Local company offering free online pilates classes for healthcare workers and older adults

Fitness options have been limited as Philadelphia continues a lockdown to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. But that doesn’t mean residents can’t work up a good sweat in alternative fashion.

Online pilates have become a popular choice, and healthcare workers and older residents are being offered a complimentary online class from the Movement Source Pilates Studio in South Philly to help keep in shape without ever leaving their homes.

Kelly Adorno, who has owned the second floor studio at 1509 E. Passyunk Ave. for nearly four years, decided to offer a pair of free classes as a thank you to healthcare workers and a way to keep older adults active.

“I was awake until 2 a.m. one night trying to think about how I could give back and do more for healthcare workers,” Adorno said. “I thought this is a very small gesture I could do.”

Movement Source Pilates Studio will offer two free online classes for a month. The first class was on April 20. A “Healthcare Heroes Class” class, specifically aimed toward healthcare workers, focuses on the spine and central nervous system through pilates.

A second class, targeted for older adults called “Pilates for Longevity,” was developed for adults looking for a low-impact, high-payback movement method that targets flexibility, strength and balance. It’s geared toward older adults by utilizing a chair and hand towel for support that can be found at home. Both classes are led by instructor Laura Baehr, who is a physical therapist, rehabilitation research scientist, community movement teacher and performance artist.

“Laura is really interested in creating adaptable, inclusive movement opportunities to help as many people as she can,” Adorno said. “She’s brilliant. It’s been really great working with her.”

Prior to the pandemic, Adorno’s business included instructing a weekly chair pilates class at the Marconi Older Adult Center at 15th and Porter for the last three years. She’s hoping to reconnect with a few clients.

Movement Source Pilates Studio owner Kelly Adorno has been in business for more than three years on East Passyunk Avenue. (Contributed Photo)

“It was every Tuesday morning for the past three years and it was heartbreaking that we had to stop,” Adorno said. “I just wanted to be able to offer something for them.”

There are many online exercise options available these days, but most are made for younger, athletic people. Adorno said these two classes meet the specific needs of the target audiences.

“Most of the fitness classes online are made for younger, more physically-able bodies,” she said. “There aren’t that many options for older adults or less physically able bodies, so we wanted to offer a class a little bit more inclusive and acceptable for anyone.”

The online class, which became available on Monday, is accessible for one month.  Registration by email is required to receive the class video via an online link.

Email info@movementsource.com to receive the waiver and class information. Include your name and the name of class of interest in the email.

The studio is hoping to increase its regular business with a larger online presence as it adapts to the current situation. Adorno said she’s lost about half of her business to the pandemic but is hoping to soon attract new customers through an online presence.

The studio offers services that include virtual private lessons through the online app Zoom. There are also online group classes that include live sessions and prerecorded routines. More information can be found at www.movementsource.com.