Enter: Hot Pilates. The new-ish class has been popping up on the schedules of some trendy studios of late, from Flex Studios in New York to the aptly named Hot Pilates in LA. It's exactly what it sounds like: Pilates, but in a hot room, and offers a myriad of benefits that can help you take your core-busting practice to the next level.
"Just like with Bikram, the heat will get your heart rate up," explains instructor Kate Davies, who offers a hot Pilates class at her studio, YO BK. "It also warms up the muscles and releases lactic acid so that your joints and your muscles are a little bit more pliable. I like using the analogy of a welder heating up a piece of metal before bending it—the human body is really similar. When people who practice hot yoga and hot Pilates go to a class that’s not heated, they’re like, ‘Whoa, this is such a different range of motion.’" And it's true, considering the different level of flexibility that you feel in those high temps. She also points out the detox benefits of sweating, noting that her students "love to feel that 'rinsed-clean' feeling you get from sweating until your hair is completely wet."
Davies' class, which is considered "Inferno Style," combines floor work, standing exercises, and tabata training to create a cardio-intensive experience. "But just like there are different styles of hot yoga, it’s the same with styles of hot Pilates," she says. "There are definitely slower classes than what we teach."
One celeb who's been ahead of the curve in feeling the (extra-hot) burn? Selena Gomez, who is reportedly a fan of the Hot Pilates studio in Los Angeles. "She loves that the heat truly cleanses her body, and she has been feeling much better since going frequently," according to E! News. She and Justin Bieber were actually spotted leaving the studio together last year, which may mean he's a fan of the on-trend heated workout, too.
If you're a die-hard hot yoga fan, fear not: Integrating hot yoga and hot Pilates into your regular routine can actually offer the complete package in terms of building out your body. "Yoga and Pilates are just so incredibly different, and with Pilates there's always more of an emphasis on muscles building strength over flexibility," says Davies. She notes that she's been seeing more and more classes pop up, and who knows: Maybe you'll even run into members of the couple formerly known as #Jelena getting their sweat on right alongside you.
Not into turning up the temp on your workouts? Well, turning it down and exercising in cool temperatures offers its own set of body benefits. And if you need a little motivation, let Jillian Michaels help inspire you to hit the gym this year.
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