Callanetics – a cross between yoga and ballet offers the chance to tone up as it puts the body into specific positions to isolate muscle groups, gets those muscles into a deep contraction and then layers pulses over the contractions.
Think of it as mild isotonic exercises using repetitive contractions and a small range of motion, done slowly, with a strong emphasis on alignment and with no impact.
Because you are isolating the muscles so deeply, those pulses recruit more muscle fibers, so they tone remarkably fast.
Changes start to happen after the very first class with most people noticing a marked difference after only a few hours.
Unlike Pilates, in Callanetics, you send your energy and awareness to one isolated part of the body and there is less of an emphasis on how that part of the body interacts with the rest.
It employs the principle that tiny, deep, repetitive movements can yield big results.
The specific moves vary based on the focus and who is in class.
It can take a few attempts to master the positions and you might need to take a break at the beginning.
The moves get harder the better you get at them (because you learn how to access your muscles on ever-deeper levels) there are also ways to intensify each by adjusting the body slightly depending on level.
Callanetics is good for the elderly, people recovering from injury and even athletes (Olympic Gold Medal winner Jane Holderness-Roddam studied Callanetics as part of her fitness regime).
●Hazel teaches on Monday at 10.45am and Wednesday at 6pm at The Studio, Saltcoats and Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Argylle Centre, Saltcoats at 6.15pm and 8pm.