For the first four months of my pregnancy I just wanted to lie on the couch and moan about how sick I was. Now, things are looking up, and I am looking to get back to my old self! As soon as I heard about H-Kore’s Sweaty Mama class I knew that this was my chance at taking a preemptive strike at those baby pounds that are creeping up on the scale. While, I know some weight gain is good for baby, I also know that being healthy and working out through pregnancy boasts benefits for mamas and babes alike!
Cut to me strapped in a machine, sweating to Katy Perry!
H-Kore typically sounds hard-core, but for those in the pre and post-natal class, things are a bit less intimidating! Yes, the machines with all their straps and springs could frighten even the most dedicated gym rat, but it is even more overwhelming for an exercise-phobe like me! Luckily, trainer Evelyn calmly explained how the contraption worked before even the first bicep curl. Turns out it is quite simple to use and can work every muscle group just by adjusting this bar or that strap and within a few minutes I was navigating the machine like a pro! I also loved that I didn’t have to wear tennis shoes either (making stashing gym clothes in my bag that much easier). Most students are dressed in yoga wear, and special H-Kore socks that prevent slipping while you’re on the machine.
We started with a basic stretch then moved into an arm workout which utilised the straps and handlebars to work our back, chest, bi’s, tri’s and whatever other muscles lie deep within! Then we moved to legs and did a variety of leg lifts and kicks that left me shaking but feeling positive that I was doing something good for myself and my baby. The exercises use the Lagree Fitness technique and last for only one minute each, with each slow and controlled rep lasting at least four seconds. This workout is all about the quality of the movement rather than the quantity, making it a perfect pregnancy class. I really enjoyed this as it allowed to properly concentrate on my breathing and form, without worrying about how many reps I was getting in.
As the class was all new mamas and mamas-to-be, Evelyn took her time to explain what the exercises were working and why that would make a difference in our lives. Turns out mamas tend to give those biceps a workout lifting their tots all day, but often ignore their triceps, so the class gave us a chance to correct that! She also offered modified positions for the pre and post-natal students to accommodate either growing bellies or healing abdominals.
Just as I was getting tired out and working up a real sweat, it was time for the very welcome cool-down along with a gentle stretch session. I loved the high-energy music, which allowed me to sync my breath and movements with a beat, and even though I was doing movements that I don’t typically do (I’m typically a hatha yoga kind of girl!) I never felt out of my comfort zone. The best part was that I was actually a bit sore the next day… in a good way! Even preggers I felt like I got a good workout and couldn’t wait to go back! For now, there is only one pre-and-post-natal class per week on Fridays at 11am, but at my last session I heard chatter about adding a Monday session to the mix… you heard it from Sassy Mama first!
Another plus is that you can buy class packages and book all your classes via the H-Kore website. There is no sales pitch offering the “best” price and then later another “best” price. It is all spelled out on the site – plain, simple and fair! Prices range from $280-350 per class depending on how many sessions you purchase, and once you pay for a package just click over to the schedule and sign up for the classes you would like to book. You can book up to two weeks in advance, and a reminder email will be sent to you beforehand so you don’t forget about the promise you made to your body! The 2,800 square foot studio is located just next to Central MTR, making slipping away from the office an easier task! The changing room is small but beautiful and boasts all the amenities you need.
Overall, I loved the workout and experience and immediately came home and signed up for two more classes! Having a trainer that remembers your name and encourages you through the more strenuous movements sets this place apart from other classes that I have attended over the years. Plus, I really liked the chance to interact with other mamas-to-be! This has become my weekly treat to myself and I can’t wait for H-Kore to add a Monday class to the mix so that I can feel results all week long. If you are past the pregnancy sickness stage and want to do something great for your body then click over to H-Kore’s site and schedule a class!
And, no they don’t mind if you bring an airsickness bag into the studio… just in case!
H-Kore, 3/F Winsome Centre, 39 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong; Tel: 2441 9000; Email: [email protected]