FEEL THE BURN AT THESE MUST-TRY REFORMER PILATES STUDIOS AROUND SYDNEY

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SARA SWIRSKI

SEP 26, 2019

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IMAGE VIA FLUIDFORM PILATES | FACEBOOK

Sydneysiders love a good muscle burn. But if you need some guidance on how, exactly, to achieve it, look no further than these Reformer Pilates and Lagree studios. These two supercharged workout styles guarantee to have your muscles quivering, your heart beating, and your sweat dripping. So, brace those abs... they’re in for a ride.

This Eastern suburbs studio in the leafy Woollahra neighbourhood takes its cue from the boutique Pilates scene found in New York. Architecturally designed with a DJ-approved soundtrack to match, these quality classes fuse substance with a whole lot of style. Get on board the “Jump Rebels” cardio-based Reformer class — 45 minutes of fun (and work) that will quickly have your quads on fire. There’s also an abundance of fusion workouts, whilst the, athletic “Men Of Pilates” Reformer class on Thursday evenings has proven a hit.

Technique is the name of the game here, where the classes are small, structured, and all about correct form. Built upon a more classical Reformer repertoire, you’ll quickly realise that the devil is in the microdetail, where minute muscle movements and serious attention to alignment yield the best results. Be prepared for subtle adjustments and some light hands-on correction from some of Sydney’s most knowledgeable instructors. And with four locations across the city, this is precision-taught Pilates at its best.

If upping the ante is high on your workout agenda, then you need to get acquainted with Lagree... and fast. It’s the ultimate high-intensity, low-impact workout method from LA fitness guru Sebastien Lagree that’s no longer shrouded in mystery thanks to a celebrity clientele and consistently packed studio classes. And while this Double Bay studio may be small, with space for only 10, the classes sure are mighty. Featuring the newest top-of-the-range M3X Megaformer machines (and currently the only studio in Sydney to do so), the mic’d up instructors are here to remind you that super-slow and steady movements win the race with exercises that specifically engage your slow-twitch muscle fibres. Fitt Tip: If you’re new to Lagree, start with the Mega-ssentials class.

You’ll have no trouble finding one of the 10+ KX studios across Sydney’s suburbs. Undoubtedly the most established Reformer Pilates brand in Australia (there are over 50 locations in total), this sweat spot brings fast-paced, bootcamp-style Pilates to life with the use of props and hand weights in its Reformer classes. A challenging but fun 50 minutes, the fluid Pilates and cardio sets really amplify KX’s mission message: to work smarter, not longer. The Surry Hills site is the most central and takes up to 16 people per class. There’s usually a good intro offer available, too.

“Disco Inferno” should be on repeat at Physicore, because the burn you’ll feel during the workout never seems to end. As the first studio to bring the Lagree workout to Sydneysiders, it’s three locations are kitted out with the original Megaformer machines, and if you like endurance training, this is the place for you. Most of the 50-minute, full-body workouts are challenging but not completely impossible for beginners. But if you’re after a serious sweat session, the MegaHIIT, a split between Megaformer and HIIT training, will really get your heart pounding.

A Pilates and yoga studio all in one, BodyMindLife delivers big on space and serenity — we’re talking high ceilings, actual changing rooms (bonus!), and the added perk of free herbal tea for everyone. Depending on which of the five studios you visit, you can expect anywhere from 13 to 30 Reformer machines, and each week, over 200 Pilates classes in total. Choose between “Align”, “Flow”, or for the super-experienced students out there, “Dynamic”. There’s also a generous 28-day unlimited intro pass for newcomers. Fitt Tip: Don’t forget to bring your grippy Pilates socks; not every studio in Sydney requires them, but they’re essential here.

If you can nab a spot at Fluidform’s small-group Pilates sessions, you’re in for a treat. Founder Kirsten King has created an intimate and sophisticated experience and is all about personalised programming, which means if you’re keen to attend the Danks Street one-hour Equipment Pilates class, you’ll need an initial consultation first. With just four clients to one instructor, these semi-private classes use a variety of equipment such as the Cadillac, Wunda Chair, Ladder Barrel, Reformer, and more. For a more traditional Reformer Pilates class experience, head to the Clovelly studio, where they teach up to six per session. Being that the classes are purposely intimate and the workout so popular, you may even encounter a few famous faces, and some professional athletes, too.

With 12 Reformers and an abundant selection of morning-to-night class times available, this contemporary Potts Point studio will keep you sculpted and satisfied. We’re talking Insta-worthy interiors and luxury changing rooms, plus a unique, air-filtration and hydronic heating system, all to better your workout experience and enhance your daily ritual. The 45-minute Reformer class takes place in a room consistently heated to 21°C so you can sweat yourself serene. And, if you want to crank up the heat or switch up your reformer routine, there’s also Hot Mat Pilates, held in a sweltering 27°C.

What used to be known as Pilates International has undergone a bit of a makeover — introducing Movement Collective; three studios that specialise in positive movements and all forms of Pilates. The classes might be some of the most costly in Sydney, but the highly-qualified instructors sure are worth it. The HQ Pymble location hosts the largest group Reformer classes of the bunch with room for eight, but also offers plenty of private sessions, too. And for the more experienced Pilates-lovers out there, stay up to date on the line-up of scheduled workshops that take place throughout the year.

“Long Live You” is a catchphrase at Vive Active, and if you choose to follow the neon-lit signage down the Pilates rabbit hole, you’ll get 50 minutes of totally immersive Reformer Pilates (plus plenty of selfie wall moments) that’ll have you feeling full of life. With bumping music, ceiling-affixed mirrors, and a rainbow light show thrown in, Vive aims to detach you from the everyday and provides one helluva workout. There are eight Reformer Pilates classes to choose from at two Sydney-area studios, including: Vive Circuit with HIIT circuit training; a gentler Vive Stretch; the Jumpboard-based Vive Jump; and Vive Slay, a formidable class run by two trainers. Forget disco; the mood-enhancing, super-high-tech LED lights create the most atmospheric, high-energy, and inspiring workout environment you’ll come across.

A refreshing addition to Sydney’s Inner West scene is Scout Pilates near Sydney Park. The vibe here is distinctively friendly and 100% community-based, and whilst it’s achingly cool—think NY-style, white warehouse design—the real beauty of this place lies in the people and Reformer Pilates workouts (of which there are three class styles and 12 machines in total). The instructors here look to break the mould of intimidating Pilates studios by merging classic with contemporary, utilising props, and ultimately improving your functional strength and core. The outcome? Results-driven classes with detailed instructions, plus plenty of ‘burn’ factor made bearable by the relentlessly upbeat music. Showers and lockers are both available, and if you forget your gym kit, they have some branded merchandise available to buy, too.

At this Edgecliff studio, Pilates may be their speciality, but that’s just the half of it. In addition to reformer-based classes that vary in difficulty depending on your experience level, they also have a handful of fusion classes on offer that mix dynamic exercises on the reformer with weight and circuit training moves. And if you really want to kick things into high gear, sign up for their full-body mash-up, which combines the traditional Pilates machine with the Power Plate, a piece of exercise equipment that utilises a vibrating plate, and the Tower Cadillac in one sweaty, muscle-shaking class.

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