Nicholas Kounovsky calls himself a "body architect." A mechanical engineer turned gymnast, he applies the principles of engineering to the body—especially to those of many top New York models. This may look like nice work to those who haven't got it, but to Kounovsky, keeping the models, housewives and businessmen who attend his gymnasium relaxed and physically fit is a serious business. His system is based on a correlation of anatomy, physiology and mechanics developed over the past 25 years in consultation with doctors and scientists. He believes that the body is built to be used efficiently and that, like a machine, it functions best only when every part of it is in balance. Physical fitness depends on six factors, says Kounovsky: strength, suppleness, speed, equilibrium, endurance and skill. Since he believes that any system that stresses one of these at the expense of the others is wrong, Kounovsky has planned his exercises to develop these qualities equally. He works his pupils on conventional mats, trapezes, rings and parallel bars. Under his expert hand, the pain and strain are eased out of keeping in shape. With exercises tailored for each client's personal needs, he helps his pupils to shape and shapeliness—like this class of fashion models whose looks are their living.
New student is looked over and tested by Kounovsky for the proper program of exercises that will develop well-rounded physical fitness.
Three-point balance on head and both arms perfects equilibrium and improves circulation of blood throughout the body. Such exercise is good to relax an aching back and tired feet. It also enables models to hold graceful poses before camera.
Balancing on trapeze, a beginner holds on tightly. After a few tries, however, she feels at home. All of Kounovsky's exercises are designed to develop over-all body coordination. The key is not how many times you are able to do them, but how well you perform each.
TOUCHING TOES TO TOP BAR HELPS FLATTEN ABDOMEN
AN ASSIST HELPS PUPIL PULL THROUGH A SITUATION
Stretching for posture ends each lesson. Students must book one hour weekly, but many come each day for relaxing workout.