Club Pilates, 2850 Baseline Rd., Unit A-2, Boulder, 720-675-9435, clubpilates.com/boulder
Instructor: Lindsey Terry is a lifelong dancer-turned-Pilates enthusiast after Pilates became her physical therapy to help remediate dance-related injuries. She began teaching yoga before training to Pilates seven years ago. Terry attributes Pilates as a regimen that has kept her from needing surgery due to a back injury. She said it has helped strengthen her core and protect her lower back.
What is the workout? Pilates is all about strengthening core muscles.
"It's mostly core strength," said Terry. "Alignment-based core strengthening exercises. We focus on stability more so then mobility."
Mat Pilates, the most accessible form of Pilates, only requires a yoga mat. Reformer Pilates uses a large machine (a reformer) that uses resistance springs to control a moving platform called a carriage. Students can lay, sit or kneel on the carriage and use straps or a foot bar to push or pull the platform along the frame.
The movement of the carriage adds an extra element of stability while the springs can be modified to add or remove resistance, upping the ante for abdominal exercises. These aren't fast, explosive movements, instead they are slow and controlled, targeting the stabilizing muscles in your core.
What's different? For me, reformer Pilates has always felt like a workout that appeals to people who have brunch and mimosas at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday. No matter how beneficial the workout may be, I can't justify the expense of a boutique workout class. Pilates often falls in this category: expensive one-on-one classes with an instructor that are not financially accessible to most people.
The benefit of a Pilates franchise is the ability to provide reformer classes to a larger group of students, which cuts the cost. Club Pilates has 12 reformers in its group classes, along with a slew of other Pilates equipment — including a Pilates chair, wall springs, mat and TRX. Club Pilates also offers cardio, interval training, barre, stretching, TRX and myofascial release classes, so multiple gym memberships aren't necessary to get a complete workout routine.
Cost: There are free 30-minute introductory classes to try out before taking a full class. Drop-in prices are $25. Four-packs are $89 and eight-packs are $159. Unlimited monthly classes run $199. Club Pilates also offers private and semi-private sessions.
Level: Terry stressed safety in her class and the studio has clear progressions as students move through its levels. There wasn't any impact in the exercises and it lends itself well to anyone who might be recovering from an injury. Instructors recommend a series of private sessions for people who have physical limitations, injuries or who are in advanced pregnancy stages.
When: Core Pilates Reformer Flow 1, the beginner-level Pilates class, is 6 a.m., 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays; 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. Sundays.
They have tons of classes throughout the week at different levels. Check the website for class times.
What to prepare: Comfortable workout clothes that aren't restrictive. Sticky bottom socks are required and sold at the studio. Bring water.
Muscles worked: All the abdominal muscles. We also did a number of leg and arm exercises. Movements are slow and controlled. The result is mild soreness instead of intense fatigue.
What I loved: Terry talked through each of the moves and kept a close eye on the students. Most the time is spent lying on the reformer, so it's not possible for someone to physically demonstrate the moves. The upside was that Terry was able to move around the room adjusting people's form.
What I didn't like: The downside was that I had to go by what Terry was saying and spy on my neighbor if I was lost. I caught on quickly, but there were a few times were I was confused.
How I felt after the class: I've wanted to take a reformer class for a long time. I was genuinely excited to find a place I could afford. It's a great workout with endless benefits that I think should be accessible to everyone.
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