Instructor Colleen Manning leads a Piloxing class at Studio Pilates in Red Deer.

Piloxing: it’s pilates with a kick

Sleek. Sexy. Powerful. That’s the mantra for a trending fitness routine still emerging in Canada known as piloxing, a mix of high energy dance moves, kickboxing and pilates.

Sleek. Sexy. Powerful.

That’s the mantra for a trending fitness routine still emerging in Canada known as piloxing, a mix of high energy dance moves, kickboxing and pilates.

In Red Deer, women can try out the muscle-toning and sweat-heavy cardio workout at Studio Pilates in the downtown.

It’s one of roughly 30 places across Canada that offers the fitness class and one of the few in Alberta (there are only two other piloxing-friendly studios, both in Calgary).

“I was hooked after my first class,” said Carey Walkey of Red Deer. She has gone to four piloxing classes and plans to continue going once a week.

“The high energy is just great and I do pilates on the side so I like how it incorporates those principles,” said Walkey, 40.

“I’m also a runner, training for half marathons and I work out six days a week so this is a really great compliment to all the other things.”

Piloxing started in Red Deer in February 2013 after Studio Pilates owner Colleen Manning and pilates expert and fellow instructor Jude Colley travelled to Los Angeles for a training course with the piloxing brand creator, Viveca Jensen, a body builder, trained boxer, master pilates teacher and professional dancer.

The duo had tried it out at a fitness conference they attend annually and fell in love with it, Manning said.

“Pilates is a passion of ours so this brought in a little bit more high-energy music, and the boxing and dance makes it great fun. … It’s a way to expand our pilates program and include some cardio training.”

The classes switch back and forth from fast-paced punching and squatting poses to slow pliés to deep lunges, and wraps up with pilates mat work on the floor.

“It’s sweaty and you don’t even realize how hard you’re working. It’s an interval class so we take the intensity up and down so it’s manageable,” said Manning, who is now an elite piloxing instructor.

Everything is done barefoot for ultimate balance and stability building, and participants have the option of trying out weighted gloves, specially designed for piloxing, that tone the arms and maximize cardiovascular health.

“A lot of people who come have knee issues. … When the feet and lower leg are strong and stable, the calf muscles are balanced and trained, that translates into healthier knees and hips,” Manning said, explaining the benefits of working out barefoot.

She added piloxing is for those of all ages, of any fitness level and, despite the routine predominantly attracting women, men are also welcome. One man has so far attended the piloxing classes in Red Deer, and Manning hopes to see more in the future.

For Lexi Ohlhauser, who has been going about once a week for the past year, piloxing is her preferable method of fitness.

“It’s still challenging because they are always coming up with new choreography for people who have been there all along, while still catering to beginners. I just love the energy. The instructors are encouraging and push you in a positive way. I’d go every day if I could,” she said.

Ohlauser, 26, first tried the class with her mother, who also continues to go, and said she’s noticed an increase in her body strength overall.

“You really do feel sleek, sexy and powerful when you come out.”

Colley and Manning will be heading to New York next month to take the piloxing bar (as in a ballet bar) training, a new program rolled out recently by Jensen. Manning hopes to have a piloxing bar class up and running later this summer.

Piloxing is offered on Mondays at 10:15 a.m., Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. It is a drop-in class and the first one for newcomers is free. For more information or to register for piloxing, visit

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