Do You Need Help Strengthening Your Core? Check Out Pilates – Rev @ Nex Level

Name: Rev @ Nex Level

Location: Chalfont, PA

Instructor: Kathy

Exercise Type: Pilates – A family friend invited us to come take this class with her.  She takes this class with Kathy twice a week, and we see how she is so fit! Just a reminder to anyone wanting a workout partner, we are always looking for new places to try.

Overall, pilates is relatively new to us, and has been challenging each time we have taken a class. This was our second experience at pilates (mat), so we felt much more comfortable than the first time. We knew going into it that our cores would be shaking, and that is exactly what happened! Embrace the shake… and no we don’t mean the Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s. But seriously, how good are those things?

The class started off with some warm up exercises – mainly variations of planks. As a side note, we started making our husbands do planks with us, as a contest once a week, to see who could hold it the longest. If we win, they do the dishes all week. If they win, we have sex that week. Don’t tell our husbands, but it’s rigged so we always win. They start crying after 20 seconds, and we’re going strong thanks to the workout classes we take.

After planks, we went into the actual workout which consisted of scissor kicks, bicycle kicks, side planks, and bridging on a bosu (see picture below of what this is). For those who have never used a bosu before, it not only works your glutes, but also your core because of the instability.

The best part of the class was that Kathy gave modifications to almost every exercise, so anyone in the class would be able to do everything she is teaching. We love classes like this because you don’t have to be an expert to get a great workout.  

Bosu

Place: Studio

Day of the Week: Wednesday

Time: 7:00 – 8:00

Price: First class is FREE

What to Wear: Leggings; T-shirt/Tank top; sticky socks/bare feet

What to Bring: We both brought a mat, but they also have mats there for use; water

What is Provided: Mat, ball, bisou

Level of Experience: All levels seen

Gender Majority: Female

Age Group: A mix of ages

Welcoming: Yes! Immediately upon entering, we were greeted and given a tour of the studio.

Cleanliness: Yes!

Unique Features: For us, the unique part was towards the end of class.  We did the 100s (see clip here) and Kathy counted our breaths out loud for us.   What we mean by that is as follows: The name comes from the hundred pumps achieved through 10 sets of 5 arm pumps during inhalation and 5 arm pumps on exhalation. Kathy would say “1, 2, 3, 4, 5 inhale, 1,2,3,4,5 exhale” and so forth.  This was so helpful to us because it is so easy to forget to breathe! We didn’t know much about the 100s, so we did a little research and found out that the constant pumping of your arms increases the oxygen exchange and helps circulate blood, while providing more energy.

Thank you for so much for having us! Our core muscles have never been stronger, and we can’t wait to come back and do it again!

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Mat Pilates – Philadelphia Sports Club (Highpoint)

Name: Philadelphia Sports Club – Highpoint

Location: Chalfont, PA

Instructor: Anna

Exercise Type: Mat Pilates – We want to start by saying, “Holy core work!”  

We have never taken a mat pilates class before (only pilates reformer), so we really didn’t know what to expect.  We were surprised by how much core work we did! We were also surprised by how much our abs were shaking after the second exercise! HA! If you think your core is strong, go and take this class and you will be sorely mistaken, no pun intended. In all seriousness, the class is an amazing workout for your core, which is what every mama needs! We did variations of crunches, planks, side planks, bicycle kicks, and scissors kicks, to name a few. Most of them were done at a very slow pace, so you really felt the burn and/or the shake.  

Place: Gym

Day of the Week: Wednesday

Time: 7:00 – 8:00 PM – this place was super close to home, so this time of night was perfect for the working mom.

Price: First class FREE; membership details available on website

What to Wear: Leggings; tank top/T-shirt; bare feet or sticky socks for those mamas who haven’t had a pedicure (notice one of us has socks on!)

What to Bring: Mat

What is Provided: Ball – we used this in most of the exercises, whether we held it between our legs or in our hands.

Level of Experience: Moderate to very experienced – we were on the less experienced side. Our suggestion is to take a few beginners pilates classes before coming to take this one.

Gender Majority: Female

Age Group: We are in our early-30’s and we were on the younger side.

Welcoming: Yes! We didn’t get the chance to speak with Anna before class, but after class she took the time to talk to us about our experience.  

Cleanliness: Yes!

Unique Features: The class was performed in a very dimly lit room, which made it super easy to workout and not worry about people watching. Even though we were less experienced, we didn’t want it to be obvious! HA

Thank you so much for having us! Once we can feel our abs again, we will be back to take another class and perfect our form!

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Pilates Reformer II – Wholistics

Name: Wholistics – Fitness and Wellness for Women

Location: North Wales, PA

Exercise Type: Pilates Reformer II – This was only our second time on a reformer bed, and we can’t stop talking about it! The beauty of this workout was that we were working so hard, but it didn’t really feel like it at the time. You know, like how it feels being a parent. HA!  The next day we could really feel how hard we had worked through the soreness in our legs and core. We really felt the tightening of our calves and thighs during the wide range of exercises including lunges, which we love to hate.

Place: Wellness Center/Studio

Instructor: Paula

Day of the Week: Tuesday

Time: 7:00 – 7:55 PM

Price: Variety of packages available; Single class $35, or you can do a two pack class for $45

What to Wear: T-shirt/tank top; leggings; socks/bare feet

What to Bring: Water

What is Provided: Reformer bed

Level of Experience: Experienced –  we were not experienced, but the other two women were. It was helpful to be able to take a look at them when we were unsure of what to do, and if Paula was assisting someone else. Like a typical mom, we felt completely out of sync the entire time, but Paula assured us we were doing great and to keep it up.

Gender Majority: Female

Age Group: Various; a mix ages seen in class. We are in our early 30’s and would say we were somewhere in the middle age-wise.

Welcoming: Yes, and not intimidating! We were greeted immediately by Paula upon entering. We already had a tour during our first class, so you would get that on your first visit.

Cleanliness: Extremely! After our class, we were prompted to wipe down everything that we touched. Cold and flu season ain’t got nothin’ on us!

Unique Features: There were only 4 reformer beds, so we got amazing one-on-one action.  We have only taken pilates on a reformer bed once before, so we needed the guidance.  Paula was amazing. She kept reminding us how to keep proper form.

Thank you so much for having us! This is our third class at Wholistics, and every single one was amazing. Go to their website and check out their class schedule. You are guaranteed to find a class that fits your exercise style.

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