“I love doing Callanetics because after class I can change, and go to work without needing a shower. Because it’s no-impact, Callanetics doesn’t leave you wringing with sweat, but you feel energised and you know you’ve exercised,” says 63-year-old Sue Lee, who’s been coming to class for 12 years.
Sue Lee is one of a dedicated band of Gold Coast Callanetics ‘pulsers’ who attend Lead Global Callanetics trainer Sandra Hanna’s boutique studio for an hour-long workout. Many have been coming for years, and continue because the gentle stretch and pulse movement is as effective as it is addictive.
“In Callanetics you use your own body as a weight machine. You don’t have to leap up and down or bend yourself into a pretzel to get results. The tiny pulse movement is the key to better core strength, balance, posture, and flexibility, as well as an improved sense of wellbeing,” Sandra Hanna says.
While aerobic exercise has its place, the trademark Callanetics ‘pulse’ lifts, and sculpts the body, which results in a leaner look.
The idea behind Callanetics is to lengthen and relax the muscles when training. It activates the body’s deepest muscles through a series of stretching and contracting exercises that use tiny, gentle and precise movements known as ‘pulses’. They are done slowly, reaching deep into the muscle which in turn will give you a strong firm body without adding bulk.
“This increases oxygen and blood flow, which means students feel and look years younger,” Hanna says.
Sue Lee’s daughter Angela, 28, has been coming to callanetics since she was 18 and loves the barre exercises.
“I enjoy the mental focus and the meditative quality of the exercises, as well as how good my body looks after a workout. I feel a good burn afterwards which lasts for several days,” she says.
Anne has been a regular practitioner of callanetics for over 12 years.
“I’ve just had a bone density check, and it’s increased by 36 per cent,” Anne says. “I was told this was an ‘amazing result’ and at 77 years old I’m pretty proud of myself!”
Sandra Hanna says that people of all ages and level of ability can do callanetics and feel the benefits almost immediately.
“For best results, a callanetics student could aim to do two to three classes a week,” Sandra says. However, Sandra has also seen remarkable results from students who attend one class a week.
Fifty-six-year-old Moonie lives with rheumatoid arthritis and does a weekly class. “My mobility has improved so much and this has far exceeded my expectations,” she says.
Callanetics was first popular in the 1980s when its founder Callan Pinckney put out books and videos that still rank well on the fitness DVD charts.
Sandra Hanna has enhanced the program to include biomechanics and alignment principles, which make the exercises even more effective.
“My students incorporate these into their day and it’s wonderful to see them take control over their body’s ageing process,” Sandra says.
According to the official Callanetics website, ” Callanetics produces the fastest results in the shortest possible time -with no injuries. At the same time it protects and strengthens your back. The tiny, precise, delicate pulsing movements will also work your heart in a very gentle way”.
Exercise for the over-60s is one surefire way of boosting your odds of ageing well. If you aren’t doing any activity, perhaps Callanetics is the exercise for you.