I think it’s safe to say that COVID has affected all of our fitness regimes…
When it comes to fitness, there’s not too much that puts me off.
Most mornings you’ll find me at CrossFit, and lifting heavy barbells—nailing my handstand pushups is my idea of fun. Otherwise, I can regularly be found moving my body in some form or another. I even got my personal training qualifications once just for the sake of it.
I’ve given most things a go at least once, but there’s still one I haven’t had the guts to do: reformer Pilates. I wouldn’t even have a second thought about walking into a Pilates class, but there’s something about the reformers that makes me feel like it’s all a bit out of my league.
Reformer Pilates instructor Allana Frisken understands that the machines can look a bit daunting, but says reformer Pilates is in fact simpler than standard mat Pilates.
“Pilates itself is quite an intense form of exercise, but without being high impact. So a lot of different types of people can do it, even if they have injuries or other restrictions. Reformer Pilates is almost a bit easier because the reformer gives a point of reference,” says Allana.
“So if your instructor is saying, ‘Put your shoulders up into the shoulder rest’, it gives you a point of reference for exactly where to have your body. On the mat it can be a bit difficult sometimes understanding where your body is in space. So while the reformers do look a little bit scary and intimidating, it’s actually quite simple.”
Similar to mat Pilates, reformer Pilates classes help to strengthen and tone muscles, through low impact classes. The main difference is that in reformer Pilates you do the movements on a reformer: a device that has ropes, springs, pulleys and a sliding bed. In the classes, you get a full body workout, and injuries can be catered for, and in some cases, Pilates can even help with recovery.
In fact, it was an injury eight years ago that got Allana into reformer Pilates in the first place. After knee surgery, she got frustrated not being able to do what her former-gym-junkie self could.
“I kept trying to go to those normal gym classes and I would find myself sitting out most of the time, or I’d have to do something completely different to everyone else. And I just felt like it wasn’t that fun group experience that I was really craving,” she says.
“I kept trying heaps of different forms of group exercise, and pretty much tried everything. Then I came across reformer, and I found that I could do 99 per cent of it, and if there was anything that I couldn’t do with my knee, there were slight modifications I could do. And I felt like I’d still got a bloody good workout, still strengthening and toning and getting those endorphins going. I was addicted as soon as I tried it.”
In 2019 after training as an instructor, Allana founded Muse Pilates, based on the vision of creating a really beautiful, luxe studio, but with a friendly, down-to-earth and welcoming vibe. She has opened three studios across Sydney and Newcastle, with three more in the works, including the brand new studio at Kingston Foreshore, set to open on Monday 28 February 2022.
Tucked underneath the Sapphire building right on the lake, Muse Pilates Kingston boasts water views and a luxe fit-out by Canberra designers Studio & You. Classes are all 45 minutes, with morning, day and evening options, seven days a week.
Memberships are available to buy now. If you’re intrigued but still a bit nervous about reformer Pilates, you can get an intro pass for $49 which will get you, four classes, to use across two weeks, which Allana believes is enough time to get you well and truly hooked.
What: Brand new reformer Pilates studio, Muse Pilates Kingston
Where: 1/45 Honeysett View, Kingston
When: Monday 28 February 2022
Web: To purchase an intro class pass or a foundation membership, or just find out more, visit musepilateskingston.com.