Core strength

As a low-impact sport, Pilates is the ideal form of exercise in the draining Doha summer

Core strength

Developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, the discipline, which concentrates on strengthening the body and improving breathing techniques, has seen a rise in popularity in recent years, including here in Doha.

“Pilates is beneficial for the whole body,” Michelle Scott from Real Pilates tells Time Out. “It has a much lower impact on joints compared to sports such as running, and it can be really tailored to the individual.

“We see a variety of people taking it up, from those who are coming back from injury, to others who want to improve muscle tone and some who want to get fitter. The best thing is that everyone can be in one class.”

Traditional mat-based Pilates sessions are most common, but classes using equipment such as reformers have seen a rise, too.

“Reformers used to only be seen in smaller, boutique studios, and so costs were very high,” adds Scott. “But now they’re more common and therefore less expensive.

“Some people think they work harder on a reformer, but it’s down to the individual as you can use the springs to either challenge or assist you.”

So, is Pilates for you?

“We recommend it to people who need to work on their posture as well as those who sit down all day, as it can reduce neck or lower back tension,” Scott says. “It can also enhance other exercises such as lifting weights. It’s popular with people who aren’t comfortable in a gym, too.”

To really see results you’ll need to practise two or three times a week, but with hot season still sneakily lurking around, it’s the perfect time to give it a try.
QR75. Tuesdays 10.15am-11.15am. Evolve’s In-Trinity Pilates. B/Attitude, West Bay,

Three more top positions

Leyla Unsal, pilates instructor, shows us three positions to try with an elevated fitness board.

Side plank

Work your core muscles and strengthen your shoulders, wrists and arms.

Pelvic bridging with leg lift

Strengthens the abdominals, glutes and hamstrings. It is agreat exercise to increase the lumbo-pelvic stability.

Quadruped leg raise

This position targets the glutes, hips and hamstrings as well as working the core while keepingthe abs engaged.

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