A DIF­FER­ENT kind of bar

If you are start­ing to tire from your usual form of ex­er­cise, be it pound­ing the pave­ment or hit­ting the gym, maybe it’s time, writes LY­DIA SHOE­BRIDGE, to give barre fit­ness a go.

New Zealand Fitness - - IN THIS ISSUE - By Ly­dia Shoe­bridge

There is a rea­son why celebri­ties like Madonna and Natalie Port­man re­sort to barre work­outs as their fit­ness method of choice; work­outs are de­signed to give you a dancer-like physique, elon­gat­ing and sculpt­ing your mus­cles by com­bin­ing el­e­ments of Pi­lates, dance and bal­let.

Viv Gal­lagher is the owner of Stu­dio3 and Xtend Barre. She brought the first in­ter­na­tion­ally li­censed barre classes to Auck­land over two years ago and has now ex­tended to Welling­ton, Pe­tone, Hast­ings and Tau­ranga.

Viv rec­om­mends that any­one want­ing to try this form of ex­er­cise should do their home­work and choose a stu­dio that of­fers a li­censed pro­gramme such as her own.

“Check that in­struc­tors are fully cer­ti­fied and have a Pi­lates back­ground, rather than just dance ex­pe­ri­ence to en­sure client safety and to en­sure that your first ex­pe­ri­ence at the barre is the best ex­pe­ri­ence! Barre will change your body, but it’s cru­cial you have the cor­rect ex­pe­ri­ence of a barre class,” she says.

While the ex­er­cises dif­fer from stu­dio to stu­dio, there is no deny­ing the ben­e­fits you will start to see from this in­tense work­out. They in­clude: in­creased flex­i­bil­ity and pos­ture, stronger abs and back mus­cles, weight loss, greater body aware­ness, and im­proved over­all en­ergy.

“The big­gest mis­con­cep­tion about [barre fit­ness] is that you need to have bal­let ex­pe­ri­ence be­hind you. We ap­peal to both women and men who want to achieve lean mus­cle tone,” says Cat Eddy from Xtend Barre, Welling­ton.

As al­ways, to achieve pre­mium re­sults, re­mem­ber to main­tain a healthy diet and com­bine your barre work­out with some car­dio ses­sions.

There is no need to envy the bod­ies of dancers any longer. Barre is quickly be­com­ing the go to work­out, with more than 180 lo­ca­tions around the world.

Barre fit­ness com­bines iso­met­ric ex­er­cises and or­thopaedic stretches for a full body work­out.

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