I’ve wanted to share my new love of ballet-inspired fitness classes for a while now, so here it goes! The first time I went to a Barre class at Equinox here in Dallas, I’ll admit, I thought it would be easy. Even as a spectator outside the classroom, the small, pulsing movements and 3-lbs weights just didn’t do much to convince me that these classes would kick my booty into shape. Needless to say, I was completely wrong.
The way I describe Barre classes to my friends is, “if Pilates and Ballet got together, Barre Burn would be their baby.” Of course, just like yoga, Pilates, or any other genre of fitness, there are countless variations of Barre classes. (Personally, I’d love to try them all!) I mean, who doesn’t want a dancer’s body? Ballet and dance in general can sometimes deceive us—a dancer’s goal is to appear to be gracefully floating around, but it’s so much more than that. Flexibility is just a small aspect—those dancers are beyond fit. Just try lifting your leg behind you as high as you can and steadily holding it there—there’s so much more muscle involved that you might think!
As I’m sure many of you can relate to, I have a love-hate relationship with the gym. I drink my protein smoothies and eat healthy, but you certainly won’t see me at the gym seven days a week. In fact, if this gives you any idea of my fitness level, I can barely run a mile without getting completely winded and red in the face (pathetic, I know). This is the first class I’ve gone to (about 3-4 times per week) that has actually improved my body. My entire body is stronger—my posture has improved and my legs, arms, back, tummy and booty (my problem area) are progressively getting more toned. Classes are really the only way I can get myself to work out consistently for a solid hour—I know I can’t procrastinate or I will miss the class, and I know that once that hour is up, I’m done for the day! Also, I try to position myself in the front of the room so that I feel a little extra pressure not to slack off. The hardest part is always getting to the gym—but knowing that I don’t really have to think the entire time and instead, just do, makes it so much easier.
The best part is that you can do this while pregnant! Low-impact, core training is AMAZING for your pregnant body. (Of course, you should always talk to your teacher and let them know your situation so that they can show you any modifications.)
So, if you aren’t yet convinced that you should give a Barre class a try, I’ll let you in on another (not-so-secret) secret—many of the Victoria’s Secret models did Barre-focused classes leading up to the 2013 VS Fashion Show! (see photos below) Since looking incredible is literally their job, which they’re paid millions each year to do, I’m going to go out on a limb and say they probably know a thing or two when it comes to fitness!
Miranda Kerr, Erin Heatherton, Doutzen Kroes and Lindsay Ellingson, for example, trained with BalletBeautiful owner, Mary Helen Bowers (in the photo above), who also happened to train Natalie Portman for her role in Black Swan AND just so happens to be pregnant herself!
So, have any of you tried a barre class? I’d love to hear about your experiences! If not, I highly recommend you check out some Barre classes in your area or at your gym! I promise you won’t be disappointed.
If you need help finding a good class in your area, shoot me an email and I’ll do some digging for you! firstname.lastname@example.org