I used to be a regular at the Gravity HIIT Pilates classes when they were introduced at one of our local Virgin Active clubs a while back. The Gravity HIIT Pilates class is a wonderful, high-intensity, low impact, non-stop workout that works the entire body. I really enjoyed it but hadn’t been in some time. This was principally because my usual club doesn’t have the Gravity Pilates machines. So, I was happy to learn that another Virgin Active club Mich and I frequent, recently brought in some machines. When Mich suggested we go to a class, I was totally game to give it another try and see if I still enjoyed the workout.
WHAT IS GRAVITY PILATES?
Gravity Pilates is something entirely different from your usual mat Pilates or reformer Pilates classes. It uses Pilates principles, combines them with functional strength training techniques, and utilises gravity to create a unique, effective full body workout. A core component of the Gravity Pilates class is the Gravity Pilates machine, pictured below.
There are no dumbbells or barbells involved. You work against your own body weight, and gravity, which is all the resistance you need! The exercises are generally carried out at an incline while you sit, lie, stand or kneel on a free rolling glide board connected to a dynamic pulley cable system. You can increase your exertion level by simply raising the incline of the glide board. This basically means you have to work harder to pull or push your own body weight up against the forces of gravity.
Here’s a short video clip you can watch to give you a glimpse into what to expect from a Gravity Pilates workout.
AND GRAVITY HIIT PILATES?
The Gravity HIIT Pilates class then takes a normal Gravity Pilates class and applies HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training principles. HIIT style training has held one of the top fitness trend spots for the past number of years because it promises to burn more fat in a shorter period of time. Using this technique you give 100% all-out maximum bursts of effort followed by short, sometimes active recovery periods. HIIT gets your heart rate up and keeps it raised for the duration of the session. It not only burns more calories during the session , but also raises the body’s metabolism for up to 48 hours after your workout. So you keep burning calories long after your workout has ended! Another great thing about HIIT training is that sessions don’t need to be very long, and are generally around 20-30 minutes. The Gravity HIIT Pilates session is closer to 45 minutes because it includes a proper warm-up, cool down and stretch after the class.
A LOW IMPACT FULL BODY WORKOUT FOR EVERYONE
Gravity Pilates is for everyone, regardless of your current level of fitness. This is largely because the machine can easily be adjusted to suit your current strength and fitness levels. It is a very low impact workout. You’re mostly working on a glide board, using a smooth pulley cable system so there is very little jarring. Because this is such a low impact workout, the risk of injury is significantly reduced, as is the strain on your back. This also makes Gravity Pilates a great rehab workout. Finally, since you’re applying functional training techniques, you’re working and strengthening your core in virtually every exercise.
I had forgotten how much I love these classes and what a great work-out the Gravity HIIT Pilates sessions provide! The HIIT format gets your heart-rate pumping and keeps you working throughout the 45 minute session. I do loads of strength workouts but there is nothing like high-intensity, functional strength training to really fire the muscles. Mich and I agree that this is a wonderful workout, and strongly suggest you give it a try if there are classes near you!
Visit the Virgin Active website to find a Gravity HIIT Pilates class.
(RELATED POSTS: Find some more of our workout reviews here.)
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