My friend is seriously obsessed -- in the healthiest way possible. Like me, she's a bride-to-be and has wanted to get extra fit for her walk down the aisle. But instead of hitting the gym, she's been going to the ballet barre -- for a Pilates, yoga, strength training, and orthopedic stretching workout class like no other. Several times a week. And it shows!
After talking about coming to a class for weeks, I finally got a chance to check it out, too. I figured it may be the perfect way to round out my aggressive personal training sessions and spinning/elliptical cardio regimen. But while it is definitely unlike the sweatier, heart-pounding workouts I've been doing, it is NO JOKE!
People who poo poo yoga and Pilates-style workouts, who believe there's no way you could ever break a sweat while exercising barefoot need to try a barre workout! Because oh my -- it's probably the closest thing any of us could get to working out like a ballerina. And getting lean, strong muscles as a result.
To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect. Stretching? Maybe some moves up on my tiptoes? Pfft, how hard could that be?! It's funny -- when my legs were shaking and quaking (but so were seasoned vets'!) in one tiptoed squat position, I was thinking this is the kind of workout men might scoff at but then actually cry over! Ha.
But as challenging as moments like that were, the overall experience was exhilirating. I didn't want it to be over, because every time I nailed certain moves (like the ones where you take a medicine ball between your legs and squeeze in on it while doing bridges on the floor, OMG), I felt so empowered! And like I really accomplished something my body would thank me for later -- physically, yes, but also mentally and emotionally.
There's a cute, right-on quote displayed in the studio lobby that reads, "You're one workout away from a good mood." There are some classes for which that is even more true. Barre fitness is no doubt one of 'em.
Here's a clip that shows what a typical barre class looks like ...
And here's one you can do at home ...
Have you ever tried a class like this? Would you?
Image via BarMethodPortland/YouTube