Working Out With Nick Scisione

Scisione at ChaiseFitness. Photo courtesy ChaiseFitness.

This New York dancer relies on ChaiseFitness to keep his body in check.

“I’ve heard it described as a roast,” says Nick Sciscione about ChaiseFitness’ signature equipment, a Pilates chair that has been given a facelift with overhead bungees. “Your body sorta flips around the chair, and it works every angle to lengthen, tone and define.”

Sciscione, a Stephen Petronio and 10 Hairy Legs dancer, teaches class four times a week at ChaiseFitness, a New York City boutique studio. Many of its instructors are dancers, including an An American in Paris ensemble member and a former Knicks dancer. Former New York City Ballet dancer Rachel Piskin co-founded the workout, called the Reinvention Method, with her mother, a Pilates entrepreneur. The 55-minute class uses precise movements to work even the smallest muscles of your legs, core and arms through exercises that blend Pilates, ballet and aerobics.

Sciscione was introduced to the studio by a Petronio colleague, and felt the benefits right away. “In ballet you hear, ‘Use your lats.’ But that’s hard to feel. But here you feel the resistance, and there’s no impact on the joints” he says. “It’s lengthened my muscular legs. My turns have gotten better because of a stronger core. And it helps me feel clarity through space”—something he needs to take on Petronio’s wildly whipping movement and 10 Hairy Legs’ eclectic rep.

AM to PM

Morning: A jog with the dog. “She’s a terrier, and she’s crazy! So my warm-up is squirrel-chasing in the park,” says Sciscione. Then, coffee or an Emergen-C, and something light but sustaining, like oatmeal or kefir with chia seeds. “I can’t cook at all. I’m an assembler of food rather than a cook. Oh, eggs! I just started cooking eggs.”

Pre-rehearsal: “Warm-up wise, I usually just roll around on the floor. I have this theory that if my body is doing it, that’s what it needs.”

Midday: Lunch is a sandwich or salad, and more coffee. He always keeps a KIND bar in his bag for backup fuel.

Post-workday: “I like to put my legs up on the wall and let them hang. Then I’ll roll out. Yoga also helps me to relax.”

Evening: “I have a high-volume/low-cal theory,” says Sciscione. Dinner might be a huge bowl of kale and other veggies with lots of protein on top.

ChaiseFitness Plié Planks

Rachel Piskin demonstrates ChaiseFitness' plié plank. Photo courtesy ChaiseFitness

This multi-tasking exercise strengthens the glutes, thighs, hips, hamstrings, core and upper body. 

1. Start in a plank with your feet slightly turned out (toes apart, heels together) against a wall.

2. Pull hips back towards the heels, bending at the knees so they hover above the floor in a plié position.

3. Push off wall to extend back to plank, and the shoulders return over the hands. 

4. Perform 15 reps for two to three sets, with rests between each set.

Advanced version: Add a push-up in plank position after each plié.

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