These popular classes hold many names but have one thing in common: participants exercise upside down. Is it time to shake up your usual routine?
Four years ago, Ms Gillian Giam’s friends introduced her to an acrobatic class in Bangkok. She made a trip to Langkawi soon after, and was hooked onto another that combined elements of yoga, pilates and plyometrics.
SwingWerkz is inspired by the latter – with instructor Giam’s creative touches, of course. Stretches have quirky names such as inverted bow, beetlejuice and batman.
Some stretches require students to be inverted in mid-air, while being supported by a swing.
“Everyone has a lot of fun. Joining a class makes you part of a small family and community,” she told Aerinlé. “Expect to be challenged if you are not very strong and stretched,” she quipped.
Sessions at Motionwerkz Yoga Fitness Studio are just one variation of upside down classes that are amassing followers in fast-paced Singapore.
Here are four reasons to turn the tables on gravity:
1) You’re guided into upside down stretches
Gillian: Regardless of the number of students, all of them get adjusted by me. It could be painful at first, but students benefit as stretches are very deep. Being upside down is especially challenging for overweight students, so I ease them into it by giving them a different set of things to do.
2) Boost your core muscles
Gillian: I focus a lot on core work. People must understand that you can’t stretch without strength. If you’re not strong, being too flexible at the joints may result in dislocation and fractures.
3) Balancing makes you stronger
Gillian: Balancing on the swing requires strength. Being stable on a swing requires focus and an engagement with different muscle groups. To balance on a swing, you need both flexibility and strength to squeeze muscle groups.
4) Get a posture that oozes confidence
Gillian: The workout helps students understand posture and alignment. They also get a stronger back. Inversion stretches out the back and aids those with spinal problems.
SwingWerkz is unsuitable for people with abnormal blood pressure and glaucoma. There is a special class for pregnant students.
Know of other cool workouts that we should feature? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.