The Arch is psyched to announce that Pilates classes with our very own resident crusher Xian are going to be starting this December at the Biscuit Factory! Classes will run in the mezzanine from 6:30 pm and will last for an hour. Classes will run on Thursday December, 7th, 14th and 21st and will then restart after Christmas on January 11th and run weekly. The class will cost £12 with a maximum class size of 8. 

Rather than waffle on about her, we thought we'd let her introduce herself to you all:


Hi I’m Xian! I like climbing, Pilates and buying socks. I manage the Arch shop by day, and teach climbing and now Pilates by night! In my spare time I mostly go climbing…

Occasionally I surprise myself and climb something pretty hard. Last year I managed a life goal of climbing Caroline V10. A few years ago I was very focused on competitions and finished 5th at the 2014 British Bouldering Championships. I also made this short film Girlie and Burly - it’s in the name! 

Please join me for a Pilates matwork class at the Biscuit Mezzanine every Thursday at 6.30pm.

This will be a functional strength building class that will focus on the main muscle groups and antagonists heavily represented in climbing. Through Pilates, we can improve core and joint stability, strengthen antagonist muscles and improve our posture. This will enable us to maintain good body mechanics whilst climbing, thus allowing for longer, more productive sessions.

Xian Poster-1.jpg

Pilates is an exercise system developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. He was born with many ailments - his body was twisted and stunted from rickets, rheumatic fever and asthma. Refusing to accept a life limited by his body, he developed a system of exercise that transformed him into a professional boxer, circus performer and self-defence instructor. As Pilates' reputation grew it was used to help rehabilitate soldiers on WW1 and later aided professional dancers to develop strong and flexible bodies.

I started practicing Pilates after a disc injury in my lower back. For weeks, I could not bend my spine which turns out to be surprisingly important for everyday things like putting on shoes! Walking was laborious and pain was constant. Through regular Pilates classes, I was able to rehabilitate incredibly well and 6 months from the point of injury I was back to full strength and climbing the hardest grades I had ever managed!

Pilates has since been my go-to for injury prevention and strength building. I trained with Alan Herdman, who himself was trained by Ron Fletcher and Carola Trier, both direct students of Joseph Pilates. Now I hope to spread the good word of Pilates to all climbers!

*This group class is only for individuals with no existing injuries. For rehab from injury, please get in touch separately for 1:1 lessons*

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