Fitness has always been important to me, but I’ve never really found a routine and or workout that felt…right. Often times, I’d find myself wandering around the gym aimlessly doing reps on an array of random machines that just happened to be available. I knew I needed something a bit more streamlined and focused if I wanted results.
Enter Pure Barre.
Pure Barre is a total body workout that utilizes the ballet barre, and focuses on small, isometric movements to quickly target and tone your seat, arms, thighs and abs. It’s deceivingly difficult, and I was surprised at how much everything burned after my first class. (No, really…it kicked my butt! Like, painful-to-walk-up-the-stairs-and sit-on-the-toilet kicked my butt haha)
If you’ve never taken a barre class before, I’m sure you’re wondering some things. What sorts of movements you do, what equipment you need to bring, and most importantly…what you’re supposed to wear (kidding! Sort of haha)
Let me break it down for you!
Equipment Needed: One of the great things about barre is that you need very little! Most of what you need is provided for you. You will need a pair of socks, and the studio will suggest they have “sticky” bottoms. At first I thought it was just some ploy to get you to buy their products, but please do yourself a favor and get a pair of sticky socks! You may also want to bring a water bottle, because I promise you will sweat, and you will get thirsty!
What to Wear: Leggings, capri length or longer, and a top that covers your mid-riff. I’d suggest a tank top/one with no sleeves. This not only helps to keep you cool, but it also helps you to see your arms and your arm muscles, which is helpful in being certain you’re doing the exercises correctly. Honestly, regularly going to barre has made me so much more addicted to leggings and workout clothes, and I’m not hating it…athleisure is totally a thing right now, so you can go straight from the studio, and out to a casual dinner date!
The Lingo: Be aware that during class, you may hear words and phrases that are a little…well, weird at first. Heavy tailbone, down an inch, up an inch, soft knees, pulse, tuck…I promise that after a class or two, they will make total sense!
The Class: Upon entering the studio, I place my things (purse, keys, gym shoes) into a cubby, and pick up a set of stretchy rings, a ball, and a set of either 2 or 3 pound weights. (You will also use mats during the class, but the instructor will bring them to you when necessary) Once I have my equipment, I find an open spot on the floor in the studio, a large carpeted room lined with mirrors and ballet barres, to stretch and wait for class to start.
The instructor, I’ve only had two so far but both have been amazing, will wear a head set, play some music, and have you stand up to begin class. In total, the class is about 55 minutes long, and it is a total body work-out. The classes I’ve attended usually bein by marching in place, knees to our chest, and slowly adding some changes including arms in the air, and twisting to the side as we raise our knee raises. The beginning of class usually focuses on increasing heart rate, and getting you ready to transition into thigh, seat, ab, and arm work.
After my first class, I wondered if they would all be the same. Would ab work always be at the barre? Would thigh work always be lunges? The answer is a huge NO WAY! Each class I have been to has incorporated new moves, utilized equipment differently, and targeted my various muscle groups in a unique way. I’m telling you guys, this workout is no joke. Even though the focus is on small, isometric movements, you will shake, and you will feel the burn!
While there are times you feel like you can’t possible complete a rep, I love that barre encourages you to push yourself, to be strong for your neighbor, and it also incorporates stretching as part of the workout.
Honestly, I could go on and on about why I love barre, and how amazing it has been for me, even in just a few short weeks, but I think the best way for you to experience it would be to go to a class for yourself. Pure Barre offers your entire first week FREE. Yes, FREE. So, you have no excuse not to treat yourself to an awesome workout!
Special shoutout to Pure Barre Cincinnati West, the studio I attend. I’d highly recommend this location, and I hope to see some of you there!