Ballet Barre Workout

So, this month of December I decided to torture myself by joining my local Pure Barre group. Okay, so it’s not really torture but the classes are definitely giving me a workout. The movements are very small and designed to really work all those hidden muscles you don’t know you have but you really need to be strong.

I’ve been going for a few weeks now and every single class has been slightly different. I really like that each time we do similar movements but they mix it up a bit. By the end of class I’m exhausted. The classes don’t really get my heart rate up like other kinds of aerobic exercise would (which means I still have to keep up with running or jumping rope) but I definitely feel the burn!

Each class starts off with some body movement in a standing position designed to warm you up. Then, we work on some arm exercises (with or without weights). Next, we utilize the ballet barre to really work our quads and glutes. After that, we work on our core by doing various abdominal exercises (similar to Pilates). Finally we stretch it out and give one last boost to the glutes before the cool down.

I tell you, this stuff is not cheap but it’s totally worth it. I am, by far, the worst in the class. I can’t do half of what everyone else can do but I’m sticking with it. I like that I pretty much know what to expect but that it’s also varied so I don’t get burn-out. My quads, glutes, lower back, abs, arms…. all feel the burn after every workout.

I’m glad I started in the middle of this crazy holiday season because I know that if I make time for this now I can certainly make time in the new year. My new year goal is to find a program and stick with it. So far, so good. I really feel like this is varied enough that it will keep me engaged and coming back for more. I thought I’d share with you some thoughts about my new workout routine in the hopes that it will encourage you to make some positive changes as part of your new years resolution.

Some tips:

  1. Splurge for the good “sticky socks” (you know, the ones they sell in their store or the more expensive ones online with the full bottom). The cheap ones I found online don’t hold me and I slip and slide all over the place.
  2. Go ahead and buy the exercise tights. You’re going to feel weird wearing tight clothing but it makes a difference. You don’t have to worry about pulling pant legs down, etc. Buy a longer tank-top if you feel you need coverage.
  3. Make sure you register for class online before showing up (if this is an option where you are) because there have been days I’ve come to class and they were only letting in folks who were already on the list as it was that busy.
  4. On that note, show up at least 5-10 minutes early for class. This will allow you to get a prime spot in the room and to relax a bit before the class starts (classes start right at the time scheduled!).
  5. When they say “hold” and “freeze” they’re saying the same thing. Basically it just means that when you lift your leg (or whatever) you’re holding it in place for a few seconds before releasing.
  6. Also, when they say “tuck” they want you to squeeze your abs in and curl your booty forward. It helps if you squeeze your butt muscles in at the same time. It’s awkward but you’ll get it.
  7. Finally, don’t worry about what anyone else is doing! Just focus on yourself and your movements and you’ll do fine. Even if you’re doing half as many as everyone else, concentrate on your precise movements so you’re working the muscles correctly. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

So, go out there and try this workout if you have one in your area. I really feel like this workout, combined with a healthy diet, is a great way to get fit. There are several types of barre workout places: Pure Barre, The Bar Method, etc. Do a bit of searching… there might even be a barre class at your local gym! Good luck and have fun! #newyearnewme

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