Pilates Day event.  This year, I decided to make our group video a Tribute to our fallen brother Prince.  We love you Prince, thank you for bearing your soul through your musical genius.  

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Pilates Avatar Directly on Your Smartphone!

March 11, 2016

Today we’re announcing a major update to Pilates Avatar!

We started Pilates Avatar to empower you to become more independent with your practice. And while we built something you could download onto your smartphone and take with you, we knew we could make the mobile experience more streamlined. 

Starting today, you'll be taken to an upgraded experience optimized for mobile devices, where you can access all your workouts without having to download, sync, or mess with iTunes.

Watch the Screencast

We made a video so you can see all the new features in action, or read on so you can learn about what to look for:

Just log into on your smartphone’s web browser then tap on the circular user icon in the upper right corner of your screen. After you enter your username and password, you’ll be taken to your Workouts page where you’ll see all your workouts listed. 

Tap on the workout you want and be taken to that Workout page where you’ll be able to play the audio file immediately without having to download anything. Scroll down to see the exercises listed with a play button for each video snap.  At the very bottom of the page we kept a pdf of the exercise list in case you prefer that format.

Another great feature for playing the audio is the rewind/fast forward function which is as simple as a finger swipe around the inner circle.

We are excited about these new improvements making your Pilates Avatar experience much more streamlined and easy!

Filed under: Pilates Avatar

New Tools in the Studio Kit

December 16, 2015

We’ve got exciting additions for authorized studio owners!

First off, we’re always committed to empowering you, our studio owners with the best tools to keep your students engaging with Pilates Avatar. Now you have an even richer set of tools to make that happen.

Not Yet A​uthorized?

Don’t miss out on all the fun! Make Pilates Avatar a smart business strategy at your studio so you can:

• Monetize unused apparatus without interrupting current class schedules.
• Book more lessons as your students advance in the programs.
• Gain referrals when news spreads that their studio is offering the Pilates Avatar program.
• Expand your studio offerings.
• Improve your SEO with our studio directory that links to your website and social media.

Learn How Your Studio Can Profit


To begin, you’ll need a way to promote Pilates Avatar on your digital properties like your website, e-newsletters, and social media. We’ve created 2 versions of a banner for you to help spread the word, designed to work on either a light or dark background.


Next, you’ll want something physical to hand out. That’s where the postcard comes in. The promo code encourages new students to try Pilates Avatar. Put them in high traffic areas to serve as conversation starters — or take some with you to conferences and networking events!

RX Pad

When you want to recommend specific programs for a student, grab a copy of the prescription pad and check off the ones you think will work best for them. 

Better Performance for Video Snaps

Previously, we gave you a big grid of all videos, causing some browsers to crash — we realize now it was not a good way to browse them; we’ve since changed it to a simple list so you only load one video at a time, speeding things for you.

Lastly — we’ve reordered the tools to make more sense, with the ones you need to launch first (Implementation Guide and Instructor Guide), then to promote (Banner and Postcard), ending with the tactical tools (Exercise Lists, Prescription Pad, Video Snaps).

Ready to check out all the fresh updates? Log in now — we can't wait to hear what you think! As always, please let us know your feedback at

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Game Changers

July 1, 2015

Misty Copeland's promotion to Principle Dancer for the ABT - against all odds, starting late in the game, and with a fierce determination that all athletes have tasted - has inspired me today to hit my Pilates workout with a deeper sense of purpose.  I think of all her plies, passe's, and turns, practiced over and over again.  I think we Pilates lovers can relate.  I think of all the times we practice the Hundred, Teaser and the rest of the Pilates repertoire.  All that practice so almost like magic, without thinking about it, we move with economy, grace, and balance.  We start to hold ourselves noticably more regally.  We use our body to the greatest advantage, making the most of our strengths, counteracting its weaknesses, and correcting its imbalances.  This is Pilates:  Fusion of mind and body.  The paradox is that in order to produce an attention-free union of mind and body, we must constantly pay attention to our body while we are doing the movement.  And then we practice, practice, practice.  The magic doesn't just happen though, it's our "attention-paying" which is so vital that it is more important than any other single aspect of a movement.  Enter our Guiding Principles:

Concentrate on what you are doing with the entire body
Control every aspect of every movement – large motions & joint positions
Centering is the starting place and focal point
Flowing Movement outward from a strong center (Romana) not too fast or slow, not stiff or jerky
Precision of movement and precision of placement creates bodily fine tuning that carries over into everyday life as grace and economy of movement
Breathing full and deep in every exercise, properly coordinated with movement.  Breathe in on the point of effort, and out on return or relaxation.  Squeeze the breath out of your lungs during motions that squeeze everything tight, and inhale when you straighten up (ie. Spine Stretch) 

BUT it doesn't stop there!  The key is how we work inside the movement that matters.  It's like learning a new language of movement.  Enter the Game-Changers:

We find our center and our powerhouse in motion by drawing the abdominals in and up to make the distance between the lower abs and spine as small as possible.  No problem when we are lying down, but add it into each movement and it's a brand new world.

We find the posture of our head and neck in multiple postions without tensing our chest and shoulders. Lying down the point of contact to the mat should be somewhere near the base of the skull, producing length in the back of the neck (and strength in the front of the neck).  Now take it upright to sitting, standing and moving!  

We strengthen our necks by properly lifting our head off the mat in a way that stretches the back of the neck which helps anchor the spine into the mat (think Hundred and Ab Series) which translates into being able to hold out head higher all day long.

We distinguish the difference between relaxing and collapsing; the difference between relaxing and over-controlling or over tensing.  This stress-free movement is found by relaxing the muscles while maintaining enough tone to hold the position we want.  Think quads overtaking the job of other muscles.

We stretch our arms and legs without locking the elbows and knees.  We figure out how to reach the arms long from our shoulders and to stretch the feet long from the hips.  

We learn to sit up out of our hips.  Our chest is pulled up and our head is sliding up an imaginary pole so that our back is not arched, we can find an extra bit of straightness and uprightness that comes from lifting the lowest part of your abdomen, as if we are stretching our naval away from our hips.

We discover the cure for flaccid gluteal muscles, a chief culprit for poor posture and an ungraceful stride.  It is as simple as pressing the buttocks together as if squeezing a dime between them.  When standing up our thighs should turn slightly outward and the front of the pelvis is flat and open.  It works like a charm and beats incessant reps of large strenuous leg exercises which miss point.

We find a two-way stretch in all movements, reaching the arms from the lower back in one direction while reaching the legs from the lower back in the opposite direction.  

We roll and unroll the spine without jerking the body, one vertebrae at a time.  And if we are stiff, instead of cheating, we use our arms to help.

A famous composer once wrote:  Repetition is a form of change.  So we practice the same exercises day after day and discover that we are always finding our body - on new levels, with new depth and insight.

If you are looking for a way to supplement your lessons,  try my new program Pilates Avatar .  If you are a studio owner or manager, learn how you can bring this program to your studio!

Filed under: Business Matters,Lifestyle Matters,Movement Matters

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