Barre (pronounced: bar) is my fitness addiction. When I first saw a Barre studio pop up in my (then) Seattle neighborhood six years ago, I was intrigued. A low-impact exercise technique that fuses concepts of Dance, Pilates, and Yoga to build strong, long, and lean muscles—yes! The thing was though, I hardly considered myself a ballet dancer.
Curiosity led me to watch YouTube videos to see what happens exactly in a 50-minute Barre class. As it turns out you don’t have to be a ballerina (but you sure can condition like one). And so it goes, I tried it for myself in 2011. The movements appear straight-forward at first sight and I didn’t realize how complex they were until actually doing them. The upbeat music and energy in class makes it encouraging to turn up that inner-intensity.
I was inspired to keep at it, exploring various studios to see what they were like. I found myself looking forward to Barre on a regular basis. It became my outlet, where I went to clear my head and dig deep into layers of capable muscle strength I didn’t know I had. It’s given me a sense of community where bonds with fellow Barre-goers come naturally.
From the moment Barre came into my life, and still today, I am challenged both physically and mentally to become the best version of myself that I can be—in a very real way. I have an awareness of and appreciation for my body being strong and fit. I have learned what it means to push myself further than my believed limits. Overall, I make better lifestyle choices.
I am head over heels about my fitness routine as a regular Barre student (and now Pilates, too!). If you are considering trying Barre, here are some insider basics on what you can expect here at Yakima’s Premier Fitness Studio:
You will get a full-body workout: arms, legs, glutes, and abs.
The studio is a non-judgement zone. No one taking class will be watching you as they will be too focused on perfecting their own technique. If anything, they will want to make a new friend in you!
When (not if) your instructor comes by to re-position your body placement this is not a knock on you. We all need adjustments at times and this is a way of helping you stay in your best form.
Small isolated movements are where it’s at. Stay in that momentum and you will see results. With more experience, you will learn how to go deeper into your form and awaken muscles you didn’t know exist.
Show up to class with ease. All props and equipment are provided for you. Your instructor will acquaint you with use of the ballet barre, floor mat, round ball, and weights.
Here’s a tip when it comes to weights. Go for the lighter ones. I’m talking 2 or 3 lbs. Trust me, you’ll fit right in and be glad you did so when it comes to the arm series.
Wear workout attire similar to what you’d wear to Yoga or Pilates class. You can go barefoot or wear sticky socks.
You will not be doing ballet. You will be doing core-strengthening and conditioning exercises and rewarding yourself with delightful stretches. With this combo you’ll be well on your way to building those long and lean muscles.
As much as I’d like to shout from the rooftops how much I love Barre and go into more detail, I will hold back. There are no words worthy enough of the benefits you will receive in seeing for yourself. For me, it’s been life changing. I hope it can be the same for you.