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.
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.