You won’t be hard-pressed to find a place to workout in Orange County. This area in Southern California is filled to the brim with the fitness-obsessed which means it’s the perfect place to go when you need help toning a specific problem area. I sought out two OC fitness professionals to learn more about their fitness studios and to see if they could share some of their favorite workouts. Here’s what they had to say.
Ashlyn Rich, who opened Fit Pilates last January with co-owner Pam Weber, says they’re more about toning than bulking up at their San Clemente studio, which mainly focuses on exercises that are performed on the Megaformer, a machine created by celebrity trainer Sebastien Lagree. Their workouts are based on resistance though some are Pilates-inspired. “It’s more of Pilates on crack,” Rich quips. “It’s all resistance training incorporated with cardio, and all of our workouts are performed on the Megaformer.” It’s not just about resistance, though. “The whole theory is based on the slower the better. Slow, controlled movement is harder and it leads to long, lean muscles.” The classes held at Fit Pilates, which are TRX and TRX/Pilates combo classes, are all 50 minutes long. There are only eight machines in the studio to keep classes small and personalized and people of all fitness levels can join in. Celebrities often frequent the classes and every now and then you’ll catch one or two of the local celebrities at the studio getting in a workout. The not-so-famous locals love Fit Pilates too and the response from customers has been great. Rich points out that, while there are a lot of Pilates studios in Orange County, Fit Pilates is unique in that it is license-based and backed by Lagree so you know it’s the real deal. During my visit, Rich showed me her go-to workout to strengthen and tone the triceps. Here are the steps to the workout, which is to be performed on a Megaformer machine.
Tricep Workout(with Mega Former):
-Kneeling on machine, grab handles
-Bring handles up over your head
-Move your in elbows towards each other
-Hinge at the elbows and press up
Do at least 30 reps of this and you’ll be on your way to toned triceps!
1001 Avenida Pico
San Clemente, CA 92673
It gets hot in Pure Barre, located in Irvine. Or, at least, it feels like it does. The workouts, owner Monica Pommier says, get muscles to hit fatigue, making them warm, which in turn makes them more pliable and less at risk for injuries. While you feel hot on the inside, fear not, it means you’re getting hotter on the inside. “Ninety-percent of people see results within eight classes,” Pommier assures. You don’t have to already be in great shape to try the low-impact ballet barre-inspired workouts at Pure Barre and Pommier says the hour-long classes allow you to focus on yourself, both the inside and the outside. You’ll also get attention from the staff and, if you’re new to the studio, someone will help you learn the basic positions. As a graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder with a degree in Exercise Physiology, the SoCal native is a great resource for fitness advice. I asked her for ab workout ideas and boy did she deliver! She gave me about five workouts to try but, here, I’ve included the two workouts that can be done without a ballet bar. She says these workouts, which are exclusive to Pure Barre, will strengthen abs and increase your lower-back strength and flexibility.
Ab Workout #1
-Sit up as tall as you can with you back against the wall, hands held above your head
-Using tiny movements to strengthen and relax your muscles, go between rounding and flattening your back.
-“Do kegels as you do this move to strengthen pelvis and stand up straighter,” Pommier says.
Ab Workout #2
-Slide down one-third of the way on a wall in a slouched position with shoulders and knees aligned
-Tuck hips underneath you then come into a C-curve
-Pull your right leg up to your chest then extend to ceiling and push other leg to the floor
-Repeat move on your left leg
-Do 10 reps on each side
6791 Quail Hill
Pkwy Irvine, CA 92603