With minimal equipment required, its full-body burn and both mental and physical benefits, Pilates might just be the ultimate lockdown workout.
“It’s all your body needs – it’s low impact and so addictive,” Sascha Olive tells Broadsheet.
It’s also an exercise format that suits being online. Enter Olive and her business partner Nicole Clarke Mitchell’s new digital destination Sculpt, which is helping Pilates devotees maintain their abs, butts and sanity during lockdown and beyond.
Pre-lockdown, they operated under the banner of Sculpt by the Sea in various studios across Bondi, Tamarama and Rushcutters Bay. The co-founders decided to take the community they’d created offline and cater to their Pilates needs online.
“We pride ourselves on our inclusiveness and felt that being tied exclusively to studios in the eastern suburbs did not facilitate this,” says Olive. “We wanted to be able to reach more people, allow flexibility for those who are busy, and just offer more options for more clients to enjoy the benefits.”
Sculpt offers a variety of live classes throughout the week – it’s currently running a spring challenge – but there’s also an on-demand library so you can tune in for a class whenever suits. Classes target a range of areas: total body, glutes and obliques, the upper body, core and inner thighs. A selection of “back to basics” videos give beginners an entry point to what, on the outside, can seem like an unapproachable pastime. Classes can be booked as one-offs for $12, in packs or as part of recurring memberships.
Olive and Clarke Mitchell both have a background in classical ballet. But far from channelling that discipline’s stiff upper lip into their Pilates practice, they want to inject fun into it – while taking a form, control and technique-first approach.
“Years of classical ballet training gives you an eye for technique that is incomparable,” says Clark Mitchell. “We want to make Pilates fun without sacrificing technique and control. We also wanted to bring back that Jane Fonda energy and take the elitism out of Pilates. In the studio, pre-Covid, we had a strong element of dancer’s rhythm in our classes and it was so much fun. Everyone would match their timing and tempo to the music and it was like a Pilates party.”