Flow Pilates & Movement | Bust a move at home!
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Bust a move at home!

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April2017blogSome of you may know that I used to be a downtown/urban dweller – I lived, worked, and played all within a 5 km radius. I walked everywhere – to the office, to the Pilates studio, to coffee shops, to the gym. I loved being able to go to a number of different studios to take all my favourite classes.


When I moved to the suburbs (with its lack of choices for studios to go to), I quickly realized that it didn’t make sense to drive forty-five minutes each way to attend an hour long class – so I began to look for alternatives. Luckily, I have a full Pilates studio that has a commute time of a minute, but I still missed taking classes once in a while. Enter in DVD’s and online workouts!


Since workout DVD’s take up space (our household is a fan of the Konmari Method) and may eventually go the way of the dodo bird as VHS tapes did, let’s skip talking about DVD’s and take a look at online workouts instead.


Many studios and businesses have quickly adapted to ever changing technology -in addition to offering in-studio classes, they have developed online workout programs. If you don’t live near a studio, you can still get a similar workout experience from the comfort of your own home.


There are basically two ways of purchasing your at-home workouts – a membership with a set number of months of streaming, or a one-time purchase download. Both have benefits and drawbacks.


The monthly membership streaming option will give you lots of variety, and the ability to take as many or as few classes as you want per month. Another benefit is that you can watch them on your desktop, tablet, or cell phone, and the videos can often be saved to watch offline. The monthly cost is usually less than the cost of an in-studio drop-in class, which is a great selling feature. Common membership commitments include ongoing monthly, 3, 6 and 12 month terms. Most offer a free introductory period to test them out, or sample classes to try before committing.

Drawbacks include only having access to the videos so long as your account is active and current – you are not able to download and keep the videos. Most have a 30-day cancellation policy.


One-time purchase downloads are great if you love the workout, and want to have a personal copy permanently. You can download to any device, and watch anywhere. The drawback is that you only get one workout, and you may get bored doing the same workout all of the time.


Here are my five favourite online streaming workouts. I find they are a wonderful add-on to my regular Pilates and GYROTONIC® workouts. (In case you are wondering, no, I do not keep all five memberships active at once – I choose one or two for a few months, and then switch them up). Variety is key for me, and keeps my body moving in all different ways.


Pilates Anytime: I have been a subscriber since they first began.  Always dependable – this site is my go-to for Pilates workouts and research. Many 2nd generation teachers’ classes can be found here (Michele Larsson, Amy Taylor Alpers, Rachel Taylor Segel, Kyria Sabin, Cara Reeser). You can find mat classes and equipment classes based on levels, duration and teacher, along with tutorials and paid workshops.

($18 CDN/month, 15 day free trial)


Barre3: I had a hard time narrowing down which barre workout to include, but Barre3 narrowly edged the others out. Like many barre programs out there, there is not much ballet influence in the workout itself, other than the barre is used as a support. However, the small range of movements (up an inch, down an inch) will help create stability around your joints so that you develop good alignment when performing larger ranges of motion.  Barre3 focuses on whole body health, with their three pillars being exercise (the workouts), nourishment (nutrition and lifestyle), and connection (mind-body focus and barre3 community). Workouts can be as long as short as you want – options include 10 minute workouts all the way up to 60 minutes.

(Monthly memberships start at $15 USD)


Essentrics TV: Want a quick half hour class that incorporates strengthening and stretching at the same time?  From the Essentrics website: “A completely original workout that draws on the flowing movements of tai chi which create health and balance, the strengthening theories behind ballet which create long, lean, flexible muscles and the healing principles of physiotherapy which create a pain free body”. Pain-free body?  Sign me up (well actually, I already have. Haha!)  No equipment needed, just a mat.

($14.95 CDN/month, also DVD purchase options)


Nutritious Movement: Since we have started incorporating Katy Bowman’s work into the studio offerings, this was an obvious choice. Classes taught by Katy Bowman are recorded live at the Nutritious Movement Center in Sequim, Washington, and are available for monthly streaming. Want to see how Katy teaches a calf stretch? Or see how other bodies look doing the exercises? If you have read her books, or want to dive deeper into the work, this is the next best thing to actually being in her class.

($30USD a month, other DVD and download options also available)


Synergy Fitness Online: The newest one in my rotation! Karly MacPhail and I were in the same yoga teacher training group in 2008, and when she launched her online program, I put it on my list of ones to try. This local Calgary business offers both yoga and HIIT (High intensity interval training) workouts that you can easily do at home and fit into your day. While you wouldn’t necessarily think yoga and high intensity fitness go together, they do in fact compliment each other well – one focusing on lengthening muscles and calming the mind, and the other focusing on strengthening and energizing the body. The perfect combination if you desire not to step into a crowded yoga studio or gym!

($10 USD/month, 15-day free trial)


Lastly, if your budget is limited, the vast worldwide web is also host to a number of free online workouts – there is no shortage of youtube channels offering free classes.


Note: While I may love all of the above, you might not! I am not affiliated in any way to any of the above companies, and am not being compensated for my reviews – opinions are strictly my own and are not to be taken as advice.


Did I miss mentioning your favourite online workout? Or have any of the above piqued your interest? I would love for you to share in the comments below!






GYROTONIC®, GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® are registered trademarks of Gyrotonic Sales Corp and are used with their permission.


Disclaimer:  The content of this blog is for informational purposes only, and is the sole property of Flow Pilates & Movement.  I am not a doctor or a registered dietician, and this blog’s content is not intended as medical advice.  Please consult your doctor if you have any concerns regarding your exercise routine or diet.  The content of this blog may contain links to other websites.  Flow Pilates & Movement is not responsible for the privacy policies or practices of any third party.



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