You may have guessed by now I’m pretty easy going when it comes to exercise. Yes, it’s part of every single day – that I don’t skimp on – but as to what sport/class/movement is flavour of the month, I’m an unpredictable beast.
Reason? It’s pretty simple – I get bored. I get bored of doing the same thing over the over, and truthfully, I think my body does too. I also like matching exercise to my mood. A bit tired in the morning? Swim some laps at lunch. Rainy outside? Bikram yoga. Sunny out? Walk + surf. Feeling competitive? Squash match is a go. You could say I’m in an open relationship with fitness and today I’m in unashamedly flirting with the Barre workout.
I’ve been reading a lot about Barre fitness classes. ‘Pro-barre’ articles (How Taylor Swift Got Her Model Body!, Scrap the Gym And Pull On Your Ballet Shoes!, It’s Time To Hit The Barre etc etc) had the kid-ballerina in me pretty intrigued so I decided to give it a go. I mean, if a workout is gonna get me the chiselled physique of professional ballet dancers I’ve had the pleasure to watch on stage, sign me up baby.
What is a Barre workout?
According to the peeps at Xtend Barre in Sydney, it is a ‘body workout that serves to strengthen, lengthen and stretch the body from top to bottom, from inside out. The end result is a long and lean physique… without added bulk.’
Small movements with high repetition are the bread and butter of Barre workouts, with the focus around toning up those small supporting muscles you don’t tend to use when doing big, whole body movements like running. It’s also described as a combination or pilates and ballet.
Think lots of squats, curtseys and squeezing of inner thighs all the while on your tiptoes and wearing only your socks. Hello serious thigh burn, butt ache and calf shake.
- I used muscles I rarely use through running, a normal gym workout or swimming. I’m talking about those tricky areas like the outer and inner thighs and of course the gluteus maximus. Working deep into these areas is hard to do and 50 minutes of Barre definitely did just that.
- The quick changes of exercises plus the use of the barre, balls, bands, weights and mats kept things interesting and satisfied my easy-to-bore attitude. Combined with a sweet soundtrack and the time really flew by.
- The class size was small – 6 of us plus the instructor.
- I sweated A LOT and definitely achieved that warm and heavy post exercise high.
- I got to wear my hair in ballet bun again.
- It’s not cheap. A single drop-in class was $32. You are also encouraged to buy a pair of barre socks that have grip on the bottom for $20 (I asked if I could wear normal socks, and they said it was okay).
- There’s not a lot of instruction for newbies. If you’re relatively coordinated or done any kind of dance as a youngster, you’ll be fine. If not – get right behind the instructor and don’t take your eyes off her!
Would I do it again?
Definitely. I’ve already signed up for another class next week.
Where did I do it?
Xtend Barre Manly