Over the past few months, I’ve been reconnecting with my workout routine and trying to attend more classes at my favorite fitness studio, Pure Barre Pasadena. After I began teaching classes about a year ago, my schedule changed and I wasn’t pushing myself to take as many classes (as a client) after work. My body and mind quickly felt the difference and I knew I needed to get back into going on a regular basis. Within only a few weeks, I tapped back into that deep core strength that I love, I re-found my controlled breathing that helps me power through anything and I can see a visible difference in my body shape…. in a good way!!!
Since I do so much with Pure Barre, I often get questions from friends about the barre phenomenon. There’s a lot of different studios out there that offer the barre technique and it can be hard to know which ones are best. Of course, my favorite is Pure Barre, but I full heartedly support the entire barre movement! To try and help answer some of the questions floating around in your head, here’s a little cheat sheet to introduce you to the most effective workout I’ve found so far….
What is barre?
Barre is a workout that’s often structured as an hour long class. The class is built around the ballet barre and incorporates pilates, yoga, dance, strength training and more. It’s intended to be a full body workout that strengthens your muscles on a very deep level while elongating your body. Whether you already feel long and lean or if you fear you’ll always be short and stubby, this is the workout for you!
What’s barre like?
Regardless of where you go, barre is meant to be challenging. You might not be visibly moving a whole lot, but it’s hard. You focus on muscle control and working specific trouble zones like the abs, thighs and seat (aka: your sexy little butt). The beauty of barre is that your body grows incredibly strong and gets more in tune with the workout each time you go. You might go into your first class without ever having done the splits and after a few short months, your body is strong enough and has enough flexibility that you get down to the floor without hesitation.
Is all barre the same?
Not necessarily – each studio tends to be a little different. While all barre classes focus on high fat burning, deep muscle control and elongating the entire body, you’ll find the pace, music, environment and specific style will vary depending on where you go. Ultimately, you have to try out your local barre studios and see what suites your fancy. When I started doing barre, I was going to a studio that was high intensity and very fast paced. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. I felt like I was sacrificing form and my back started hurting. Soon after, I discovered Pure Barre and found their style was exactly what I wanted…. still high intensity and fast paced but in a different way. The focus was more on isometric movements and feeling the burn to the point of making your body shake. Everyone is different and you have to find your own style preference.
Is it expensive?
Well, that depends on how you look at it and what you classify as expensive. In general, yes, it is more costly than some other workouts or gyms because it’s considered a specialty. However, the price varies depending on location and at the end of the day, it’s worth it! Most studios offer specials when you first get started and you can always keep on eye out for internet deals that are bound to be floating around. Don’t forget that you might qualify for extra studio discounts as a student, teacher, local employee, expecting mother and more….
What’s the best part?
Aside from the insane results, the best part for me is that barre is low/no intensity. I have an old elbow injury that’s made it hard to stick with workouts like weight training, crossfit, bootcamps and beyond. Barre is an incredible option for anyone recovering from an injury or living with an existing condition that you feel holds you back. It’s also an all ages workout. While I’m in my 20’s and totally enjoy it, my mom is also a regular at Pure Barre and raves about how awesome it is for women over 40. It doesn’t matter who you are (boy or girl!), what type of body you have or what age you age, barre is effective and enjoyable!
To embracing your inner barre babe,