Power of Pilates in your hand
Cool, splashy dragon boat season has finished and running in this heat is quite repulsive, so Pilates offers a cool summer option.
The app aims to help you lose weight and tone muscles without any machines, mix up your workout routine with something new and fun, and master Pilates in 30 days.
It does sound like a tall promise but on my first date with the app, I huffed and puffed my way through both the beginner and the intermediate sessions, and had fun.
In the cool of my bedroom, I watched the 10 short videos that demonstrated each of the 10 beginner moves, and then got down on my mat to work through the final video, which brings the moves into a sequence. Each move is done 10 times and the whole routine took about 10 minutes.
Moves include leg circles, where you lie on your back and wave one leg at a time at the ceiling; hip lifts; several 'prep' exercises which are designed to start strengthening muscles so you can attempt the intermediate sessions; and roll ups.
When I googled: 'Why can't I do a roll up?' after the session, I was relieved to read that people love to hate rolls ups, and that one of the reasons people can't do rolls ups is because of our tight lower backs, hamstrings and hips, brought about from sitting at desks all day long.
At that point I took a peak at the intermediate exercises and they looked even more fun. I realise the roll ups, and any variation will take time, and that's OK.
The videos are hosted on YouTube, but can be downloaded onto your iPhone. Each comes with a written description of the exercise, and modifications if you are struggling with the full exercise. You can also hit 'favourites' and create your own library.
If you do make it through beginner and intermediate, you can also work through the advanced moves and finish with the 'Put it All Together' session. This combines all 30 moves into an 'intense calorie-burning workout'.