Week Two: #BarreTips
So as I continue to attend classes and bring people along to try barre for the first time, I realize that they are experiencing something they hadn’t expected! As much as I talk about what a great workout it is and what to expect, people still come baffled, scared and venture into the great unknown…
Everyone has preconceived notions about what a fitness class should be and some might even ponder what “barre” actually is. Well, if you thought you could attend a class and then try out for the Grand Rapids Ballet Company (and make it) – you are going to be very disappointed! While the exercise is a combination of ballet, Pilates and yoga-inspired movements all set to music – it is not a dance class nor are you actually training to be a ballerina. It is a work out. It is energetic. And you will see results. But, you will use a mini-ball, small hand weights and even a thera-band loop to target and train specific muscles. For example, while holding a squat with your knees bent, up on your toes, with your belly sucked in you might think that it already hurts but you’ll most likely be told “now move down an inch and up an inch. Down and inch and up an inch” and oh sweet baby… you’ll feel the burn and realize what muscles you really hadn’t been using all your life. It’s a glorious thing.
So, for my week two writing I wanted to give out a few tips that can help for all newbies and maybe even some intermediate class-goers get the most out of their practice! Read these. Keep these. Love these. And #meetmeatthebarre next week!
1. Leggings are pants? Wear long leggings or at least cropped pants. Keeping your leg muscles warm while you work them is really important, plus – as you use the mini-ball in class you’ll be glad it isn’t on your skin directly and hasn’t been on the person’s skin from the class before.
2. Listen! The instructors are there to give tips to make the movements more effective. If you listen up, you’ll be able to hone and adjust your body with their direction and get a better workout. Let the music move you, too. Right when your legs really start to shake – just HOLD ON! The awesome music in class will inspire you to keep pushing through that tough set of movements. When a good song comes on and you start to feel the beat you’ll find that class moves faster and you feel like a queen. You have the power over your own destiny and you are a barre goddess (tell yourself this if it helps) and rock out to Beyoncé jam to come through the speaker. You can do this!
3. Class is not a competition. This hour session is for you. Stop comparing yourself to your neighbor and fight to get on your own highest heels or make your own legs as straight as possible. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing around you. This is your hour to work on you and what you’ve showed up for. It’s going to mean something different for each person in class so don’t get caught up looking in the mirror but instead focus on how each move feels to you and with concentration you might be able to get deeper if you just make tiny adjustments. The focus will clear your mind and leave you feeling great after class!
4. Be patient. Everything comes in time and it takes probably 3 class sessions to really get the hang of it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The instructors are Beer City Barre are trained professionals and want to be able to help you find the right amount of resistance. You’ll get more confident and you start to appreciate each class as things get easier – you can hold positions longer, and become more flexible while stretching. With hard work, you’ll see changes in your body that will make you headed back to the barre for more!