Let’s Flow with Club Pilates

Image source: Photographer Ian Waldie

Strong cores, engaged pelvic floors, and a ‘smiling assassin’ instructor: the IN Noosa Magazine team discovers just how f-AB-ulous a team building session at Noosa’s Club Pilates studio can be, writes Rebecca Jamieson Dwyer.

I haven’t been to a Pilates class forever, and it shows. I’m lying on my side on one of Club Pilates’ state-of-the-art reformer beds, halfway through some intense glute exercises with colleagues when – embarrassingly – I have to stop because I’m feeling the burn. 

Luckily, I’m part of a special IN Noosa Magazine team building class, and my workmates don’t seem to care – they’re all deep in concentration around me, pushing their own glutes to the limit and hoping they don’t have to walk up our steep office stairs tomorrow.

We’re taking part in Reformer Flow – one of the many different types of classes on offer – which is a low-impact and relaxed class designed to strengthen and lengthen our bodies while also working on balance and coordination.

The Club Pilates Noosa studio is spacious and stylish, with bright wall art, mirrors, high-quality equipment and buzzy, upbeat tunes that get us in the mood for moving – which is great, because our lovely instructor, Kate, has our work cut out for us today!

Known as ‘the smiling assassin’, Kate’s gorgeous grin belies the steely determination within, and she’s determined to help us get the most out of our session, encouraging us in a loving-yet-firm way that tells us she means business.

First, we warm up our bodies by doing a series of leg movements with the red springs on – it doesn’t feel like much at first, but Kate promises that our muscles will be working hard after a few repetitions. My favourite move is called ‘prancing’, which involves pushing off the bar on tip toes in a way that’s reminiscent of a baby deer springing through a field – as fun as it sounds!

After we’ve finished our warmup it’s all about the glutes, which is our body’s largest muscle, and one that most of us don’t engage nearly enough.

We lie on our sides and do a series of movements pushing against the bar and with our legs in straps, each of us exclaiming in discomfort and laughing as we try to push through it, while Kate travels between us, helping place our legs in the right position and offering tips on alignment.

Next, we move to the wall-based springboards – a specialist piece of equipment featuring springs, straps and a number of other props. You don’t usually see these outside of one-on-one Pilates appointments, but Club Pilates have incorporated the springboards into all their studios in order to give customers the best possible workout and keep the classes feeling fresh. 

My arms are famously feeble, so pulling the spring-loaded straps down towards my body is a challenge, but one that I’m up for, nonetheless.

Kate explains that she’s a fan of doing everything in threes, and by the time I’ve done my third set of arm reps, I know I’ll be feeling it tomorrow.

We lie back down on the reformers, and it’s time to give our abs some attention as we loop our hands into the straps and pull them down onto the beds in a slow, smooth motion, working against the weight of our bodies.

We also add a partly-inflated ball into the mix, squeezing it between our knees as we raise them above us, and then resting our heads on it like a pillow (relaxing!) while we work to engage those much-neglected stomach muscles.

The thing I love most about the session, and about Pilates in general, is how the slow, precise movements have such a big impact with the reformer making exercise feel fun and relatively easy, even for a gym-hating gal like me.

I also enjoy the camaraderie that comes from being part of a group, whether that’s working up a sweat while cracking jokes with colleagues, or even stretching alongside a group of strangers (who are likely to become future friends if you attend classes together – a bonus benefit of regular Pilates!).

The reformers might seem intimidating to the uninitiated, but it truly doesn’t take long to get the hang of it and to discover just how quickly these magical machines can help you achieve results, mostly by using your own weight as resistance.

Club Pilates Sales Manager, Renee McDuffie, tells our group as we’re walking out of our session that little bit taller: “Even after one session our members say they feel a difference.

“Our classes educate our members around how to engage your core and pelvic floor which often carries into their everyday life. They start to consciously integrate these newfound principles of body awareness, strength, and flexibility,” she says.

“I love to see how it changes people: how it changes their bodies, how it changes their mental health,” instructor Kate adds. “I love seeing clients come in, feel good about themselves and walk out with a smile. That’s my jam.”

I’ve only had one session with Club Pilates Noosa, but I don’t need any more convincing – consider me ab-solutely a fully subscribed member of the club!

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