Prenatal Pilates | Amber's Tips on Staying Fit & Healthy

IMG_1625 One of the biggest questions we get when our clients become pregnant is Can I workout? & What can't I do? It's amazing & crazy the changes that a women experiences during this time and the good news is YES you can still workout. Prenatal exercise can actually make you more comfortable during this time. Although every single woman is different.

I've been extremely active my whole life but during my pregnancy I physically did not have the stamina to workout. I always tell my clients the most important thing is listen to your body. At HIP Studio we have had several women workout their whole entire pregnancies. Women who put me to shame with their consistent dedication to fitness. The rule of thumb is that if you are active when you get pregnant, there is no reason you can’t continue to be active.

Prenatal Pilates is one of the best ways to prepare your body for the birthing process. It is important to condition the abdominals and pelvic floor muscles, helping to maintain strength and endurance needed during labor. Awareness of breath and the mind-body connection as a means of relaxation and focus are huge benefits during labor. When those contraction are intensely repeating one right after the next, and you want to kill your husband, my years of practicing Pilates gave me an immense sense of relief. Even if it was just for a brief moment!! Some of my biggest advice for women who are thinking of getting pregnant is prep your body. I physically conditioned my body before pregnancy and I believe this strength and endurance of years of working out and HIP classes gave me what I needed for a successful labor.

If you have been working out with us you can pretty much do everything you were doing before you got pregnant, if you are cleared by your doctor. Experts say that once you reach the mid-point of your pregnancy (20 weeks), you need to start making modifications. Exercises in supine positions for an extended period of time should be avoided, traditional abdominal exercises like forward flexion should be modified and we advice our clients to not take any jumpboard clases.

All of the instructors at HIP Studio are certified in Prenatal Pilates, and can assist clients in the modifications necessary throughout their pregnancies. For our group classes it is important to let your instructor know you are pregnant and how far along you are. A few private prenatal pilates sessions can be extremely beneficial during this time because we can focus on your specific needs and modification you can use during your group classes. Every body is different, and every pregnancy is different.  The most important thing is to listen to your body and take care of the vessel that is carrying this most precious cargo.

What Experts Are Saying About Pilates Classes

Although Pilates was actually developed in the 1920’s, the high profile program did not garner much attention until the last decade or so. Pilates has proven to have a wide range of health benefits, and it allows people to get their bodies into shape by focusing on core strength. Even physicians and holistic health professionals around the world have expressed how truly beneficial Pilates classes can be to the mind, body, and soul. People that take a Pilates class at least a couple of times per week will experience reduced stress, increased flexibility and strength, and they will have a better overall sense of well-being. Keeping the Body Strong and Well with Pilates Core Strength Exercises Dan Westerhold, a physical therapist from Seattle that is trained in the art of Pilates says that he sees huge numbers of clients that have weakness and injuries in the postural muscles due to not exercising the right way and from the lifestyle choices that these people make. He says "People sit slouched at computers all day, then go to the gym and work their extremities, they don't use their core." The key point here is that without the core being strong, the rest of the body would weaken and be prone to injuries, weakness, and even illness.

pilates classesIs Pilates for Everyone? According to physical therapist Michael L. Reed, DPT of Jupiter, Florida, more than 50% of adults in the world experience some form of back pain at some point in their lives. Out of that percentage, 25% of those people have debilitating back pain that significantly impacts their quality of life. While he believes that Pilates and other forms of exercise that focus on the core of the body in areas that support the spine can be extremely beneficial, he also believes that people should be cautious until they receive clearance from their physicians to engage in the popular exercise program. A proper diagnoses should be obtained for those who suffer from back pain, because not every type of pain is considered the same. Pilates could hurt more than it could help if there is an underlying medical cause for the pain.


What Are The Benefits of Pilates?

