Bodytree is well known in Abu Dhabi for its wide offering of Pilates, yoga and dance classes for kids and adults, and now it’s throwing signature Spin classes into the mix. They’re calling the two-in-one workout Spin Tribe and it features Pilates alongside a special type of bike known as the RealRyder.
Bodytree instructor Lindsey Corrado is responsible for introducing the RealRyder to the studio having been a big fan of the indoor bikes back in the US, and now we’re fans too. What sets the RealRyder apart from other indoor bikes is that it actually moves under you, challenging your balance and coordination and therefore making the experience of cycling more authentic.
“I just thought they were so unique,” says Corrado. “Compared to a static bike it’s a lot more challenging; your legs work a lot harder, you really feel your core working, and it’s just generally a lot more realistic and fun. I thought it would be so awesome to have this in Abu Dhabi.”
Not only are the legs and trunk more engaged pedalling a RealRyder, Corrado says you can expect to burn 20 per cent more calories compared to a static bike, too.
“It’s also actually better for people who have injuries or who are recovering from any because it doesn’t create that shearing effect that a static bike does,” she adds.
“It’s much better on the joints and back, et cetera.”
In a typical Spin Tribe class you are only on the bike for 30 minutes – the second portion is devoted to Pilates work – but Corrado still really makes you work for it tthrough a series of soundtrackbacked hills and speed intervals which really get your heart racing.
You’ll work up a sweat fast sitting and standing on the RealRyder during the bass-heavy tracks, as well as turning it from side to side to simulate cycling round sharp bends. This, of course, challenges your obliques as you lean your weight to keep the bike from springing back into place.
On top of all that, each bike comes with a pair of free weights too which no doubt you’ll end up grabbing for arm work before the session is done.
Just as quickly as it began, suddenly the half hour is up. Trainers off, the second half of the class is done on mats or the Reformer (basically a Pilates-specific bed with springs and weights). There we did lower-intensity work on the rest of the body.
But ‘lower-intensity’ doesn’t equate to less work. The Pilates segment is modelled after a circuit class where each exercise is done for a minute with very little rest in between. We did everything from twisted sit-ups and elevated pushups to roll-ups and swimmer kicks, with the emphasis being more on the core, back and glutes. Some Pilates props were also used to ensure we got every muscle working by session-end.
“Cycling and Pilates are just two activities I’m really passionate about and I thought putting them together to be such a great idea,” says Corrado.
“People like Pilates because it does well to sculpt and tone their bodies but wouldn’t it also be great to throw in a cardio component? Totally!
“A lot of my clients here at Bodytree come to me asking what they can do to lose weight and, yeah, Pilates can help with that but Spin Tribe, the cycling element, definitely gives you that extra push.
“In the end, I think Spin Tribe offers a nice balance for people because you’re working on the bike and then can use the Pilates component to really lengthen and stretch those muscles, whereas a typical Spin class doesn’t really allow you that time to stretch,” she adds.
Corrado says that for this reason this sort of class is also really popular with triathletes back in the US, “especially because of that real-bike feel with less pressure on the joints.”
So what do we think? It’s definitely up there with our favourite classes right now, especially because it keeps your brain and body so busy doing a variety of things that the time seems to go quicker.
At Dh120 a pop, you’re paying a bit more than normal but you’re getting the best of both worlds with high-intensity, cardio-heavy cycling and strengthening and lengthening Pilates in one exciting hour.
WHAT: Spin Tribe
WHEN: *Spin Tribe Mat – Sundays at 10:15 (ladies only), *Spin Tribe Reformer – Tuesdays at 19:00 (mixed), Wednesdays at 08:45 (ladies only), and Fridays at 09:00 (mixed)
WHERE: Bodytree Studio, Khalidiyah
COST: Dh120 a session (or Dh950 for 10 classes – valid for 3 months)
CONTACT: 02 443 4448, www.bodytreestudio.com