Have you been looking to enhance your exercise routine and improve your strength, balance, flexibility and coordination? Would you like to join a community of like-minded people guided by the expertise of a knowledgeable instructor? Are you ready to make an investment in yourself, your fitness and your overall health?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you may be interested in an exciting new exercise option open in Southern Maryland. Club Pilates SOMD is conveniently located in the shopping center with Harris Teeter at 44940 St. Andrews Church Road in California, Maryland. Club Pilates, introduced by local business owners Gary and Kathy McKay, promises clients a new kind of fitness experience designed to challenge muscles, relieve stress, and foster a mind-body connection.
“We are really excited to have brought Club Pilates to Southern Maryland in 2020. Compared to other popular fitness programs, Pilates is a fantastic option for everyone, from beginners to athletes to seniors to individuals experiencing back pain or other health issues,” said The McKays, adding that Pilates is a “tried-and-true” fitness program developed by German physical trainer Joseph Pilates with a proven track record of benefits, including increased strength and stability, improved posture and balance, and greater endurance.
Born and raised in St. Mary’s County, Gary McKay has always had a passion for helping others in his community improve the quality of their lives. Following several years of debuting fitness facilities in Belize, Central America, Gary and his wife decided to return to the US and started with Club Pilates opening their first two studios in Pennsylvania in 2019. After some delays from COVID-19, they were able to continue to expand in Maryland with the goal of creating a space where the Southern Maryland community could enjoy the benefits of Pilates.
“Being healthy and feeling good is something important to us, and we would love for everyone to experience the rewards of taking care of themselves. Pilates is especially fantastic because it is accessible to so many people,” said the McKays.
A low-impact exercise routine, Pilates uses classic movements and emphasizes correct form and technique, with a focus on strengthening the core. At Club Pilates, one major benefit is the availability of specialized equipment, including the Reformer, EXO-Chair, Bosu Ball, TRX Suspension Trainer, springboards and more, for maximum effectiveness.
“Pilates is an excellent workout for anyone because we can tailor it to individual needs. If you’re a beginner, someone who is experiencing chronic back pain, injury or other health conditions, a new mother, or someone who is experienced in fitness and is looking for a new challenge – Club Pilates will benefit you because an instructor would be able to recommend the correct form, modifications, and appropriate amount of tension in the equipment,” explains Tere Hubler, Lead Instructor at Club Pilates SOMD.
Expert instructors and small class sizes are just two of the benefits offered by Club Pilates. Instructors are required to be certified with a minimum of 500 hours of comprehensive training, and classes are designed to both create a sense of community while still allowing individual instruction designed to help every client achieve their goals.
“We currently offer more than 60 classes a week at varying hours and varying levels, according to our clients’ needs,” said the McKays, noting that they will continue to adjust class availability as required.
However, more than just a physical workout, Pilates also emphasizes a mind-body connection. The premise of Pilates is to
bring balance back to your body. As you perform various movements, you’re fully aware of what you’re doing. It’s a fantastic way to unplug and de-stress in a busy world.
In the summer of 2020, I was diagnosed with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) in my lower extremities and I had to undergo the first medical procedure in July and a second more invasive surgery in September. This was the surgery that would ultimately change the quality of my life. I spent the next three and a half weeks in a walker then the next three months using a cane in order to maintain balance. My good friend, Christina, suggested I look into Pilates as a possible means of strengthening my core and improving my balance, which I did. After some research I signed up in December of 2020 and, in short, Pilates and my instructors saved my life!
In August of 2020, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw an advertisement for Club Pilates. I put in my information and was contacted by Stacey, the office manager, to join for a free intro class. I came in, did the intro, loved it and I was hooked! At that time, I had just retired from Simms Insurance Agency and turned 74. I felt that I was getting out of shape and if I wanted to have quality of life I needed to start a low-impact exercise program, and that’s when my journey begun! I started going three times a week, which soon increased to six days a week, and some days I would do double classes! I completed 100 classes in the winter of 2020 and by May, I had finished 250 classes. Pilates has helped me with my flexibility and has given me strength. I can move easier even after I had to miss classes due to a knee replacement. I could feel my body was missing Pilates. I am back in classes, enjoying life and working toward my 500th class! Give Pilates a chance and join me in working towards a healthy life!
I have been a member of Club Pilates Southern Maryland since April 2021. After having surgery, my doctor told me I needed to find an exercise program that was low impact on my knees and joints. My introduction class was easy. The “real” work began in my first class. My instructors keep me motivated to come back when I feel like giving up. I have been taking classes since April 2021. When I started, I could not do planks on the floor mat, getting on and off the reformer was a challenge; doing different exercises such as tabletop positions, working my core area (butts up), and my knees were not cooperating with me. Now, I can do all those things. My knees and joints feel so much better. My mind and body are in tune with one another. I am more active at my church, Leonardtown Church of the Nazarene, and with my family. I can walk a good distance and not be winded, and dance for hours without pain. Pilates has strengthened my soul, mind, and body. It has helped me to build muscle and strength in places that were looking “soft.” I am thankful for the team of instructors who continues to push me to be the best me I have been in years!
Private Training Available!
In addition to small group classes, Club Pilates also offers personal Pilates instruction in their dedicated private training room. A one-on-one training session affords you the privacy and undivided attention necessary for your Club Pilates instructor to acquaint themselves with your unique situation, while they tailor your workout for your optimal benefit. Contact the studio at 301-686-7799 to learn more!