Well Being

Fitness Friday: First Look at Flat Iron’s FLEX Studios

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FLEXPilates 2

If you’ve been a part of the New York City fitness scene, there’s no doubt you’ve been to your fair share of fitness classes with bizarre methods, devices and instruments instructors and “experts” promise will heighten your fitness.

However, there’s probably nothing as strange as a reformer machine — which is essentially a transformer-like exercise machine you straddle, kneel over and stand on to maximize your fitness…and get an intensely hard workout while you're at it.

While there are a variety of different types of reformers out there, I had the opportunity to try out the FLEXformer at NYC’s FLEX Studios in Union Square during a FLEX 30/30 class. The only facility in the U.S. with this particular piece of equipment, the FLEXFormer was designed by the same mastermind behind SoulCycle bikes and Peloton Cycles — so you know they’re legit.

The Flex 30/30 class — which combines Flex Pilates and Flex Barre, totaling 30 minutes of each workout — began atop the FLEXformer and is recommended for anyone looking to mix up their routine, or trying either method for the first time. I definitely recommend it for beginners, because I don’t think there’s any way I could have done more than 30 minutes of either workout on their own!

Designed to challenge every muscle in your body, the first half of the class (on the FLEXformer) paired strength training with high energy music for a fast-paced workout meant to sculpt and tone lean muscles. While there were times I had a trouble balancing on the machine (which is a nod to how tough it is!), my instructor was patient enough to address my form, and I didn’t feel insanely behind or out-of-tune with the rest of the class. We squatted, balanced on one foot, pulled levers to strengthen our arms, and, well, did work.

After 30 minutes, we headed to the barre studio for our FlexBarre portion of the class. And since I thought the FLEXformer beginning of the class was difficult, I was in for a rude awakening! There, we got another total body workout that focused on our thighs, glutes and hamstrings — with a bonus ab workout at the end. My legs shook as we squatted, lunged and pulsed — but by the end of the session, I knew I had gotten what I came for.

For those who are intimidated by either reformers or barre classes, this class is a great introduction to both. It's also a great way to mix up your workout, as you'll receive two intense fitness sessions in one class!

Just remember to check your ego at the door. Falling off the FLEXformer during your first class might just be a rite of passage.

For more information, visit http://www.flexstudios.com/

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