Zenith Pilates @ the Verve

I was missing my yoga – couldn’t find classes at a suitable time – so I picked up pilates instead. I first tried pilates years ago when I was fresh out of Uni. My first thoughts were, “What an easy stretching class.” In the cool Aussie climate, I barely broke a sweat but I left the class feeling two inches taller. The next morning, I woke up with my abs aching despite the fact that I couldn’t recall working them. Pilates is one of those workouts that is deceptively “easy”. It fools you into thinking you’re not really working out until you wake up the next morning feeling like someone clobbered you in the night while you were sleeping.

There was a new place at the Verve called Zenith Pilates offering pilates workouts using the machines. I have never used pilates machines before but my SIL swears by them so I figured I ought to give them a go. The machines look like the ancient torture device – the rack – except that it is called a “reformer“. The exercises with the machines are similar to the exercises we do on the mat but it’s like adding weights. The machines also provide support which is good for those difficult moves requiring more core stability. In some ways, it is easier than a mat exercise and in other ways, it’s harder.

Photo Credit: Zenith Pilates

It’s amazing how oblivious we are to the lopsidedness of our bodies. When you work out in pilates, you discover that there is always a stronger side as you struggle to keep the movements of both sides even. Pilates requires complete consciousness of each tiny movement from the uncurling of your spine – one vertebra at a time – to the sensation of each muscle being worked. The moves in pilates aren’t meant to be fast – the focus is all about control, control, and more control. For this reason, pilates makes a good mindfulness exercise because you have to stay focused in the moment of the exercise as you perform each move or you could end up doing the exercises wrong. Pilates also requires an awareness of the breath – how you breathe in and out, the expansion of your ribcage, the flattening of your tummy as you expel out the last vestiges of air from your lungs.

Pilates is a workout that will help you strengthen your core and elongate your muscles. Ideally, that ought to give you a longer, leaner appearance. Unfortunately, even long, lean muscles can’t be seen under layers of flab so don’t expect a miracle if you aren’t willing to adhere to some caloric restrictions. Personally, I think I secretly relish the ache from a good pilates workout on the following day.

Photo Credit: Zenith Pilates

What are the benefits of Pilates?

  • Balanced muscle development
  • Increased body awareness
  • Enhanced core stability
  • Improved deep flexibility

About Zenith Pilates

Zenith Pilates is a boutique pilates studio using the reformer and other pilates equipment. With a low instructor to participant ratio, you can be sure that the instructor will be quick to point out any poor form in your movements.

Zenith Pilates instructors are all experienced, pilates-trained instructors. They are able to diagnose your movements and prescribe regimens that tone and target specific muscles to increase flexibility and strengthen the body to prevent injuries. If you’re coming back from an injury, they can also help you work around it.

Zenith Pilates is suitable for all ages and levels of fitness. You can also choose from individual, duet or group classes.

It is located at the Verve Shops in Mont’ Kiara:

Related:

Stomach Exercises for Women – 6-pack workout

To perform this exercise you will need a flat bench. It is a great workout for your lower abs and also for your legs.

For more information, visit www.SteadyHealth.com

Shpresa: Burnagenics – The Fat Burning Workout

When you’re a Mum, finding time to workout is tough.  So when I spotted the Burnagenics DVD by Shpresa, I decided to give it a go.  It was actually a mistake.  I saw the “10-minute” label under the bonus sticker and thought it was a series of 10 minute workouts.  These days,  I can’t even get in 20 minutes, so I figured a workout broken up into 10 minute sessions would be even better.

The main workout is 20 minutes in length and there’s an additional 10 minute bonus track that can be done as a stand alone or in addition to the main workout if you feel it isn’t enough for you.  I did managed to get through all 20 minutes of the main workout and boy was it ever a work out!  Shpresa has an interesting workout combining the elements of yoga, pilates and tai chi.  By the time I was done with the main workout, my legs were like jell’O when I tried to walk down the stairs.  I wasn’t sure if I could hold myself upright with each step.

The exercises seem fairly straightforward and look easy enough – unless you’re doing them.  Shpresa offers you three levels of difficulty to take on depending on your level of fitness.

It is an excellent workout – terrific for those who like to feel a bit of pain after they work out.  You can also be sure to feel the burn as you’re going through it.  Though I doubt it will be enough to get you a like Shpresa’s, it will definitely help you tone up.