Barre classes have been intriguing to me for some time! I did ballet growing up, and as of late am in love with Pilates – so for obvious reasons I was over the moon when I found out what Barre classes were all about.
Now, a lot of you may be like me (or perhaps I was just in a hole) and when hearing the term barre, have no idea what it actually means other than something we used in ballet class… After a lot of researching I’ve learned that it’s a workout that is mostly focused at the barre, Repeating small movements to control and sculpt muscles. There are often other tools involved, such as medicine balls, yoga straps, weights. There are actually quite a few types of barre classes. Some of the most popular being:
- Pure Barre – This particular barre class is all the rage these days! It’s low impact, so it protects your joints while still building muscle. Pure Barre is known for its tiny controlled movements repeated time and time again.
- Barre 3 – Ballet meets yoga, in a transformation of body and mind. The 3 stands for balance… The main principle behind Barre 3. Focusing on a body/mind connection and balancing strength with flexibility.
- Physique 57 – Mainly popular in NYC and LA, but also widely available on DVD, that combines exercises and stretches designed to both define and lengthen your muscles. Based on workout intervals that use your own body weight as resistance. Working them to the point of overworked then stretching them for relief.
- The Bar Method – Known for its fat burning, muscle sculpting, interval training it combines the practices of physical therapy and ballet conditioning. So, it’s both safe and bad ass.
Last night, I took the plunge and went to my first barre class!
At first I was kind of nervous. The class was called “Baltimore Barre” so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It was definitely an intense 60 minutes! Unlike ballet, which was about long, large, beautiful movements – Barre is about tiny, controlled movements. That, definitely took the most adjusting. The instructor kept saying “make a mind body connection” but I kept finding myself going “How can I silence my mind when all I can think is omg omg” Seriously, from the moment the class started we set out to work muscles I didn’t even know existed.
These little movements, held and then repeated. Ooooof. My arms and thighs literally tingled after the class. My abs – BURNED. It was an awesome class! Apparently everyone else in Baltimore agrees, because there was a WAITING LIST for people who didn’t pre-register online and still wanted in after the class was considered full…. That was a sight I had never seen before.
I really liked how the instructor took the time to focus on the barre methods since she knew another girl and myself, were newbs. It was also astonishing to me how upbeat and energetic a class that is focused on tiny movements could be! Blew me away when the 60 minutes was up. I was definitely sweating, and feeling it – but I couldn’t believe how fast the time flew by! Plus, I met some really awesome girls who are running the St. Patrick’s Shamrock 5k!! I always love meeting new people with similar interests!
The instructor also pointed out when I was leaving that well.. I have bad posture (yes I know thank you VERY much…) and that if I keep going to class it will help with that. I know its true. When I was a gymnast and dancer I had great posture… So, there’s another reason to go back!
over all – I had a great experience! I will definitely be signing up for another class once I figure out my work schedule for the coming weeks! It really was everything I wanted it to be, and more. It was in cramped corners, because I decided to give the class at LuLulemon a try – I may try out Barre. next since this class isn’t on the regular schedule at my local LuLu. But it was still a really enjoyable workout!
In my opinion, it is pretty much worth the hype. It was a bit of an adjustment, to be at the barre and not doing these big fluid grand movements, but I found I enjoyed it just as much – because you can actually FEEL the muscles you’re working on. You can FEEL the stretching and FEEL the intensity.
Over all, I give my first Barre Experience an A+
Have you ever taken any barre style class? what were your thoughts?