Monday, 3 March 2014

Sleek Technique: Bringing Ballet To Your Workout

The day before a 10k PB attempt probably isn't the best time to try out a new class but I'm not known for being sensible… Some time ago I happened upon an offer to try an online Sleek Technique class for free. I kept this in the back pocket and finally found an opportunity to "cash it in". Sleek Technique, for the uninitiated, was founded by Victoria and Flik, professional dancers and firm friends who have devised a set of fitness classes heavily influenced by ballet that you can take in the comfort of your own home, either via live classes over the internet or by following streaming videos. No ballet or dance experience necessary!
Image © Sleek Technique
I chose a live 30 minute Sprint class with Bonnie, sent off my email request and got my confirmation and  instructions in return. You need to download a piece of software to take part in the class but there are full instructions in the email and I found it very quick and easy to do and Bonnie helped me to make sure my laptop was set up properly before class started for real, making sure it was at the correct height and I was happy with the privacy settings. I chose to be able to see and be seen by all the participants so I could check I was doing the right thing but you can choose for only the instructor to see you.

There were four of us taking part in the class, all in our living rooms (including Bonnie). All we needed was a mat or towel and a bit of space. Some classes involve a little "barre" work and a chair comes in handy but we kept it basic on this occasion. Bonnie was really encouraging and gently pointed out when corrections should be made. She led us through a warm up, a more strenuous cardio section and some floor work concentrating on the abs. Some ballet terminology was used and it was all explained and easy to follow. The class was fun yet challenging and the time flew by. It was great to try something a bit different and I could see how this would benefit and compliment any training I do as a runner. Do not underestimate the power of the plie… my legs ached for four days!!

Sleek Technique have lots of different types of classes so there's bound to be something to suit you, whether you want a quick workout, a boot camp style session, something to help with flexibility or a full on ballet workout. You can pay as you go, for a month at a time or get unlimited access to all live and streaming classes. You can even get private classes if you want.
Image © Sweaty Betty
There's currently a great offer of £10 for 10 days unlimited access which I would definitely suggest you take up if this has whetted your appetite. However if you want to try before you buy the Sleek Technique ladies are running free ballet bootcamp classes at Sweaty Betty boutiques across the UK and there's also a free online ballet bootcamp class on the Sweaty Betty website as part of their Get Fit For Free campaign.

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