Pilates is known for strengthening and lengthening your core muscles, but what about your backside? Turns out more and more Pilates studios are adding "Bootylicious" classes as a way to offer total body toning for clients.
At Dr. Pilates in Larchmont, instructor Chelsea Gabrielle created a 50 minute class that works every part of your derriere. At a recent "Bootylicious Power Hour" class taught by Lauren Kokenes, several of the eight students in attendance were surprised and pleased to learn that the class would be devoted exclusively to the backside. (The studio hosts more than a dozen classes a day from beginning to advanced workouts on the reformer.)
It wasn't easy to do an entire class devoted to glutes, but if you sit long hours at work, what muscles are more deserving? If you really just want to get a better booty, note that Dr. Pilates offers the Bootylicious class three times a week.
The studio is stylish and airy with large windows facing Larchmont Boulevard, elegant and white framed full-length mirrors and new reformers. There is also a massage room and shower. I've taken more than a dozen different classes here and the vibe is always the same – comfortable, friendly and relaxed. Most students here are experienced, but no one is frowned upon for being a novice.
We warmed up with simple leg presses on the reformer and then moved to jumps on the jump board. Lying on our sides and gliding up and down on the reformer, we did a series of kicks on each side – forward, backward and up to the ceiling. This is where my glutes and hamstrings started burning. Without resting, we moved on to more kicks using the small loop attached to the reformer, and lying on our backs, raised our legs to the ceiling while keeping our butts off of the carriage. We ended with a skater pose, where we pushed the carriage out with one foot – this worked the outside glutes – while standing on the reformer with the other. When Kokenes introduced bicep curls using the reformer straps and moved into the Pilates 100 series, it felt like a reprieve.
The exertion level is up to you as you control how much weight you use on the reformer. Kokenes suggested weight amounts, but offered adjustments if it didn't feel like you were working hard enough. Because of the studio's small size, teachers are hands-on, offering individualized advice on proper form and alignment. Kokenes would occasionally jump on to a machine to demonstrate the moves, but spent the entire class making sure everyone had proper form, which was really helpful. At the end of class my legs felt like rubber.
$28 per class. Classes are available on Class Pass subscriptions. Discounts are available by purchasing class packs of five, 10 and 20. There is metered parking on Larchmont Boulevard and street parking in the neighborhood. Please note: toe socks are required.