Whole Body

Stretch, Tone, Sweat

Keeping your beach body in shape at Luxe Fitness Club in South Kingstown


It’s the morning of July 5. I’m regretting every barbecue-covered decision I made yesterday, and I’m praying I make it through the next hour of Awesome Arms & Pilates with Debbie Durniak alive.

Walking into the fitness studio at Luxe Fitness Club, the first thing I noticed was how wonderfully air-conditioned the room was, being someone who suffers from constant upper lip perspiration during the month of July. The second thing that immediately struck me was how welcoming and energetic Debbie, our instructor, was. When helping me setup for Awesome Arms, a half hour of upbeat arm exercises, Debbie suggested I go for the smaller weights (phew!) and asked if I had any neck or back issues as a newcomer to the class. Being a personal trainer for the past 32 years, she is in awesome shape. However I was happy to hear her share that she too enjoyed Del’s & Grey Goose cocktails during the Fourth. I love a gal who adds vodka at the sign of the lemon.

After a brief warm-up and stretch session, our biceps and triceps were getting toned to the beat of Enrique Iglesias and Katy Perry. The arm exercises were varied enough so that it never felt too repetitive, and Debbie also offered modifications for each exercise for those of us with neck or back issues. There was an exercise for each arm muscle, with my favorite being the “skull crusher.” Not nearly as scary as it sounds, this triceps’ workout felt easy at first but by the last repetition I could feel the burn. In addition to weights, Debbie incorporated pushups, planks and mountain climbers. Though I don’t have neck or back issues, I do occasionally break a sweat while walking up the steps, so my arms thank her very much for the modified version of each.

Before I knew it, the class was over, making it the quickest half hour of 2016 so far. We were now moving into the next class: Pilates. This involved two toning balls, a stretch band and the softest, squishiest, most comfortable workout mat that I wish I could have taken with me. I was excited for Pilates because I thought it involved a lot of sitting and laying down. I quickly realized that this was a “core” workout. My stomach muscles, inner thighs, outer thighs, arms, lower back and lower lower back were going to lift, push, roll, tuck and lift some more.

Back to the workout props. Debbie incorporated them into each workout, making a seemingly standard exercise, dare I say… fun? Anything disguised as fun to trick me into exercising I am a huge proponent of. A half hour had yet again flown by and it was now time for my favorite part of any workout – the cool down. Debbie made sure we thoroughly stretched and relaxed our muscles to calming background music, and I wished the cool down lasted for another half hour.

I’m looking forward to my next class at Luxe, as they have a wide range of about 20 different classes to choose from, from cardio and muscle conditioning, to spin, zumba and step and yoga. Knowing they have plenty of showers and changing space is also a great reason to burn off some calories and boost those endorphins before work. Is it too late to make my New Year’s Resolution?

Luxe Fitness Club
55 Village Square Drive, South Kingstown