If you’ve never tried a megaformer workout, here is some background on what to expect in your first HSM | Core class: a 40 minute workout combining cardio, strength, endurance and flexibility. The clock never stops, making transitions between exercises quick and efficient. Don’t be surprised if you hear something you typically don’t hear during most workouts—”How slow can you possibly go?” Unlike most group fitness classes, movements on the megaformer are slow and controlled to activate slow-twitch, fat-burning muscle fibers.
Coming from a division I collegiate background, I can testify that it’s been drilled into most of our heads when working out we need to “pick up the pace” or “hustle” because the first one to the line wins… right? Wrong. Not in this class. The slower you go, the better. Check out 6 of my favorite megaformer moves below.
- Grizzly Bear
- Bear + tricep push up combo: Move from a plank position, to a table top position—using only the lower abs. From there, extend legs back out into a plank, and add a tricep pushup. This move is extremely beneficial for strengthening the lower abs (transverse abdominis) while also targeting the triceps.
- Elevator Lunge
- Essentially a single leg lunge, great for toning and strengthening the quads, hamstrings and glutes. It challenges your balance as you’re lunging on the platform surface, forcing you to engage your core. Personally, this move has helped me so much to work on strength, stabilization and flexibility specifically in my injured leg (I still have a partially torn ACL from college sports).
- Standing inner thighs
- Standing inner thighs on the megaformer is a move that targets your inner thighs like no other machine can. Before I came to HSM | Core I had never worked this part of my legs and couldn’t open the carriage very wide without feeling like I was going to fall—don’t worry. As you get stronger, you slowly start to inch the carriage closer and closer to the back platform. You will immediately feel your heart rate rise when you hit that “furthest point” (hello cardio). If you are doing this move correctly, you should feel a burn not just throughout your inner thighs, but your glutes and your core—you just have to go… slow.
- Body saw
- A great move to really find control and focus on your transverse abdominis. You’ll feel as you rock your shoulders back away from your elbows, your core fires up the further you go. In addition, you feel a really good stretch through the side body, as you work your lats and your triceps too.
- Squats on the megaformer vs squats on the ground…. Very different. When doing a squat on the megaformer you are forced to use your inner thighs to keep the carriage still. Just like on the floor, you want to focus on keeping the weight heavy in the heels so you feel more tension in the hamstrings, glute and quads. Unlike the floor, you are doing this standing on the platform surface, so another point of focus here is balance and stability—which means the core has to be engaged!
- Kneeling shoulder press
- This is another move that challenges balance, targets the core and the shoulders at the same time. You want to focus on a tight rib cage, controlling your arms as you press them overhead. After just a few reps your arms will be shaking, and your heart rate will be rising (yet again, cardio!)