Despite my love of exercise, I personally don’t enjoy the gym, it’s boring, repetitive and isolating. Hence I am always on the lookout for new ways to move my body with the hope of extending my list of exercise options I actually look forward to. Barre is something I have recently added to this list.
Barre is a mixture of Pilates, yoga and ballet and like the name suggests, involves a barre. You may have seen studio’s popping up recently and in Sydney alone there are a variety of different types under different names. With small class sizes, it is designed to work your entire body and sculpt long, lean muscles. About 3 months ago, a friend and I decided to sign up, it was something I had always wanted to try but like many things in life, the step towards action is often the most difficult. So after searching google we found Barre Body had a great intro offer, $25 for two weeks of unlimited classes.
We went along to the CBD studio one evening after work. This in itself gave me sufficient motivation to return. The studio is beautiful with large arched windows and the adjacent changing rooms are equally as gorgeous prepped ready with green tea and scent diffusers to help relaxation. Besides this I loved the class and was hooked from the get go.
While I love the class style and atmosphere, what stood out to me was the instructor support. As someone with a chronic condition that severely impacts my movement (scoliosis and a now fused spine) this was amazing. My body has learnt to compensate and as a result I have fallen into a few bad habits. My core in particular is very weak. My fused spine essentially holds me up, I can’t slouch (even if I try) hence my body can easily cheat itself into thinking its sitting up straight. This has led to low core engagement and strength. I also have injury prone hips (again related to my back issues) and hypermobile joints. Although I am highly active, doing exercise by yourself with no one to correct you can be very harmful if done incorrectly. The instructors at Barre Body are great, making sure you are in the right position and offering alternative movements if you can’t do a particular exercise.
Last weekend I completed the Body Love Challenge that Barre Body ran. This was a 4 week challenge with weekly motivational emails and the task of completing at least 5 classes per week. I did this challenge to confirm whether barre did make a difference and whether I continue on a regular basis. I already have a gym membership which does not expire for another year hence the dilemma of what to do. I can confirm however that the 4 weeks have made a huge difference. I am feeling stronger, especially around my core and also feel tighter and leaner.
I will definitely continue with barre. It has shown me a whole new way of exercising away from the gym and the “lifting heavy” mentality that is often show-cased. I have no issues with lifting heavy, I just don’t’ think it’s for everyone. I would particularly recommend barre to those of you don’t enjoy the gym and want to try something different. While it is not what I would call “intense” exercise it has definitely surprised me how much your muscles can hurt simply with resistant bands and 2kg weights. It’s also fun to pretend you’re a ballet dancer practicing your plies. Finally the focus on technique is amazing and something that just cannot be achieved in a larger gym environment.
Good luck for anyone deciding to start and I would love to hear others experiences’ so please share.
Please note, this is written purely to share my experience with barre and encourage people to try it. I have written this entirely independently.