Hemel Hempstead woman took her Pilates classes online to help her clients during lockdown

The Pilates instructor wanted to make sure her clients could keep active and have someone to talk to during lockdown

Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 9:43 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 9:45 am

A Pilates instructor from Hemel Hempstead took her classes online at the start of lockdown to help her clients during the coronavirus pandemic.

Jenna Horne, owner of Pilates with Jenna, moved her classes online in March so she could continue to help people when the country went into lockdown and businesses closed to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

She said: "When we got put into lockdown I quickly set up online to still run my classes for all my clients.

Jenna moved her classes online during lockdown

"As things went on, I realised these classes were more and more important, not only for fitness but for people's mental health and well-being.

"It was routine and communicating with someone, even if through a screen - we had chats as well as the Pilates."

Jenna adapted some classes and added more stretch and meditation to help with anxiety.

She added: "I already had my Pilates with Jenna page set up (@pilateswithjenna) on Facebook. I got in touch with all my clients and gave them all the details to enable them to join.

Jenna continued her classes to help her clients during the pandemic

"I set up a Private Live Classes Group, they just had to request to join.

"At this point I was also in touch with my regular Corporate client, Imagination Technologies.

"Usually I would run 4 classes a week in their offices in Kings Langley, which had closed, so I quickly set up a private group for them too, I have been running their classes in the same way, same time, every week.

"I have some clients who weren't on Facebook, so I went through setting up accounts for them, explaining that they only had to use the account for Pilates, they could even have fake names if they wanted!

Jenna teaching an online class

"I understood people were nervous and I already had some clients shielding and in the vulnerable category, but I wanted to keep helping them and felt it was even more important to keep them healthy at this time.

"At first I kept to my original class timetable. I wanted everyone to be able to keep in their routine. As time passed I added in extra classes, some Pilates HIIT, mobility, body focused classes and stretch and de-stress classes.

"I stayed in regular contact with everyone through Whatsapp, email and even the odd Zoom call, just to chat and catch up!

"People told me what they needed, what difficulties they were finding being at home, children, working from home etc, and I came up with ways to work around or with this.

"I would offer 20 or 30 minute classes, instead of 45 minutes or an hour. I listened to what they wanted, and added in the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to get their heart rates up. Giving them different options for different abilities.

"I had been planning a new stretch and de-stress class, but hadn't been able to find a hall and time to offer this, so going online meant I could!

"This is a 45 minute class of Pilates, stretch with a 10 minute meditation/relaxation at the end and proved very popular!

"The best bit about being on Facebook was that although I do workouts live, they are then saved and can be done at any time. So they don't have to watch me live, can fit them in whenever they like and have a huge library of videos to choose from.

"On top of this I tried to keep the prices as low as possible. They were getting access to 4 Live Pilates classes, 3 Pilates HIIT classes and 1 or 2 body focused or mobility classes a week!

"Plus the library of classes now there."

Pilates aims to strengthen the whole body, particularly focused on the abdominals area of the body to improve fitness, health, well-being.

Regular Pilates can help with muscle tone, improve posture, balance and joint mobility and help with pain caused my illness or health conditions.

Jenna said: "Its creator, Joseph Pilates, believed that physical and mental health were very closely connected.

"So during a worldwide pandemic it was even more important to keep peoples physical fitness levels up, but also their mental health fitness too."

Once the Government lifted some of the restrictions, Jenna started to do some outdoor Pilates classes, she started running small classes in the garden, with 5 clients.

Jenna added: "Everyone brings their own mat, I have also sold off a lot of my equipment, resistance bands and balls, so people can bring their own to class from now on.

"With all the Risk Assessments in place now, I hope to start going back to my face to face classes in community halls as I did before, and from January to Imagination to once again teach their well needed lunchtime classes. But I will continue my Online classes forever!

"If any other Corporate clients would like online or in office classes to offer their employees, please do get in touch!"

For more information visit Jenna's Facebook page or visit: www.pilateswithjenna.co.uk.