Pilates, TRX, kettlebell and bodyweight training. I have tried it all!
As a SchlossGhost in a sports hotel, it is clear what I mainly do in my free time: Sport! Most of our guests are also very active and do a lot of sports. This is particularly noticeable at the beginning of the year. It's probably the same for everyone: after the holidays, we feel all the more like exercising. In addition, exercise, whether indoors or outdoors, also helps to combat the January blues. As well as skiing, biking and hiking, I also like to try out new sports. Of course, it suits me that we offer our guests at the SchlossHotel free fitness and yoga classes every day. And external visitors can also easily book the classes directly online.
"Change happens through movement and movement heals" (Joseph Pilates).
This is also how I got the idea to try Pilates with our trainer Constanze. This whole-body workout focuses on the deep, postural and core muscles and consists of a combination of strengthening, stretching and relaxation exercises. Pilates promotes body awareness and ensures a slim, supple body. Generally speaking, precise execution and flowing movements are important. Flexibility, strength, balance and coordination are trained. The focus on the various principles such as breathing, centering or the length of the spine reinforces the effect of the method. Constanze often talks about the powerhouse. At first I had no idea what this meant. But then she explained to me that it refers to the deepest abdominal muscles. Pilates is usually practiced on a mat, often with additional small equipment. Balls, bands, circles or rollers add variety to the exercises. Pilates is the perfect complement to endurance training and I have had much less back pain since I started doing it regularly. By the way, Pilates was invented by Joseph Pilates, who also developed large equipment for it, but this is not necessary for training and is therefore only offered in designated Pilates studios.
Constanze not only teaches Pilates, but also TRX training. This stands for Total Resistance Exercise, originates from the USA and is also called sling training or suspension training. You train with your own body weight on two ropes hanging from the ceiling. Because the ropes are constantly in motion, the body has to do a lot of stabilizing work, which makes the training very demanding. For the exercises, you usually use the attached handles - both for the hands and the feet. Training can be done in all basic positions: Standing, lying on one’s back or side position as well as sitting or on all fours. When training, special attention must be paid to two things: the correct starting position and body tension. Another important point to consider is where you focus. The difficulty of an exercise changes depending on whether you are standing in front of, behind or directly under the anchorage point of the TRX bands. Depending on fitness and ability, the difficulty of the exercises can be adjusted, including the number of repetitions or the speed of execution. With this in mind, training is suitable for everyone, no matter how athletic. Our trainer Constanze combines classic TRX training with many stretching exercises. I particularly enjoy that: I'm still a beginner in this sport and don't like it so strenuous yet.
Constanze is a former dancer and loves the combination of building strength with TRX and increasing control and flexibility of the body with Pilates. I can totally relate to that. And it's also fun!
Another workout that I really like and also many don't know about is Kettlebell. Our trainer Phoebe Griffiths is originally a ski instructor and taught all over the world before arriving in Zermatt – and never left. Health is very important to her and that's why she also teaches fitness classes to build strength. Kettlebell training in particular focuses on this, however also increases endurance, balance, flexibility and coordination through a series of dynamic exercises lifting, swinging and holding a weight. Because kettlebell training involves the whole body and is low-impact, it is suitable for all fitness levels. The weights can be reduced or increased depending on strength and the exercises can thus be adapted to individual needs.
A good exercise for beginners is to swing the weight around the body. Standing upright, you swing a kettlebell around you, passing it from hand to hand. This tests core stability and arm strength. A great advanced exercise is the kettlebell swing, which challenges all the main muscle groups, core stability and coordination. Phoebe's favourite exercise, by the way, is the overhead lunge because it uses all the major muscle groups: leg strength, upper body strength in the shoulder press, core stability in the overhead lift and, most importantly, coordination in combining the movements. Very strenuous, I think!
As a spirit, I particularly enjoy exercising with my own body weight because I hardly have to exert myself! But I also like to just watch circuit training because it seems to be a lot of fun for all ages and, according to Phoebe, it is suitable for everyone because the exercises can easily be adapted to an individual fitness level. If she has her way, exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time are best as they maximize the productivity of the training session. An example is the so-called "frog burpee". You start in a squat position and jump your feet out over your hands. Then you return the squat and jump into a plank. A challenging affair. And this exercise not only trains the strength and flexibility of the lower body, but also promotes shoulder stability and torso and cardiovascular strength all in one!
An exercise for beginners is the rolling side plank. You start in a side plank and then slowly roll to the other side. For those more advanced, it's more like the stand-up. You lie on your back and roll to a standing position without using your arms. Then you jump over an obstacle like a block or a step.
Besides classes, I also like to visit our gym, which is open daily from 6am to 11pm. It has 180m2 of modern Technogym equipment and a functional area. Strength exercises and endurance training in particular keep you fit and give you power for outdoor activities. If you would like some professional tips, you can book a personal trainer.