  • Anyone from grandmothers to business executives and pregnant women can engage in Pilates. There are various classes available that will cater to the needs of everyone.
  • Muscular strength will greatly improve
  • Pilates takes a holistic approach that helps the body as a whole.
  • Improved flexibility and suppleness will be seen.
  • Improved posture will be possible
  • It can help to burn calories, and achieve weight loss.
  • It increases energy levels.
  • Stress is reduced, and people will obtain better coping skills.
  • The principles of the exercise are easy to learn for anyone.

Pilates classes are much better than strenuous exercises such as jogging or lifting weights, because it puts less strain on people’s joints. According to Joseph Pilates, the man who invented the exercise, he never took an aspirin a day in his life, and he was never injured either. He felt that everyone should be engaging in his workout, to get the same great benefits that he himself experienced. The benefits of Pilates are phenomenal.

Improve Your Posture with Pilates Classes - Just 2x per Week

Tired of slouching at your desk? Pilates classes, two times per week, can help improve your posture! pilates classes

Pilates exercises are designed to allow the body to move efficiently, and they can greatly improve a person’s posture if they engage in a routine workout regimen at least 2x per week. The reason that Pilates is so beneficial to people that have poor posture is because it is designed to target and develop the use of core strength. When the core muscles of the back, abdominals, and pelvic floor are used, our posture is better supported to where it will allow the neck, head, and shoulders to relax and have a better range of motion. Pilates can and will relieve stress on the feet, legs, and hips as well. Good posture eliminates general backaches that do not have an underlying cause, and it makes a person look as well as feel strong and healthy.

Pilates Exercises to Improve Posture There are many great Pilates exercises that will improve posture, but the most noteworthy ones are pelvic curls, roll ups, Pilates plank pose exercises, and finding neutral spine exercises. In addition to supporting good posture, these exercises can in turn help people who are suffering from respiratory diseases. When a person has good posture they are able to stand up straight, which will allow them to breathe more fully and deeply. Good breathing is an essential part of having good posture, so the two go hand in hand. Pilates can make a person feel better as a whole, to where they will feel much less stress and pain. Good posture may not seem like a great benefit that is derived from engaging in the exercise, but it is vitally important.

Good Posture Benefits from Pilates

  • Pain relief will be experienced throughout the body, from the hips, feet, and legs, to the neck and back.
  • Good posture enables people to move freely and efficiently, so that they are able to improve their overall quality of life.
  • Muscle function will be greatly improved, and people will have much more energy.
  • Range of motion will significantly increase.
  • People will appear to have a slim appearance if they are able to stand up straight.
  • Compressed organs will no longer have any pressure.
  • Circulation will be improved.
  • People will feel much more confident and positive about their life if their posture is good.

Meeting Your Goals with a Good Pilates Program HIP Studio, a Pilates and Fitness studio in Hermosa Beach offers quality Pilates classes. We encourage you to discuss your goals and experience with our instructor before your first class. We offer a variety of classes, each of them providing distinct and complimentary benefits, so it may be best to combine these programs for the utmost benefit to your posture and health.

Bounce Your Way to a Better Body With Trampoline Workouts at HIP Studio

Getting caught up in the same workout routine can inhibit you progress and become boring. Many people become unmotivated if they are not challenged and excited to exercise. If you are in a rut, consider attending trampoline workouts offered at HIP Studio.

trampoline workouts

Thought Trampolines Were for Kids? Think Again

A rebounder, or small trampoline designed specifically for working out, is one of the most fun and exciting ways you can strengthen and tone your body. Not only does a trampoline decrease impact related stress, but it is more beneficial for more muscle groups than traditional running, or aerobic workouts.

The thrill kids get from jumping is actually very good for your body’s circulatory system. The quick changes in relative gravity, or G forces, increase your circulation and encourage more toxins to exit your system. This allows your body to concentrate less on expelling harmful toxins, and instead focus on strengthening and toning your muscles. It is a good way to increase your whole body’s metabolism, instead of just the metabolism of a few muscles groups.

