Branching out with Barre: The Fit Part 3
I’ve Been Waiting for this One! Turn it Up!
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Remember how I said I didn’t like barre way back when in my fitness article? Well, I decided to give it one more chance. The yoga studio that was suggested to me by Lindsay from Find Where You Fit had a blacklight glow barre class. I thought, this sounds fun, and I signed up for it. To the surprise of no one but myself, I had a lot of fun. I’ve been really enjoying myself since joining the Fit. Feel free to read more of my journey through this process in parts 1 & 2. I just am back into trying more social workouts as opposed to my awesome personal training. Again, if you have money please consider getting a trainer. If I can do it, anyone can. It’s a treat to myself. But this is a nice way to try new workouts and see what you like and what you don’t. I have to do low impact workouts due to my back and you can make barre work that way. The most fun was being with other people and going through it together and being creative.
Do It Anyway Script Cuff Bracelet
from: Cents of Style
Can't move all of this here to one of those
Barre basics. First of all, to do barre there are only three accessories you really need.
Barre socks. These babies have non slip grips on the bottom so you can stay grounded. They are like cuter versions of socks you get in hospitals when you are a fall risk.
Sweat towels. I sweat a lot. Did I mention that? Ok, so I think a deterrent a lot of people don’t talk about for some people is excessive sweat. Like there is dainty “ladylike” sweat and then there’s me, who sweats off mascara and in this case glow paint. This barre class was no exception. If you are a sweaty Betty, sweat towels are nice. When I did some research on barre to write for this article, they suggest getting sweat towels.
Lastly, along with sweat you need to hydrate and since I’m a big fan of not using plastic unless I have to-I would invest in a stainless steel water bottle. I have one that I love. You can keep your water bottle handy and I would suggest bringing one because this is a legit workout-even at the low impact level.
Get on this ride, baby, you gon' have to buckle up
What is barre exactly? Basically, it focuses on small isometric movements that are based in ballet. It focuses on toning the body and working out your whole body but focusing on specific body parts. Even though the movements are small-they are controlled so you work hard. Basically, you don’t let gravity do the work for you. I’m totally guilty of letting gravity take its course working out. When I took my barre class all those years ago I was mad that they only had weights up to five pounds. I was like “do you even lift?” to the women at the front desk. They shook their heads and said even if I was used to heavier weights I needed to start small. My stubborn ass insisted on 5-pound weights but I dropped down to 3-pound weights real quick. How to explain it? A lot of my weight lifting is done on my back or standing up and lifting them up and down. Barre is like when you lift weights with your arms stretched to the sides and you move them up and down like you have wings. It is much harder. That is barre. It’s deceptively hard. According to Wikipedia, barre was created by a ballerina named Lotte Berk after hurting her back. It combines isometric exercises with ballet. In the class I took we used terms like first and second position and plies. No jetes or pas-de-bourrees were done in this class. They use a term called “tuck” where you tuck in your pelvis for a straight back. Apparently, the classes took off in popularity after Black Swan came out in 2010. You do actually use a bar, as you do in dance classes, to help you with your balance and hold your positions. It’s an experience and like all fitness, it can be intimidating to the uninitiated. Take it at your own pace and good teachers need to welcome you. Honestly, they want you to come back so make your needs known.
Get It Girl Graphic T-Shirt - $26.95
from: Cents of Style
Thick Thighs Save Lives
For my barre experience, it was part of a “girls night.” There were about 8 women there. Most of them were older than me but there was a range of ages. We came in and used a bunch of glow paint to get ready and made necklaces and bracelets with glow sticks. It was more fun than it should have been.
I found out the teacher of the class had a little girl about the same age as my little boy. We talked about balancing our lives as toddler moms and how challenging that can be. Also, her vibe was awesome. She’s a health coach and you can find her info here. During the class we had some of the accessories pop off and it was just fun. Oh, you can have barre playlists that are more fun music. Yoga generally doesn’t have fun music but her mix was just happy. She had Justin Timberlake on it a couple of times and it was fun. True life, some of my music snob exes/ and now my current husband really enjoy his music. One of my English professors in college talked about how “Rock Your Body” was the best pop song in a decade (this was in 2005). All of us had fun because we were glowing in the dark, working in blacklight, and it was a party atmosphere. Our faces were covered in this paint and it’s hard to feel self-conscious when everyone is out of their comfort zone. Again, there is a lot of pulsing so my legs felt it. I was shaking for part of the class but it wasn’t unbearable and it was for a short time. Shaking in class is normal. The articles I read about barre seemed to say this was common. We did core work and we had a ball that we had to hold up balancing on our calves and then lifting to our thighs. Thick thighs save lives is one of my mantras. I love having strong legs. Part of the class we did a guided meditation about a moment where we felt totally happy. Mine was swimming in Lake Superior this summer with my husband and extended family. My husband and I were just floating. We looked out and saw my then 88-year-old Great-Aunt swimming out farther than anyone else and I knew my son was safe on the shore with my mom. It was one of those perfect lake memories. There is something about swimming in lakes. I don’t know what it is. After the class, we made homemade Epsom salts for the bath. We also had snacks and wine and talked. It was a really lovely experience. We laughed a lot and it was nice. We talked about finding what made us happy and it was just a nice break. I wasn’t planning on staying as long as I did but I had a ball. What I’m trying to say is barre is a good workout because even though it was intense, it wasn’t something that worked you so hard you couldn’t recover from it quickly enough. It just worked out your body to that happy place. I’m going to be going to a “Barre to Bar” class hosted by Lindsay from Find Where You Fit in the next two weeks. Will I make occasional barre classes part of my workout routine? I’m not totally opposed to it. I was surprised at how much I liked it again and I want to explore it more.
What’s this sweet workout jam?
Ok, this one is NSFW but it slaps so forgive me. It’s diva and classical flutist Lizzo & ICON Missy Elliott. They came together for a song called Tempo and it’s amazing. It’s about loving yourself and moving your body. Check it out. Also, it sounds like a Missy song from 2001. AMAZING. Try not to dance to it.
Concert Art Print