Sweat Test: Belly Pilates

Should you do it or ditch it? We try area classes so you don’t have to waste time — or money — on classes that don’t make the grade

What we want: To firm up our post-baby belly and get our pre-baby body back

What we tried: “Mommy ‘n Me” at Belly Pilates in Bryn Mawr on Monday, September 21, 2009, at 10:45 a.m.

Who was teaching: Belly Pilates Owner and certified master instructor of prenatal and pospartum Pilates, Kelly McBride

Student/teacher ration when we dropped by: 2:1  (classes are capped at four and by appointment only)

What we loved: A one-on-one assessment with Kelly helped immediately identify individual needs so we could spend the class working on the areas where we needed it most. We also loved the opportunity to engage with your baby while learning fundamental exercises for new moms – like how to properly hold your little sweetheart and how to use common movements to retrain your core muscles.

Did we sweat:  Definitely!  And there was a belly burn for days to follow. In a combination of muscle-toning exercises that emphasize your core, Kelly takes you through a series of movements designed to strengthen and tone your body with specific tips and techniques for post-pregnancy trouble areas like the abdomen and lower back.  The traditional Pilates mat work is tailored for the postpartum body and you feel an immediate increase in energy from your efforts.

Lockers/showers: No, but with baby in tow that wasn’t happening anyway.  There is a nice place to change and stash all your diaper bag gear and there’s no need to bring a mat – all equipment is provided.

Do it or Ditch it: If you’re looking for an entry back into exercise post-baby that will teach you a thing or two about how to move again, do it.  Kelly offers education and insight on how to handle your new “mommy body,” and the class provided a nice combination of stretching and breathing while working key muscles.  But the very best part of “Mommy ‘n Me” is the ability to bring and be with your baby: not having to search for a sitter means no excuses!

Your first class is free; $22/class after that with packages available at reduced rates.  Belly Pilates at Biotonic Wellness Studio, 827 W Lancaster Ave, Bryn Mawr . To schedule, call: 610-527-2530, bellypilates.com