I have never been a dancer. At about age 7, I opted for the tomboy lifestyle, playing any and all sports that involved hand-eye coordination and running around. This really has not changed since then. I was one of those crazy two-sport athletes in college, and I now find myself running, lifting, or playing sports at least once a day. Safe to say, I’m still a bonafide tomboy. Standing at a barre performing ballet movements was not and still is not exactly my idea of a good time.
Why did I take a barre class then? It seems like all everyone and their dog are talking about these days is barre. Even my co-worker Avery tried out this phenomenon for a time and wrote up her own barre review. As one who doesn’t back down from a fitness challenge, I decided to take the plunge and join one of my good friends at a barre3 class.
In a nutshell, a barre class is composed of primarily isometric holds and small one-inch pulses. Sadie Lincoln, the founder of barre3, has worked with “yogis, professional dancers, doctors, and athletes to craft highly efficient workouts.” The class began with a comprehensive warm-up full of squats, pushups, and planks to get our heart rates up a little and our muscles warm. We then went into movements that targeted our lower body. I definitely felt deep in my quads and “seat” during throughout those 15 minutes. We then picked up light weights to work our arms while performing more traditional squats and lunges. The hour long session finished with core. Barre3 does a good job working every key muscle group in your body, though some more than others. I found my body shaking like an “earthquake” at times, and my thighs felt like lead when I left.
My instructor Tara was incredibly friendly, knowing my name as soon as I walked in. She was positive, encouraging, and helpful throughout the entire hour. Even though the staff made me feel as comfortable as possible, I still couldn’ts shake my “fish out of water” feeling. I was the only participant in athletic shorts, refusing to give into the leggings uniform, and I struggled with the ballet poses, my body being unaccustomed to holding itself in what I deem to be unnatural positions (though ask a dancer and they will probably tell you otherwise). While I definitely felt the burn in my muscles, I missed the aerobic aspect that I get in my other fitness workouts. I enjoyed my time at barre3, but, like Avery, I don’t think that I will be a regular. In all honesty, I will probably only attend another class when I need a break from my regular workouts.
While barre does not quite fit into my tomboy ways, I do not discredit the benefits of the class in the least. The movements help increase your strength and endurance. Supplement it with some cardio every week, and you can have a well-balanced and fun workout regime. Check out the amazing facilities and instructors at barre3 anywhere in the country and see if you are a fan of this unique class!