Why Hot Pilates is My Favourite Winter Workout, Hands Down

Alina Gonzalez
by Alina Gonzalez

Pilates is, without question, my favourite form of exercise. In my opinion, it’s one of the best workouts that’s ever been invented (thank you, Joseph Pilates). I love the movements involved, love doing it, and love the results I get. So when I heard just a few weeks ago that hot Pilates was officially now a thing, I was intrigued and excited. I was never one to embrace the hot yoga trend (it seemed crazy to me), but hot Pilates sounded liked it could be my cup of tea. Keep reading for what my experience was like, and why I think it’s the best winter workout out there.

When I first entered the room at Hot Pilates on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles (the first and only Hot Pilates studio in L.A.), it was set to 95 degrees, and I truly thought that I might have to leave the class. I was trying to be cool (no pun intended), but was mulling over—and actually concerned about— the fact that I might not physically be able to make it. The heat felt smothering and I didn’t understand how the human body could exert itself at this temperature and not pass out, feel sick, etc. I was apprehensive, to say the least.

However, I trusted that the temperature had to be optimal and intentional, otherwise so many people wouldn’t be able to not only “make it” through a class, but love it and keep coming back. Paula Patton and actress Abigail Spencer (whose body is my personal holy grail in terms of fit celeb bods), are regulars at the studio. I was determined to see the class through.

Within five minutes, I had forgotten any fear that I might need to bail. The heat became not just bearable, but an enjoyable benefit. Here’s why I think it’s the best winter workout:

It’s hot, and winter is cold.

During winter, our muscles are tight and stiff. Our blood flow is slower, and it takes longer to warm up the body for a workout than it does during summer. A heated class is amazing for loosening up your muscles and making it easier to get into the flow of the workout. You feel less like a frozen icicle and more like a limber gymnast.

It’s amazing for belly bulge.

It’s so easy to emerge from winter with a layer of stubborn fat on our lower bellies from all the season’s comfort food. We crave and eat starchier, creamier things, from soups and hot chocolate, to grilled cheese and mashed potatoes, to feel all snuggly and warm. The only problem is, those calorie-laden carbs go straight to belly pooch.

Pilates is one of the world’s best exercises for your lower and overall belly. Every movement is designed around strengthening, and flattening your core. In a hot class, the ab work is amped up, and you leave feeling like you got a tighter tummy in an hour.

It’s more approachable than other hot classes.

Yoga inherently involves a lot of downward facing and upside down poses, which, with blood rushing to your head while holding the poses, seems like a bit much in the heat. On the other end of the spectrum, there are hot spinning classes, and cardio that extreme, and in that heat just seems too hardcore (at least to me). 

Hot Pilates is the perfect middle-of-the-road hot class if you’re going to take a hot class at all. The movements are just fast enough that you don’t have time to kind of sit and swelter, but not so fast that a beginner couldn’t still crush it.

Have you ever done a hot workout class? Would you try Hot Pilates? Tell me below!

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