master pilates instructor × surfer × FOUNDER OF BENT PILATES STUDIO
Kim Kuznitz: master Pilates instructor, surfer and creator of the Surfilates™ technique.
Kim Kuznitz, PMA® CPT, is a master Pilates instructor, surfer and creator of the Surfilates™ technique. She was the founder and owner of BENT Pilates Studio, a Pilates studio in NYC, from 2003-2015. Her passion for both Pilates and surfing sparked her latest creation Surfilates™, a Pilates and balance-based surf workout. Kim has been in the Pilates field for over 20 years, diligently exploring her craft. The Surfilates technique integrates Pilates exercises that relate to surfing combined with actual surfing exercises done on a specially designed surfboard. It is a balance between Pilates and explosive movements: a perfect workout for anyone. To further develop the Surfilates technique and to highlight its benefits to the surf community she opened a small studio in Rockaway Beach with Elisa Bluming.
After a martial arts injury and years of being a dancer, Kim realized the benefits of the Pilates technique and embarked on her journey to become a Pilates instructor in the 1980’s, enrolling in Kelly Kane’s School of Core Integration while recovering from her injury. She became fascinated with the kinetics of the human body and post-rehabilitation methodology, subsequently working under a physical therapist using Pilates exercises to help injured Merce Cunningham dancers.
Kim now integrates different movement forms and techniques, such as Muscle Activation Technique and Feldenkrais, so classes stay fresh and tailored to individual needs. She also works extensively with special populations, such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) clients as well as those with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and Parkinson’s Disease. At the International MS Management Practice Center, Kim works with patients with varying degrees of MS under the guidance of Dr. Stephen Kanter, Supervisor of Rehabilitation Services.
Kim can work with anyone from the skilled athlete to the disabled, and her extensive experience provides clients with comprehensive training in a regimented but fun and creative atmosphere.
A Little History...
Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates, a gymnast and boxer, who was born in Germany in 1880 and had a lifelong interest in body conditioning. He was living in England at the outbreak of War War I, and his German citizenship led to his imprisonment in a British internment camp along with other German nationals as enemy aliens. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, this was a fundamental time in the development of his method. At the British internment camp, Joseph taught his exercises to fellow compatriots and developed the first concepts for his innovative machines by disassembling the camp bunk beds and using the springs as a form of resistance to rehabilitate the injured and bed-ridden. The doctors noticed that patients who practiced Pilates improved faster than those who did not. The 1918 influenza pandemic hit and decimated populations all over the world, however, it is told that the inmates that followed Joseph’s routine survived due to their good health. This spring-based apparatus became the first "machine" Pilates developed. This system, combined with Mat work, formed the foundation of his method. The first official Pilates studio was set up in New York City in 1926. At first practiced mainly by dancers and elite athletes, it has been enthusiastically adopted by the sports and fitness world as well.
What Will Pilates Do for Me?
Pilates is a rigorous workout focusing on the core region of the body. It results in long and strong muscles and an overall awareness. With detailed cues from an instructor, you become aware of the deep muscles that are not generally used. Pilates also corrects structural imbalances, thus making it beneficial to everyday movement.
Over a committed period of time, Pilates can change the shape of the body and improve posture. The workouts consists of a series of exercises using specialized equipment as well as mat work. Pilates can also be used for rehabilitation and prevention of injuries.
When executed correctly Pilates:
- Corrects postural problems
- Increases core strength/stability
- Creates freedom of movement
- Enhances balance, strength, and flexibility
- Heightens body awareness
- Compliments other methods of exercises/sports performance
- Improves coordination and circulation
- Prevents injuries
- Develops longer & leaner muscles
- Flattens, tones and strengthen the abdominal area
WHAT will kim's expertise do for me?
With backgrounds in dance, martial arts, surfing and Pilates, Kim is an avid mover and loves to stay on the cutting edge of health and fitness!
Her 20 years of Pilates teaching experience provides clients with comprehensive training in a precise, fun and creative style.
Kim’s teaching exudes a serious but playful nature, so whether you’re a serious Pilates geek or a weekend warrior, Kim will match your focus.
Kim integrates different movement forms and styles such as Muscle Activation Technique (MAT) and Feldenkrais; her extra trainings enable her to customize a Pilates session exactly for your body and needs.
Kim specializes in working with those that have Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) or Parkinson’s Disease. If you have physical challenges, she can work with you to ensure that the Pilates exercises are appropriate and strength-building.
In this video, Kim teaches the Long Stretch Series on the Reformer, which includes Long Stretch, Down Stretch, Up Stretch, Elephant and Long Back Stretch. At the end, Kim also shows how you can adapt these classical Pilates exercises so you can practice them at home.
An innovative new Pilates and balance-based surf workout.
Surfilates is an innovative new Pilates and balance-based surf workout that is done on a specially designed surfboard. Balance discs and weighted balls mimic the stability challenges that you find on a regular surfboard. The technique was designed to enhance surfing performance through Pilates principles, though it’s for anyone that wants to get a great core workout and improve their balance and posture.
"Delightful and challenging" is how FitEngine reviewer Djuna Passman describes Kim Kuznitz's Surfilates class:
I was pleasantly surprised to find myself in what was one of the most challenging, beneficial, and fun Pilates-based classes I have taken. [Kim Kuznitz] brings expertise as a Pilates instructor and surfer to this class, making it both delightful and challenging."
What's the story behind Surfilates?
Kim Kuznitz, master Pilates instructor and former owner of Bent Pilates Studio, combined two of her passions to create Surfilates: Pilates and Surfing.