High Intensity Workouts

Trampoline exercise has been shown to be more effective in ten minutes than 30 minutes of running. This is because balancing requires more muscle control from unused muscles groups. Tiring your entire body at once is what is known as high intensity interval training. HIP Studio offers several different classes focused on interval training, and the trampoline centered class is one of them.

Rebounding combines flexibility, strength, and endurance. If it has been a while since you have jumped on a trampoline, you will be amazed at how many muscle groups a rebounder targets. Not only is a trampoline exercise session great for your health, but it can give you results fast. HIP Studio has designed a 50 minute class that can fit into your busy schedule. This high powered workout fits a longer workout in less time by combining core strength, balance, and cardio exercises in one workout.

Low Impact Will Save Your Joints

Many people who want to become healthier try running and discover that their knees and ankles cannot handle the stress of pounding on the ground or on a treadmill. Rebounder exercises allow the same level of fitness, but decreases the impact by as much as 80%. This still allows enough impact for your bones to become stronger, but not enough impact to place your joints in danger.

Trampoline classes offer an amazing balance of fun and serious fitness. If you struggle with your workout routine, the rebounder class offered by HIP Studio is the perfect way to add some spring to your fitness schedule. You will find yourself looking forward to your trampoline classes, and you will amazed by how quickly your body’s balance improves, and how difficult to target muscles groups become toned.

You can experience a Rebounder class in either the Bag of Tricks class, or any of the 30/30 Burn classes. Both options use trampolines to get your heart rate moving, and to spice up what might otherwise be more of the same exercise classes you are used to. The 30/30 classes add variety to your workouts, and all utilize the amazing strengthening power of the trampoline.

Barre Classes: 4 Myths, Busted!

1) Barre Classes Are Just For Dancers, FALSE! I’m sure you walked in to your first Barre class and thought, oh boy, look at all of these dancers. What am I doing here? Well guess what? They aren’t dancers, they just look like them! And you are about to! Yes, the Barre workout was developed by a German ballet dancer who combined her ballet Barre workout with rehab exercises after a back injury but that doesn’t mean that you have to be a dancer in order to look and feel like one!

2) Barre Classes Are Just for Women. NOPE, Meet Eric! 

barre classes

Everyone, meet Eric! Eric is a very healthy, handsome, successful man living in Hermosa Beach. Eric also happens to be a Barre student and was willing to answer a few questions for us.

HIP: Eric, why did you decide to take Barre classes?

Eric: I Decided to try the classes with my buddies because a few of our girlfriends who were going convinced us to go and were swearing by the workout. (Of course they also mentioned that a lot of the girls taking the class were quite attractive, and that did not hurt!)

HIP: Tell us about your experience . . .

Eric: My experience was really positive.  It is a great leg and core workout and I was always pretty spent after an hour session.  The ab-exercises were really great and I enjoyed the short meditation session at the end of the class to cool off and clear my head.  My legs and core felt really strong by the end the time I went to the classes and it was great for surfing and volleyball!  I think my shoulders got moderately stronger from the light-weight exercises they had us doing, but I didn't witness an increase in size.

HIP: How frequently do you take Barre?

Eric: The first month, I took the classes 2-3x/week.  After that I tapered off to 1-2X/week and maybe only a few times/month towards the end of the period when I was working out there.

HIP: Were you often the only male in Barre classes?

Eric: No, I was never the only male there.  The first month we had a solid group of 4-5 guys going, but that tapered as time went on.  There was always 2-3 other guys there when I went, regardless if they were people I knew or not.

HIP: Thanks Eric!

3) Barre Classes Don’t Make You Sweat, WRONG! Bring A Towel.

The main original fundamentals of Barre workouts are small deep muscular movements done repetitively working specific muscle groups to near failure. Extra special focus and control is paid to the legs, butt and abs. Stretching sequences are commonly included throughout this intense workout. If that doesn’t make you sweat, then we don’t know what will! Be sure to bring a towel to your next Barre Class.

