Flex Pilates is one of the hardest and most gratifying classes I have ever taken. Most of the time I find traditional pilates classes to be too slow paced. For a long time they have been known to yield results by focusing on form to tone and elongate muscles…I mean just look at the bodies of ballerinas! DAMN. Even still, I can’t help but feel that some reformer classes leave me feeling bored as we go through the movements at the pace of a sloth. I get off the machine with not a drip of sweat on my body. If my make up is intact I don’t feel like I worked hard enough. Leaving a class with tired muscles and a sheen of sweat on my body makes me feel gratified and like my time was well worth it. Too often, I find that traditional pilates classes at old school studios leave me looking the same exact way that I came in.
As with everything traditional, even fitness classes need to innovate and evolve in order to stay relevant and keep up with new trends in the industry. Flex Pilates and other new and advanced classes such as SLT are the perfect blend of high intensity and low impact. Flex studios uses a megareformer which allows for a more high intensity workout with more exercise options than a traditional reformer. It’s great for a person who craves a sweat session but also wants the toning benefits of barre or traditional pilates methods.
The class involves various exercises on the machine that engage every muscle group. For your core, the instructor will take you through burpees, moving planks, and moving oblique exercises that all involve using the sliding carriage to engage your abs.
Your leg work and booty work involve a seriously rigorous series of pulses and lunges on both the moving carriage and the resistance bar on the back of the reformer. This work burns out your quads and hamstrings. This is followed by the best booty burn circuit. This is done by placing the handles on the long straps around your foot and performing leg lefts, donkey kicks, and leg circles using the strap as a resistance band. It doesn’t sound like much but your ass will be screaming for mercy… trust me.
But let’s not forget arms! Your upper body gets a chance to feel the burn as well by using light 3 pound weights for biceps and shoulders while you perform lunges on the carriage. Compound movements do the body good (And burn more calories)! Arms are also incorporated into tricep pushdowns on the back resistance bar and cable pulls on the machine. No muscle left unscathed, that’s for sure.
The constant changing of movements and exercises not only keeps your body guessing but also keeps your heart rate up. It adds in an element of cardio that other pilates classes are missing.
Form is key in this class so for beginners it may be more challenging and hard to catch on. The instructors at Flex are very attentive and will help you correct your form, which is one thing that I love about the studio. You want the most out of your workout and if your form is incorrect you’re not getting everything you want from that exercise. The individualized attention I received in class helped my form improve and took my workout to the next level. That’s not something all classes are able to provide and an important aspect that I look for in a class that I want to take regularly. If you consistently are performing exercises wrong and are unaware, you will either plateau or injure yourself.
This high intensity full body workout is well worth the pain and sweat. Even though it will leave you feeling like you want to cry at least 5 times throughout the class, it is important to remind yourself that this kind of hard work is what leads to change. Take a chance and challenge yourself to this class. You certainly won’t regret it!