Pilates has always peaked my curiosity… and the taut, toned core of devotees was enough to tempt me into a trial class at Iso Fit studio in Central to see what all the fuss was about! I knew I wasn’t the most flexible, toned or balanced person in the world but after the short sixty minute personal session with an expert trainer, I felt aligned, more aware of my movements and full of endorphins. Iso Fit is located above the hustle and bustle of Wyndham Street in Central; it opened its doors in 1998 and offers group classes, personal sessions, rehabilitation and teacher training.
The centre is very welcoming with warm wooden floors and clean, compact changing facilities. It has two internal studios and occupies 3,500 square feet of purpose built space filled with the complete range of Pilates and Gyrotonic equipment (an exercise method based on the movements of dance, gymnastics, martial arts and swimming!). The first room I was brought into had a mirror spanning one wall and numerous machines, many of which were carved from wood with others looking like torture chamber instruments (some are the only of their kind in Asia!). Nevetheless, I was assured that they would help my alignment and not hurt in any way!
Before our session even started, my trainer Maria Law had already assessed that my hips were unaligned, I had a fallen arch and I slouched terribly; I was impressed and I hadn’t even stepped onto any of the state of the art machines yet! We started off going over core stability, breathing and the different machines I would be using (I was very excited to try out the Allegro Reformer as I had heard 30 consistent sessions promised some serious results!). I knew that incorporating Pilates into part of an exercise routine corrected postural and muscular imbalances and improved overall strength and flexibility so I was eager to start my first class.
I kept my core engaged and worked my legs by pushing a weighted bar, and became immediately aware that one leg was much stronger than another. We spent some time correcting this and I was given exercises to do at home. The next ten minutes were spent learning how to engage my core while carrying out different movements, and I learned so much about my strengths and weaknesses. (Apparently I have very strong posterior chain muscles… not quite sure if that’s a good or bad thing!)
We moved on to the Allegro Reformer machine, by far my favourite part of the session that awoke several sets of tiny muscles I never knew existed. The next day I was sore but not unbearably so – always a good workout sign! Pilates really focuses on core strength and creating a lean, toned, and strong physique making it perfect for women. It is also a fantastic form of exercise if you have back trouble or previous injuries.
Group sessions in an Allegro Reformer class can hold up to 9 people while Pilates Mat sessions or Gyrokinesis class can take up to 12. The centre caters to everyone from children to more mature people, pre and post-natal women, and athletes.
All in all the session at Iso Fit was hugely enlightening and I left with a wealth of information about my body and areas that needed to be worked on (posture, posture, posture!). I was a complete beginner and Maria was very inspiring and went out of her way to make me feel comfortable on all of the machines. There was a lot of emphasis on the long-term health benefits of Pilates and the different methods offered to suit a wide range of students, and during my time there I saw students ranging from late teens to elderly people.
Iso Fit offers a perfect space to work your way to a toned, lean and strong physique while enjoying spin-off benefits such as excellent posture too. I’ve already booked my set of sessions and can’t wait to see the results after 30 classes!
A mandatory assessment session ($500) is required before commencing an Iso Fit course. There are a variety of packages and options to choose from and prices start at $170 for a single Mat Plus Pilates Class, $260 for an Allegro Reformer Pilates class and $175 for a Gyrokinesis group session. A full list of fees and classes can be found here
Isofit 802-805, 8/F Yu Yuet Lai Building, 43-55 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong
2869 8630 www.isofit.com.hk