4) Barre Is Not Cardio. NO, It’s Better!  

A cardio workout is one that uses a wide variety of muscles. It requires a pulse goal of 65 to 85% above each individual’s regular resting pulse. Take your pulse in the morning before arising from bed. Count it for 60 seconds. Normal Resting Pulse Rates range from 60 to 100 beats per min. However, they vary person to person and may be higher or lower depending on your overall health and workout habits.

During a 50 minute Barre Class at HIP Studio your heart rate will go up and down while working your muscles to ultimate failure. We like to call this “the shake” don’t be embarrassed when you get “the shake” this just means that you are doing everything right! Not only are you increasing your heart rate and burning fat in those problem areas, you will also experience what we like to call “the after burn” where you are burning calories well after your workout. Something traditional cardio like running doesn’t provide.

Glad we were able to clear that up. Are you ready to see for yourself? HIP Studio offers Barre Classes daily. Sign up today. Don’t forget your towel and you’re A-Game!

High Intensity Interval Training Burns Calories After Your Workout

High Intensity Interval Training, The Next Level High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to take your workout to the next level, to burn more calories, lose more fat, and improve your cardio fitness level.  It includes short intervals of maximum intensity exercises and medium intensity exercises, separated by longer intervals of low intensity recovery.  These exercises briefly push you beyond the upper level of your aerobic exercise comfort zone. Research has proven that this is the most effective way to burn fat and build lean muscle. This is also one of the reasons our HIPsters have noticed more results than hours they have clocked in at the gym.

This is an amazingly effective workout IF done properly. Here are some tips to help you complete a high intensity interval training effectively, and without injury.

1. Remember this is your workout and each person in class has a different maximum point. You must push yourself to YOUR maximum level to get the results you are looking for.

2. Be sure to warm up and cool down properly. Your trainer formats each class so you have a few minutes before to prep your body and after to cool it down.

3. Do not attend HIIT classes on back-to-back days. Your body needs to rest! Rest is the key to seeing results. Bag of Tricks, Kickboxing and our 30/30s are the most intense classes and your body needs to recover from these. Mix up your week with Yoga, Pilates, Sweat & Stretch or a Barre class. Trust us you will start seeing more results when you mix it up.

4. Feed & Fuel your body. One to two hours before class it is important to have something to eat so your body has what it needs to perform at its max for 50 minutes. Have a piece of fruit, nuts or toast with nut butter. After class it is imperative to hydrate and eat protein. Protein helps rebuild your muscle.

high intensity interval training

The benefits of this type of group exercise class are incredible.  Your body will burn more fat and calories.  Because you are over exerting yourself, your body is in overdrive with its repair cycle, therefore burning calories for a time even after you stop working out.  On top of that, your metabolism will increase.  The human growth hormone will heighten in the body for up to 24 hours after your workout, which increases your metabolism for that period of time.  Your heart’s blood vessels and arteries will benefit from a high intensity interval training class as well.  This challenging class also can save you time, as it is a shorter class, allowing you to have more time outside of the gym.

Our High Intensity classes are a great option for people looking to tone up, burn fat and lose calories in a structured manner. For maximum results we recommend our HIIT classes three times per week, eating a clean diet and mixing it up with our other classes for the rest of the week. Also, you should allow at least one or two rest days per week. At HIP Studio we offer a variety of classes for a reason and it's important to constantly change up your routine to challenge your body and push it to change. If you have any questions about your weekly routine let us know, we are more than happy to help!

What Benefits Will You Gain From Pilates Classes?

Pilates Classes Pilates workouts have become a worldwide phenomenon.  It has gained popularity among the general public as well as elite athletes.  People are seeing that Pilates classes work. There are many benefits to the exercise that keeps people coming back for more.  Not only is it great for weight loss, but it can help you recover from an injury or help with body aches and pains.

