WATCHUNG, NJ – Looking to get physically stronger and improve her daily life, Cynthia Duchantier turned to Pilates. Duchantier began attending classes at the Pilates Design Studio in Watchung and, for the past 14 months has been working with instructor Alexandra Williamson.

“Pilates, by far, has been one of the most beneficial endeavors of my life to date,” said Duchantier, a resident of Scotch Plains, telling TAPinto, adding that she initially turned to the exercise regime to help her build upon her core muscles and improve her overall strength and body awareness.

“Pilates has given me wellness in terms of overall physical health, balance, strength, confidence, poise, posture, flexibility, stamina, endurance, muscle tone, mental focus, and has dramatically reduced my low back and hip instability/pain and weakness,” said Duchantier.

According to Williamson, an instructor at the Johnston Avenue studio for two years, Pilates has enabled Duchantier to be more in touch with how her abdominal muscles work and how they affect her pelvis, hips, and low back.

“At the same time, the regime has helped her brain make more efficient choices in how her extremities work in relation to her center and eye work has helped her become calmer, enabling her to concentrate better and focus for longer periods of time,” said Williamson, adding that Duchantier’s ‘front chain has lengthened as a result of incorporating the Z Health fundamentals with Pilates.’

“Cynthia is a driven client with an open mind, a recipe for success,” Williamson said.

Prior to turning to the Pilates Design Studio, Duchantier said she’d tried other fitness regimes ‘with little to no luck.’ “I tried so many gyms, studios and disciplines, never sticking to any of them. I tried massage, yoga, chiropractic, stretching, walking, Tabata – all these and more – to help ameliorate back and hip pain as well as to establish an exercise plan,” she said. “I really thought that I would never find a strength and fitness practice that I could commit to; Pilates has literally been the only fitness practice that I have ever stuck with because results were immediate and remarkable.”

Pilates, a system of exercises that uses special apparatus, is designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, and posture, and enhance mental awareness. The fully-equipped Watchung studio, owned by certified instructor Danielle Conner, offers Pilates for fitness and rehabilitation for all age groups and physical abilities, including one-hour, one-on-one instruction and group classes, each customized to fit each client’s individual needs.

“Each approach is customized and the instructors are always looking to teach and learn from one another. Some of us have more fitness training, some more rehabilitative training and it all compliments our variety of clientele,” said Williamson, adding, “We have many tools in our box of body work; we are always looking for new ideas on old theories and editing our repertory.”

Additionally, the Pilates Design Studio is the only studio in New Jersey that offers Body Balance suspension training and Neuroscience based drills through the Zhealth Education System to help stop chronic pain and create efficient movement patterns.

“It’s your body, your mind, your spirit. There’s no second chance. If your face is worth the $100 face cream, your spine is worth the Pilates session,” said Williamson when asked why people should give the studio and the regime at try. “Pilates is the best way to get a full body work out in a safe and methodical way. It not only translates to toned muscles, but a better quality of life. You re-educate your movement patterns and in return your movement will last much longer.

Duchantier agrees. “My experience at the Pilates Design Studio has been like none other. There is no comparison. Not only will you accomplish your personal goals, you will achieve overall results that will leave you pleasantly surprised.

At the Pilates Design Studio all new clients are offered and encouraged to take a complimentary private class. For scheduling and class times visit or call (908) 731-5987. To find out more about the studio and its owner, Danielle Conner, visit  or visit

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