You've probably heard of Pilates, but what about Dynamic Pilates? This hard-hitting workout class takes the popular practice to the next level, as our Content Manager Ruby McKenzie found out when she went along to MK Health Hub's class. Here's how she got on!
"As a self-confessed fitness junkie, I’ve tried a fair few workout classes in my time. From Box Fit and circuit training to Ashtanga yoga and water aerobics, I’d say I’m pretty clued up when it comes to the whole ‘gathering in a mirror-adorned room and getting sweaty with strangers’ concept. So, when I was asked to try out Dynamic Pilates, I was stumped. What was it? And why hadn’t I tried it already?!
Of course, I’d done regular Pilates (and loved it!) but I’d never come across this mystical version. My past Pilates experience was limited to a mat, a few blocks and the odd resistance band thrown in when the instructor was feeling particularly nasty (ouch), but Dynamic Pilates is a whole new ball game.
SO, WHAT IS IT?
Just like Pilates, Dynamic Pilates consists of a series of exercises designed to strengthen and engage your core and help improve your posture and flexibility. The real difference between the two is the equipment.
Although mats are still used within Dynamic Pilates, the main piece of equipment you’ll use is the reformer bed. This state-of-the-art bed features a sliding back, various resistance springs, a support bar and a range of attachments to increase the intensity of the workout.
HOW DID IT GO?
After a glowing recommendation from a fellow fitness class fan and a good scroll through the list of five-star reviews, I decided to go along to a Dynamic Pilates class at Solihull’s MK Health Hub. I’d never been before, but it was super easy to find – literally five minutes from the centre of Solihull.
I immediately felt welcome when I walked into MK Health Hub. A small health centre, it has a warm, homely vibe to it and lots of little extras that make your visit great (hello cute décor in the changing rooms).
The studio where Dynamic Pilates takes place was small and compact but there was plenty of space to perform each exercise. Sam, the instructor, was lovely – very patient, calm and she explained all of the movements clearly, along with their benefits.
We stretched first, then it was down to the mats for some resistant band work – so far, so familiar. Although I definitely felt the burn after a good 5-10 minutes using the bands, it wasn’t until I ventured over to the reformer bed that I understood exactly why this class was so popular.
The first move was a lunge – easy, right? Wrong! Lunging (with dumbbells in hand, may I add), using the reformer bed adds a whole new element to this classic exercise. The burn was real. And it challenged my balance too, something I’ve discovered I don’t have a great deal of.
Sam’s patience really came in handy when it came to one particular exercise using the reformer bed. Lying on my back, I had to pull two resistance bands from behind me and hook them onto my feet. I then had to use my leg strength to pull the bands in circular motions, all while trying my best to stabilise my core and not fly off the moving section of the reformer bed. Trust me, this was no mean feat!
The reformer bed also has a support bar at the end, which can be pulled up and down depending on whether it’s in use. One move involved placing our feet on the bar while lying on the bed and pushing upwards, while using dumbbells to perform exercises such as chest press and tricep extensions.
Although this particular class was very glute and leg focused, I loved the fact that Sam threw in some upper-body exercises alongside these moves. I also enjoyed performing familiar exercises, such as lunges, but in a completely different way.
SO, WOULD YOU RECOMMEND DYNAMIC PILATES?
Yes! I knew I’d enjoy the class, as anything new is usually right up my street, however, I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Although I’m a keen gym-goer and love a workout class, Dynamic Pilates was definitely a challenge, which is why I think I enjoyed it more. When you train often, it’s great to do something new to refresh your routine and, although I’d done many of the exercises before, using all of the Dynamic Pilates equipment made me perform them in a completely different way, which challenged my body and kept it exciting and interesting.
If you’re like me and rarely take the time to stretch your body, then Dynamic Pilates could be for you. Or maybe you want to strengthen your core or improve your flexibility? In time, Dynamic Pilates will most definitely help with this. It’s also perfect if you’ve given Pilates a whirl but didn’t find it challenging or ‘dynamic’ enough – clue’s in the name, Dynamic Pilates takes regular Pilates to the next level, which is the aspect I enjoyed the most."