One of the biggest benefits of Pilates that makes it easy for anyone to do is that there is no equipment needed.  No barbells, no balls, no weights. Just you and your Pilates mat.  It’s a basic method of exercise that appeals to a lot of people who don’t want to mess with a lot of equipment.

Pilates uses your own body for resistance, which makes it the perfect workout for anyone, anywhere, anytime.  It’s suggested that you don’t attempt Pilates without first gaining proper instruction from a qualified Pilates trainer.  Take a few Pilates classes until you become familiar with the movements. Then you can practice them on your own.

Pilates emphasizes on breathing, and each Pilates exercise has a different breathing pattern. You will use big breaths combined with controlled, fluid movements to result in a relaxing, yet invigorating experience.  Most people say they have more energy after a Pilates class.  More oxygen has gone to the brain with proper breathing techniques giving the body more energy.

Pilates gives the body the kind of exercise it needs.  It’s not just working one area of the body.  It works on flexibility, strength training and cardio vascular.  It’s the combination of these three that can make you an overall healthy person.   Cardio alone will not get you at your healthiest state.  And strength training alone will not get you there.  You have to combine the two to be your best.  And with both strength training and cardio, you need the flexibility to perform the moves with proper technique.  Pilates classes touches on all of these.  It helps you become the healthiest, strongest person you can be.

Since there are no sudden, jarring movements in Pilates, it is very beneficial to those with bad joints.  While running is a great activity that many people enjoy, overtime it can really cause harm to your joints. The constant jarring and pounding on the pavement is not good for anyone. If you are experiencing pain in your joints due to this type of exercise, give Pilates classes a try to see if it helps your joints feel better.  Because of the controlled, soft movements, Pilates is something you can do for life without worrying about doing harm to your joints and body.

Since Pilates focuses on strengthening the core muscles in the abdomen and back, many people with back problems benefit greatly from Pilates.  By strengthening those muscles, you may see your back problems disappear.   Pilates helps you stand tall with better posture and a stronger core.  Many doctors recommend Yoga and Pilates classes as a rehabilitation method as long as the patient is well supervised by a trained instructor.

Get The Body Of A Dancer With A Barre Workout

The new fitness craze that you may have heard about at a gym or fitness studio near you is the barre workout. Although pilates and yoga still remain very popular, this workout is a new and different way to get slim arms, legs and a flat tummy.  In this type of workout, you use a ballet bar to perform different moves that strengthen your body and burn fat.  It uses variations of isometrics, interval training and dance conditioning to help you achieve a sculpted body.  Before the barre, most people relied on free weights such as dumbbells and balls to strength train.  While they are great at building muscle mass, a barre will actually help your muscles become more reformed and elongated.  It can help increase posture, elevate your behind and give you those flat abs that nearly everyone strives for.  Have you ever seen how tall and slim ballet dancers are?  They do those bar exercises everyday.  It’s the best kept secret to getting a new trim and sculpted body just like a professional dancer. There are a few different barre workout systems that are used in gyms and dance or fitness studios.  These workouts use the traditional ballet exercise moves combined with different routines to add in additional strength training and cardio exercises.

barre workout

There is cardio barre which combines low impact exercises with some cardio workouts. Some light weights are used in this particular type of workout.  Not only will you burn fat, but you will be sculpting your muscles and elongating them as well.

Another type of barre workout is called the Barre3.  It combines yoga, ballet and pilates.  It’s designed to lift and shape your body by reinforcing good posture and alignment.

Xtend Barre is another type of workout that envelops pilates, dance and strength training. It’s a full body workout using the ballet bar.  It is designed for all fitness levels and can be modified for the beginner. Classes are typically an hour long and focuses on the body from head to toe giving each body part an equal workout to help strengthen and tone. Again, this type of class helps you to elongate your muscles so you walk with better posture and alignment.  People may even ask if you have grown taller!

