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Keeping the beat in a unique workout

Piloxing, Drums Alive classes attract women


Seaford’s Ladies Workout Express owner Jessica Reilly believes she is one of a few instructors licensed to teach piloxing and Drums Alive classes on Long Island.

“Those are a couple of unique programs you can only get here,” said Reilly, who has been teaching Drums Alive since 2013 and piloxing since 2014.

Piloxing combines pilates, boxing and dance. “You get some cardio in there and then you also get the core strengthening and toning,” Reilly said, adding that piloxing at Ladies Workout Express also helps with balance, which people can lose with age.

A Russian ballerina de-signed piloxing as a women’s exercise, but men can do it as well, according to Reilly. Drums Alive is for men and women.

Drums Alive is a legs, arms and cardio workout. Drumming has been scientifically proven to increase and create nerve pathways be-tween the brain and the hands, according to Reilly.

“We do it for hand-eye coordination — something that deteriorates as you age,” she said. “It’s also great for stroke victims and people with multiple sclerosis, because it helps their brain and body work better together with the rhythmic drumming and the movement.”

“While you’re always doing the hand-eye coordination and the working out and the cardio, you’re also building up memory skills,” Reilly added.

Instructors use a Drums Alive format and make the class their own. “For me, I play a lot with the music,” Reilly said. “I try to go with music that the ladies know, ’cause then they sing.”

Most of the women who attend the classes are residents of Seaford, Wantagh, Bellmore, Massapequa and surrounding communities.

Jean Colabella, of Seaford, said that Drums Alive is fun because it helps participant release frustrations. “One of the best things about this gym is I’ve been coming here [for] five years and I have made so many good friends,” Colabella said.

The background

Ladies Workout Express is among the few all-women’s workout centers in the area.

Reilly started as a member of Ladies Workout Express eight years ago. She said women travel far to workout there “because they don’t want to work out with men, or some of them have religious affiliations that require them to work out only with women.”

Reilly said the Ladies Workout Center was originally in Wantagh. When the former owner decided to move, she bought the place in 2011. This is its seventh year in operation. The center was moved to Seaford in 2012, and then relocated to its current site in January 2017 — a building shared with East Coast Karate on Merrick Road. “East Coast Karate’s owner is busy at night, I’m busy in the day, so it really just became a nice joining of the two spaces,” Reilly said.

“It’s a wonderful community of ladies who all support each other [and] who wouldn’t necessarily be going to the gym if it wasn’t for a place like this,” she said.

The center opens at 6 a.m. with ladies waiting at the door. Classes begin at 8:30 a.m. “We try to accommodate all the different levels,” Reilly said.

The center also offers evening classes starting at 6 p.m., which overlap with the Knock Out Kickboxing program offered by East Coast Karate. “Some of his people will take my classes and my people will take his classes,” Reilly said. “Being here has allowed us to offer even more to our patrons.”

Ladies Workout Express also has wellness programs, including essential oil workshops and meditations. “We try to keep it a whole body-and-mind approach, and we’re hoping to continue growing in that direction,” Reilly said.

She said she has been fighting to keep the center open through challenges such as Hurricane Sandy and financial changes in the area.

“But we’re still here,” she said. “I call this the labor of love because I truly love what I do. I love watching the ladies grow and surprising themselves as [to] what their physical bodies can do.”