After practicing Lagree for about four years, To-ong said she decided to open her own studio in The Woodlands in June 2020. The Woodlands Lagree is the first Lagree studio in The Woodlands, she said.
To-ong said Lagree is well known on the East and West coasts, but it is just now gaining recognition in the Houston area.
The technique is named for French Pilates instructor Sebastien Lagree, who developed the workout and opened the first studio in Los Angeles, To-ong said.
“Lagree is so new in Texas and even here in The Woodlands. ... There’s still people who still have not heard of Lagree,” To-ong said. “So I’m still having to spread the word.”
The Lagree method
The Woodlands Lagree has eight certified instructors, who lead full-body, 45-minute classes with music and encouragement.
Lagree uses machines with different resistance levels so users can perform various exercises. The machines have a sliding platform as well as handles, bungees and other moving parts.
A Lagree class begins with core exercises before moving onto arms, legs and oblique muscles, she said. To-ong said the workout uses slow and controlled moves to tone and strengthen muscles throughout the body while increasing flexibility.
“I want each client to know that they just did one of the most challenging workouts there is and they killed it,” she said.
To-ong said Lagree is made for all genders, ages and skill levels. She said her oldest client is 67.
“You can see [a client’s] progress,” To-ong said. “It’s a great feeling. It’s truly mind over matter.”
To-ong said the studio was originally set to open around April 2020, but the pandemic caused a delay. “I had some waitlist classes even [after] six months of being open during COVID[-19], which was great,” To-ong said.
While opening the studio, To-ong worked as a respiratory therapist, which has been her profession for 16 years. She is still assisting during the current COVID-19 wave but focuses primarily on her Lagree business and hopes to expand to Magnolia in the future, she said.
“For me, it was, ‘I need to do something for my health,’” To-ong said. “I have two kids now, and I want to be healthy for them.”
The Woodlands Lagree
207 East Shore Drive, Ste. 160, The Woodlands
Hours: Mon.-Fri 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 7:30-10:30 a.m.