No matter what type of barre workout you choose to do, you will be amazed at how it can help transform your body and make it stronger and healthier.  Not only will you be transforming your body, you’ll be having fun doing it.  And if something is fun, you are more likely to stick with it. The barre exercises are never boring and it is a nice alternative to pilates and yoga.

Pilates and yoga are great, but when you want to change things up a bit, trade in your pilates mat for a ballet bar and learn this new fitness sensation that is sweeping the country.  Grab some friends and try this new way of conditioning your body from head to toe.  It is sure to be a workout you will want to continue for life.


Cardio Kickboxing – A Fun Way to Burn Calories and Relieve Stress, Written by: Kayte Corrigan

We are all looking for a new or fun way to burn calories and to make the fat from our body disappear.  Cardio kickboxing is a type of workout designed for everyone, on any fitness level.  It is a high intensity workout that will increase your flexibility and your strength.  It is a class that combines martial arts, boxing as well as traditional aerobic and toning movements into a cardiovascular exercise routine for a tough, total body workout. According to a study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), averages of 350 - 450 calories are burned per hour in a cardio kickboxing class. A typical class consists of light stretches and a cardio warm up.  Repetitive punches, kicks and other self-defense moves are incorporated into a routine, choreographed to upbeat, popular songs.   The combination of moves inspired by popular dance styles and martial arts will improve your endurance while toning your muscles and defining your abdominal area.  The class will then end, 60 - 90 minutes later with a calming, cool down period.

Some of the martial arts moves that are included in your work out are front kicks, jabs, and uppercuts.  These moves specifically target parts of your body for a total body workout.  The front kicks burn fat and tone your legs, punches and jabs target your arms and your back, while uppercuts tone your abs and oblique muscles.  Although this is definitely a physical workout, there are additional benefits as well.  It is a great stress reliever! It is a positive and productive way to output the stresses of the day. As you focus your mental energy on the workout at hand, you can leave your cardio kickboxing class with some stress off of your shoulders.

Cardio Kickboxing If you are new to this type of workout, you might feel a little uncomfortable or uncoordinated your first class.  This is normal, so do not fret! It does not matter if you are a fitness guru or a novice, some of the moves will be new to your body, and your brain.  It will only take practice for you to pick up the simple routines, and in no time, you will be kicking cardio butt.

A few things to remember before you begin your first class- first, consider your fitness level.  Do not succumb to peer pressure and workout above your comfort zone, but do allow others to push and motivate you, though not to the point of injury.  Follow the instructor regarding proper stances and basic moves.  This will reduce your chance for injuries.  Do not forget to drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.  The number one rule - have fun!!

HIP Studio - No TV Tuesdays, Written by Kayte Corrigan

Spring begins to fade into summer and although the weather might be a little warmer, I still feel myself giving into the grind. At my house we are trying to take advantage of the extra daylight and challenge ourselves to a HIP Studio NO TV TUESDAYS. It seems like almost every night of the week I can be found on the couch getting hooked on another show or searching for another movie. While the weekends tend to be more active, the weekly routine gives way to a post supper couch session. My better half and I have settled on changing our habits in the beginning of the week for more variety in our lives. We put together a list of activities to be enjoyed in recreation, none of which involve the boob-tube.

  • Leisurely Bike Ride
  • Take a walk to get staple grocery items
  • A game of scrabble
  • Reading session
  • Trying out new music
  • Watching the sunset
  • Mid-week power cleaning
  • Quality time with the dog, fetch!
  • Exploring new recipes
  • Painting/crafts or household projects (go back through your Pinterest Boards)
  • baking for a friend or neighbor

Sometimes its just a half hour sitcom to unwind, but that can be replaced with a chapter of a good book. Even during busy weeks when you flick the TV on just for noise, take the time to change your tune and select music instead. Use this HIP Studio No TV Tuesdays to change your habits.