SAYEH'S LIVING LITHE! 29 Jun 2011
Lithe Passport. 61 days. 40 classes. My trip has already begun.
What you need: Yourself, no gloves necessary
Props: Gam Gear (stretchy, knit thigh-high tights)
Clothing Considerations: Cropped pants, makes pulling the tights up over your legs much easier than flowy yoga pants. (I wouldn’t wear shorts. Your legs might be sweaty and itchy if there’s no barrier between you and the tights.)
Sweat Factor: Get ready to glisten!
If you were to walk into a Hot Legs class in progress, you might think you stepped into a scene from Black Swan* (minus the making out with Mila Kunis). You’d see a room full of girls, wearing uniform tights, standing with one hand at the barre, lifting their legs in unison into the center of the room. You might even hear Krista yelling ATTACK IT! ATTACK IT! like the crazed French instructor that tortures the dancers (again, minus the weird making out).
I know I felt like I was in a warped, yet graceful ballet lesson. The entire 60 minutes is spent at the barre (yes, that’s right; no mat action here), and as such I definitely started hallucinating half way through the class. No wonder Natalie Portman’s character goes crazy! Barre work is HARD! After just an hour of leg lifts, lunges, FOSW and tucking and squeezing, I’m pretty sure my reflection turned around and gave me (and Krista) an evil glare.
You can expect to do any and everything you’ve ever done at the barre in this class. It ain’t called Hot Legs for nothin! The Gams Gear is pretty stretchy (if they fit over my thighs, they’ll fit over your calves), and keeps your legs warm and pulled tight as you take them to the limit. Although, tucking and squeezing was a bit tough for me, as my feet were slipping in the socks.
This class is definitely a challenge. At one point, during a ridiculous push up series (it’s like no other push up I’ve ever done), I definitely thought I saw feathers poking their way out of my skin. I’m pretty sure losing your mind a little bit means you’re getting an amazing workout!
If you’ve never seen Black Swan, this was probably completely useless to you. I apologize. But, you should see it. It’s entertaining. Then take Hot Legs. You’ll see what I mean.
What you need: Gloves!
Props: Lithe’s Higher Power Band System
Clothing Considerations: Whatever you’re comfortable in
Sweat Factor: Time to get your shine on!
I think Waspie is the Beatles of Lithe classes. Everybody likes it! No matter what age or shape or fitness level, I consistently hear people in the locker room talking about how much they LOVE Waspie.
This doesn’t come as a surprise to me since it feels like a little bit of Cinch, a little bit of Twiggy and a lot of results! For the first half of the class, you concentrate on the upper body with waist defining moves and rotations. The second half of the class, you focus more on your lower body doing curtsies and several gravity defying moves on one leg that take time to master. And of course the bands ensure that the rest of your body is engaged, regardless of what is being specifically targeted during a series.
Here’s a tip: Really listen to your instructor’s cues. Breathing is key in Waspie. Some moves may not initially strike you as super challenging, but if you truly focus on your Lithe breath, you’ll feel the difference and get a deep ab/waist workout.
I have to say that since I’ve been going to Waspie on Friday afternoons, I can see definition in my midsection that I’ve never had before. It’s a must-take class for anyone looking flatten their tummies. You’ll twist. The instructors will shout. And you’ll walk away feeling like you definitely worked it on out! (worked it on out!)
6 stops down...only 34 to go. Next up? Stems and Walk Star!
See you in class!
Images of Lithe Instructors, Heather Burt and Liz Galbally in Hot Legs and Lauren Boggi & Bari Rosenthal in Waspie via Dom