Let’s hit up the Barre
An athlete I am not; that’s why my rotations of fitness classes are typically low impact, slow and involve lots of breaks in between to socialize and sip my water. One method of fitness that has always been good to me has been Barre. There are all kinds of variations that incorporate additional factors like extra cardio, heavier weights and some that are performed totally on the floor (my favorite.) If you’ve never taken a Barre class do me a favor and just give it a go, for the seasoned fitness junkie you may find it a little mundane but for the rest of us it’s a refreshing way to build up your core strength and break out a sweat without jiggling around and gasping for air.
Here are the basics: Barre utilizes different positions and postures inspired by Ballet and sometimes even Pilates and Yoga to create a sequence of highly controlled body conditioning. You may think that it will be impossible to break a sweat at its oftentimes slow pace but if you engage your core and purposefully complete each move it’s as intense as it gets. Flexibility plays an important role as you are gradually able to lift higher, sink deeper and reach further the more you practice. It may surprise some when measly 1-2 pound weights are brought out mid class to aid in the sequence only to feel like boulders after rep 25.
The poster child for Barre devotees…think lean, tall and taut ladies, deterred me from trying the method for years. I figured anything that was producing waifish swans was not something I’d ever be any good at. Nowadays it’s one of my favorite workouts and I feel ahhhhhmazing each and every time. If you are thinking of hitting up a class bring a large, cushy towel as almost every class will have a floor component. Another factor that sets it apart, it’s almost always performed barefoot although grippy, toeless socks add a dimension of pro so I like to look the part. One last piece of advice…wear stretchy clothing; think yoga pants and breathable athletic tops but you may want to avoid the overly drapey as some of the positions will have you (and the rest of the room) staring down the entire length of your loose shirt; just saying.
This is where I attend and they have several locations throughout Southern California: https://cardiobarre.com/