FORGET going to the gym or swimming, a session of pole dancing and circus skills is the new way to get fit for mums.
The unconventional fitness regime has become all the rage in Leigh Park.
Mums leave their toddlers to play while they strut their stuff on the poles or perform gravity-defying moves on the aerial hoop and silks.
There are now more than 50 mums at Tiger Tone Studio, in Fulflood Road, and many men are trying it out to tone up too.
Louise Horstead, a 31-year-old mum-of-two, joined after having her daughter Amelia and said it was a life-changing decision.
She said: ‘Before I joined, I was overweight having just had my second child, and I felt very down about myself. I couldn’t see any way of getting back to being “me”.
‘My friend suggested I went along to classes with her.
‘I just watched, as I didn’t feel comfortable to start with, then seeing the aerial hoop, silks, and pole exercises. It didn’t take long for me to give it a go, and once I started, I couldn’t get enough.
‘The buzz and feeling of success and achievement was just brilliant. Each week I worked on different tricks and postures to get it right and push myself that little bit harder.’
Louise, of Silvester Road, Cowplain, is now stronger and more flexible than she ever thought possible.
She said: ‘I have amazed myself, lost almost two stone and dropped two dress sizes. I feel confident and motivated.
‘My weight loss has also made me re-evaluate my and my young family’s diet and the amount of exercise we all do.’
Danielle Tull, 28, a mum-of-one, of Blackbird Close, Wecock, is another regular.
She said: ‘I was looking for a different kind of fitness.
‘I was just swimming and going to the gym and I found it quite repetitive.
‘This is so much fun. You don’t feel like you are doing any exercise. I have lost two stone in weight. It’s brought out confidence in me I didn’t know I had.’
The studio is run by seasoned dancer Natalie Sabiston Cripps.
The 28-year-old, from Paulsgrove, said: ‘It’s a lot of fun. People always say they don’t realise they are working out until they wake up the next day and they can’t get out of bed!’