Updated: Apr 1, 2018
Trying the Barre Workout
I've heard many of great things about Barre from coworkers and friends. I finally got around to trying it for the first time, and I was highly impressed by the overall experience.
My bestie and I attended an all-levels Barre class on a Saturday morning at The Bar Method in Fremont, CA. It is an absolutely gorgeous studio, and the customer service was exceptional. I was greeted by the instructor (Ruby), and I appreciated how she made it a point to remember my name and face. The front desk receptionist was also very personable, and she was great about helping me get situated with my forms, socks, and the layout of the studio.
If you're unfamiliar with Barre, I would describe it as a workout fusion of yoga, mat pilates, and ballet conditioning. The differentiating factor of Barre is obviously the bar that is used to assist with balance during some of the exercises. The entire workout, however, is not limited to the bar. We used different props including padded mats, weights, straps, and exercise balls. The class itself is fast pace. The music playlist was all uptempo, and Ruby was on a wireless mic guiding you through the class. I definitely got lost sometimes during class since the exercises transition very quickly, but Ruby was amazing about clearly explaining everything, correcting my posture, and helping me change from one equipment to the next.
I'm going to be real and say that Barre was pretty challenging for my first time. What kicked my ass (literally, I felt like I pulled a glute muscle), was the small range of movement of isolated muscle groups. On top of that, you do sets of those incremental movements for a few minutes. So as an exercise, for example, imagine doing a chair pose with your heels up and pulsing up and down the chair pose by one inch. My quads and calves and quads burned for a few days
Barre is great for core, easy strength training, and toning.
If your fitness goal is to tone out your body and strengthen your core, Barre would help you along your way. If you're looking for a more low impact type of workout, Barre is great for that as well. There isn't really any cardio unless you modify your own intensity and raise your heartbeat. You can do this by doing more reps per set, using heavier weights, and challenging yourself with less resting on the bar or making other modifications.
If you're in the area, check out The Bar Method - Fremont. There are over 100 locations around the U.S. in Canada, so locate a studio near you.