Kim started surfing at 40 years of age and fell in love with it. One, because of the freedom and beauty the ocean gave her, but the other thing it gave her was awareness and heightened instincts. You had to be ready to go at a moment's notice. "You can't change mother nature, you have to change for her." The other part was bringing back childhood memories of the beach and body surfing. Who wouldn't want to be in the warm weather, sun and water everyday!
The bigger waves were stirring up fear in Kim's body because timing, balance and paddling were not up to par. After various experiments with rigging up the Reformers and doing pop-ups on the foam rollers as well as exploring other types of equipment, Kim discovered that the balance discs, combined with a surfboard placed on top, worked the best. Surfilates was born! The Surfboard was designed by the head shaper at Channel Islands Surfboards. We have boards in different sizes for different heights and body types.
Who is Surfilates for?
Everyone. Surfilates has been crafted to accommodate a variety of populations. If you can answer any of the following questions, Surfilates is for you:
I (am/ would like to be/have thought of/ for a fleeting moment, once as a child, briefly considered becoming) a surfer and would like to enhance my surfing performance.
I live in the urban jungle and would like to get in shape for my next trip out in that crazy place they call "outdoors."
I am a desk jockey and would enjoy riding something else besides my chair.
My posture is more a "missing link" than "Homo erectus".
I want a surfer's body and determined to get it one way or another.
I would prefer to "surf" in an environment where only the man eaters around are the cougars on the boards next to me.
And if you're already a surfer, here's how Surfilates can make you stronger:
Do you get tired easily from paddling?
Do you have a hard time getting up and balancing?
Do you want a strong core and better endurance?
Check out Surfilates in USA Today and DNAInfo
Pilates class combines fitness and surfing
Interviewed by Yamiche Alcindor (April 11, 2013)
'Surfilates' Program Brings Best of Pilates to the Surfboard
by Mathew Katz (March 14 2013)
Pilates-Based Exercise for Multiple Sclerosis
Kim also works extensively with special populations, such as clients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and Parkinson's Disease, and can work with anyone from the skilled athlete to those with disabilities. Kim integrates different movement forms and techniques with Pilates, such as Muscle Activation Technique and Feldenkrais as well as her own Surfilates technique, so classes are always up to date and tailored to individual needs. A culmination of +20 years of Pilates practice, Kim’s extensive experience provides clients with comprehensive training in a regimented but fun and creative atmosphere.
"Kim's class is fantastic! Her practice of adding new exercises keeps it challenging and interesting. As a student who has physical challenges, Kim worked with me to ensure that the Pilates exercises were appropriate and strength-building. Her knowledge, skill and enthusiasm make her a dynamic instructor." - Mary Pulido (client since 2014)
"I have been doing Pilates with Kim Kuznitz for around 8 years. Kim really understands the body and her clients. She will work patiently with you to get you in Pilates shape. With Kim's help, I am able to do things I never thought I'd be able to do. Elegance and the patience of a saint - that's Kim Kuznitz, a true New York Pilates innovator!" - Roy McPherson (client since 2007)
"Kim has transformed both my mind and body. She makes you work hard to get the results you desire." - Gavin Berger (client since 2011)
"I’ve been seeing Kim for almost two years now and she is my first choice to see when I have pains in my body: lower back, knee or neck - you name it. Usually after a session or so, my problems are gone. She also helps me to understand my body while strengthening it. My favorite part of her session is when she gives me “fun” exercises to work on certain areas, where I can instantly feel the burn. She is attentive to her clients and takes her work seriously. I highly recommend Kim to anyone who wants to begin or continue their Pilates workout." - Soo Kim (client since 2013)
"It was part of my New Year's resolution 2015 to get into better shape. I did not want to simply increase my time at the gym with my trainer. I wanted more. I wanted something that I would find totally engaging for both my mind and body. I am a novice surfer and was hoping to find something that would help me with my surfing passion and strengthen my core. I had heard from a friend in the neighborhood that Bent Pilates Studio offered Surfilates, so I made my first appointment in early January. From the moment I met Kim Kuznitz she inspired me and I was hooked. At some point in my first session, Kim told the class that it was time to stretch and then we were finished. Drenched in sweat, I looked up at the clock and almost one hour had gone by! I had been in the moment for the entire hour and did not even know how much time had passed! The constant challenge of Surfilates produced a kind of bliss that I knew would be pleasantly addicting. I returned for a few more classes then popped off to Honolulu for some writing time and surfing. After the 4.5 hrs of surfing with my teacher and some friends the first morning I was in Hawai’i, my teacher Ron asked me what I had been doing to stay in such good shape. He noted how much stronger I was and how much more energy I had than previous surfing times. I told him I started practicing Surfilates. He told me not to stop and to tell my Surfilates teacher what a great job she was doing! Bent Pilates Studio is now virtual and I continue to study with Kim through one-on-one sessions that leave me as exhilarated as ever, continuing to change my life. My physical body continues to strengthen and tone with my mind more focused and full of energy. Thanks, Kim, for all that you have done to help change my life for the better!" - Harold Connolly, Jr. (client since January 2015)
Single Private Session $135
Package of 5 Private Sessions $650
Package of 10 Private Sessions $1250
Package of 21 Private Sessions $2500
Single Duet Session (for 2 people) $80/each
Package of 10 Duet Sessions $750
*All sessions are subject to a 4.5% sales tax*
Kim also teaches group classes at Rockaway Beach! To see the schedule and sign up go to www.yogaontherocksnyc.com