GOTHAM MAGAZINE

THE WILL SPACE MOVEMENT IS
THE ULTIMATE WEST VILLAGE WORKOUT

by Christina Najjar

Many modern fitness approaches promote the overtraining of certain muscles and the neglect of others. A runner may focus solely on multiple marathons, but will likely end up with foot and knee problems. A weightlifter may be able to lift massive amounts of weight, but they’ll lack mobility and end up with tears and impingements. The yogi’s practice may make them flexible, but they will lack upper body strength. Each practice has its own set of benefits and limitations.

Enter the Will Space Movement, which develops the smaller muscles and connective structures around every joint in the body. Conventional training or exercise programs disregard these nuanced-yet-critical parts of the body. The goal? Train the body to accept tension from different angles without breaking. Will Space’s coaches develop control and power through a series of straight-arm, joint strengthening and manipulating techniques that create bodies as strong and flexible as bamboo.

With more than 20 years of experience as a teacher, trainer and movement coach, Will Torres and his team intelligently engineer custom programs for each student, focusing on the process of becoming a better mover rather than chasing aesthetic and short-term results. His practice is sought after by models, celebrities, athletes and everyone that wants to become a better mover.

The Movement is currently available through private sessions at Will Space in the West Village—a new outpost dedicated solely to group movement classes will launch early summer.

What was the inspiration for opening the studio?
WILL TORRES: 
Our inspiration for opening a class studio initially came from our students, who always ask what they should be doing to move when they aren’t at Will Space. Students with access to gyms were limited in available equipment or open space for movement, and those who preferred to take classes found classes weren’t complete. So we decided to build out a studio for our students. They can come on their off-days with one-on-one training and still explore our full movement world.

We also wanted to be able to expand our reach to the West Village community and beyond. Training privately can be out of reach for people, especially in New York City. Our new studio will allow new students to access our training protocols and strategies at a fraction of the cost.

What makes this different from other classes someone can take in NYC?
WT: 
Most studios offer an isolated approach to the body; it’s either lifting, spinning, running or stretching. We offer an integrated and holistic approach to develop the body. Instead of running around the city throughout the week to ten different studio classes for strength, mobility and “cardio,” Willspace classes are a combination of strength, flexibility, core and endurance all in one.

We train with the lights on. The space is bright, open and uncluttered so that we can see and coach our students on technique, making sure each rep is as effective as possible. For us, understanding proper form is paramount to success, so we make sure to provide the appropriate movement progression for each student; whether you’re just starting to explore a movement practice or you can handstand in your sleep, we have a workout for you. 

What do you love most about NYC?
WT: 
I love the juxtaposition of its architecture and progress. The city is in a constant cycle of construction, architecturally evolving neighborhoods to renovate and redefine their history. It’s inspiring to see the city grow. It makes me feel like possibilities are endless. I believe that Will Space has been able to capture this spirit of evolution. It’s the groundwork we have built our practice on. We are constantly researching and developing new protocols and strategies to help our students achieve the best results possible.

Favorite healthy spots in NYC?
WT: 
We’re lucky in the West Village to have a variety of options. My favorite neighborhood spot is Blackstone Coffee Roasters for breakfast, lunch, great food and spectacular service. Ready to Eat has a wonderful selection of salads, vegetable dishes and healthy proteins. Health and Harmony is the best natural food store in the neighborhood. Best steak in the hood is at Hudson & Charles Dinette. Jeju is another favorite. The food, presentation and staff are incredible. 

Health tips for summer?
WT: 
I have two tips: the first tip is around nutrition, I find Time-Restricted Eating to be one of the healthiest ways to lose a few pounds and get lean for summer or any season. Track the window of time you spend eating and fasting. The goal is to work towards “feeding” for 11 hours, say 7 am to 6 pm, and fasting for the remaining 13 hours. This will train your body to burn the excess fat instead of waiting for the next morsel or snack.

The second tip is to focus on your breath work. There is a basic breathing pattern called Kapalabhati, which involves an active exhalation and a passive inhalation. Close your mouth and exhale forcefully and repeatedly through the nostrils. After the exhalation, the inhale happens naturally before you force the exhalation again. Repeat three times for 30 exhalations. After each round of 30, fully exhale and hold your breath with empty lungs as long as possible. Inhale deeply through the nose after a minimum of 5 to 10 seconds, swallow and hold your breath for a few seconds at the top of the inhale, then repeat.

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