I’ve only gone to a Plana Forma class once before. I took a beginner class that introduced my body to the isometric movements and shapes of this workout that combines principles of yoga, ballet, and Pilates to sculpt and tone the body and make you stronger.
Four years later during this current lull in my running and tri training, I pounced on the opportunity to attend another class at the opening of the new Plana FORMA branch in Il Terrazzo on Tomas Morato Street in Quezon City.
I know my core is much weaker than it used to be, but they said the Plana FORMA Core Class would be suitable for beginners. Here’s the class description:
Forma basic shapes and techniques, proper form and breathing for new Thigh Warriors
- Athletes – as cross-training and complementary workout for power and speed training
- People with Injuries – as workout for injury protection and increased strength for surrounding muscles
Pace: Moderate with timed high-intensity intervals
Movements: Isometric exercises mixed with large, full range movements; uses Pilates Principles of Isolation
- Increased Calorie Burn
- Improved Balance and Control
- Improved Posture and Stability
- Improved Cardiovascular and Muscular Endurance
While other fitness classes I attend emphasize big movements to burn more calories, Plana FORMA’s classes do a lot of pulsing in isolation, which induces a burning sensation in the muscles. Although I already knew to expect it, that didn’t ease the discomfort any. “This, too, shall pass,” I thought to myself and gritted my teeth.
Over the next 55 minutes we did a number of exercises that focused on the glutes, quads, shoulders, triceps, biceps abs, and back — parts of the body’s core. A strong core stabilizes movement and keeps you injury-free.
What separates Plana FORMA from other fitness regimens is that instead of using bulky gym equipment, the workout uses body weight with the aid of the barre.
A session usually starts with warm-up exercises using two sets of weights that work the upper body and the arms and a full body prep through push ups and a bit of core stability work. It then moves on to barre exercises which works the thighs, calves, hips, abs and seat muscles. The class is finished off with a cool-down through dynamic stretching.
As with any workout, when you’re doing something for the first time you should ease into it. Whenever I got to the point where a muscle felt like it would cramp, I would stop, and it was great that the teacher didn’t shame me into continuing that particular exercise. All it usually needed was a little shake to loosen things up, and I would get right back to work.
I felt some strain in my lower back when the teacher asked us to do a double toe tap in a supine position while my spine was in a hyperextended position instead of neutral (we were half on, half off a thick cushion), so I just didn’t do it. Remember that it’s the teacher’s job to push you, but in a safe manner. If you’re not at all comfortable with an exercise, let your teacher know. They should be able to give you options, or change the exercise.
Anyway, I survived the Core Class, which got all our endorphins pumping.
Plana FORMA offers classes that cater to different ability levels. There are also Zumba classes for when you want to shake, groove, and just dance.
Plana Forma in partnership with MFT Group of Companies Inc., is located on the 3rd Floor, Il Terrazzo Tomas Morato corner Scout Madriñan, Quezon City. For inquiries, you may call 0956-582-6858.