Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Workout Wednesday: The Barre Method

The Barre Method is the hot new thing in fitness. You know, it was Tae-Bo, then Pilates, then Yoga, then Zumba, well now it's Barre Method.

Barre Method is a combination of ballet, Pilates/Yoga and aerobics. The idea is to tone and define your body to achieve a long, lean physique, like a dancer. It's a full body workout, but the legs/butt are definitely going to feel it the most. (My legs are already PISSED at me. Seriously, I'm so sore and so spent. This workout is for real.)

Barre studios are popping up all over the place, but a place like Pure Barre near where I live in Draper is kind of pricey unless you are super dedicated to the barre method. There are online and DVD options as well, but it seemed like the kind of thing that is more beneficial in a real studio. So when the Sandy Gold's Gym offered a Barre class, I jumped on it.

Since it's a Gold's Gym aerobics room, they didn't have the bar on the mirrored walls, so we used chairs, in addition to mats, squishy balls and light hand weights. We started off with a light aerobic warm up and then jumped into leg work with the chair. Basically it's moving your legs all different direction with fluid, controlled movement. We placed the squishy ball behind our knees to work the hamstring and calf during the reps.

Then we moved to the hand weights, coordinated with lunges and heel raisers. Even if your upper body is strong, opt for 1-3 pound weights. You'll be holding and moving them for 10 minutes, so they'll start to feel like 50 pounds.

Finally the class ends with a Pilates-based ab workout on the mat and some serious stretching.

What to Wear: Leggings or Yoga pants that will cling rather than hang loose. A yoga tank or somewhat tight shirt will stay out of your way during swing and crunch movements.

Other tips:

  • Drink lots of water and make sure you eat something substantial a few hours before you go. I hadn't had enough water and only ate some yogurt with granola and started feeling light headed during the class.
  • Go to a Barre class fresh. It's not like yoga or something gentle that you can just go to after your regular workout. It's a challenging, KILLER workout on its own. I was sore from a new lower body workout I tried on Monday, and it made me much less effective during class last night. 
  • Stretch before, immediately after, and long after the class. You'll get super tight otherwise.
  • If you have a background in dance, you'll have a slight advantage, but I don't and I survived.

My final word:

It was a crazy workout that I'll definitely see results from. However, I was expecting it to be more graceful and yoga-like, so when it turned out to be more "aerobics for former Drill Team members" I got a little bored and found myself watching the clock. They've only been doing this class at Gold's for a month and it's still in a "trial" phase, so maybe they'll tinker with it. Hopefully.

Also it didn't help that the girl next to me set her mat less than 12 inches from mine and thought she was auditioning for Step Up 7: Samba in Space. Really? No one is that impressed by you Miss "Never Gave Up My Dream."

I don't think I'll go to another class, just because it was a little too tedious for me. Everyone in the class seemed to be stretched a little thin as well, but a few people (Step Up girl) were loving it. If you are into dance/ballet/controlled leg movements/flexibility, then this might be the class for you. Give it a shot with this YouTube workout and see what you think!

1 comment: