Equinox Class Review: Core Synergy

This post is part of my 2017 New Year’s Resolution to try every group fitness class offered at my gym, The Equinox in Chestnut Hill. See the full list of reviews here.


First, check out the awesome socks that my mom knit! You can slide in a heel cup gel orthotic and the sock holds it beautifully in place. She made herself several pairs when she had plantar fasciitis because she loves going barefoot so much that she couldn’t stand spending her day in sneakers. I’m borrowing her sock stash and her gel orthotics (thanks Mom!) and they worked perfectly for today’s barefoot class in the yoga studio.

You can find knitting instructions for her heel-cup socks on her Ravelry page: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/PDamon/heel-cup-sock (you’ll need to login first)

Today’s Class: Core Synergy with Josie Gardiner

Class length: 60 minutes

Description from the EquinoxCore Synergy focuses on functional core training that not only improves core strength, postural alignment, spinal stability and balance but will also shape and tone your muscles right where it counts! This non-traditional approach guarantees fast results!

What Class Was Like

Packed! Everyone had enough space, so not packed in a bad way, but this class has a pretty strong following and today was no exception. I counted over 30 people attending.

Core Synergy was low-impact (not a single jump sequence!) and focused on strength and flexibility. Lots of core and leg work with some barbell work for the arms. Some of the exercises targeted shoulder and hip mobility. Josie demonstrated modifications by showing Stages 1, 2, or 3 of many exercises so participants could easily select an appropriate difficulty level.

A reminder: just because a class is low-impact or easy to modify doesn’t mean it’s not a challenging workout. This was a core and leg burner. Yes, it’s welcoming to beginners and older adults. No, it’s not easy.

Sample Exercises

  • Leg lifts
  • Squats of all varieties
  • Balance work using one foot on the block
  • Cat and cow, child’s pose and other light stretching mixed in between the strength work
  • High planks with arm or toe taps
  • Bridge work
  • Barbell work

A little loyalty

I was chatting with someone in the next pool lane this morning between laps, and she wondered how many people The Equinox would lose to a new gym opening in the area. I told her I wouldn’t even consider leaving. I joined because it was so clean, but my loyalty now goes beyond sparkling floors and the scent of eucalyptus. It’s the people that make the Equinox what it is, and the more classes I take, the more impressed I am with Equinox’s instructors. (And of course the maintenance team responsible for those sparkling floors, and my amazing swim teacher, Brittany!)

Josie Gardiner

Today I took a class from Josie Gardiner. She’s a cancer survivor and a co-author of The Breast Cancer Survivor’s Guide to Fitness. She is the developer of Zumba Gold, a specially designed Zumba class for older adults.  She’s been teaching for over 35 years, but to see her hold a plank you’d think she was 35. It’s a privilege to take a class from someone who brings so much experience and who reminds us with her very presence that we can overcome great challenges and live long, healthy and agile lives. I can just picture her walking out of a Zumba class saying “That was great! But you know what we need? To make it more accessible for older adults.” And then making it happen. Beyond impressive. Read more about Josie here: http://colby-sawyer.edu/currents/articles/Josie-Gardiner.html

Back to Class! Who would love it?

Anyone looking for a good core and leg workout with some flexibility worked in. No real cardio, so a great complementary class for people who get their cardio elsewhere.

Also Try

  • Pilates Fusion
  • Pilates
  • Barre
  • Aquasport


Know before you go

  • Leave shoes outside the studio in available cubbies and take class barefoot (recommended) or in socks (could be slippery).
  • If your mat is slippery, make sure the logo is facing up. There’s a right and wrong side.
  • If you use one of the gym mats, don’t roll it and put it back. They clean them after every class, so pile them in the center of the floor.
  • Arrive a few minutes before to set up your station – equipment will vary but we used barbells, a block, a ball, and a hoop.

PS – Are you a woman over 50 in the Boston area?

I met two women at the gym who are organizing a workshop event about being your best over 50! It’s on May 17th at Babson College. I love this idea. I’ve gotten so much out of the lectures I’ve attended about parenting through my mother’s forum and I love seeing resources to help us live our best lives at every life stage. If you’re interested, you can learn more at www.shedidit.com.



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  1. Wow thank you so much and so happy you liked the class! Enjoyed having you in class.

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