I was so excited to finally find a Barre 3 location near my house. However, I needed to work up the nerve to go by myself or find a willing friend. Luckily, my training partner, Brooke, was more than willing to be my Barre 3 partner too. We were able to get an introductory studio special to try out 3 classes. I knew that would be all the motivation I needed – meaning accountability.
I had read a lot about the benefits of Barre 3 so I was very eager to see if the hype held true. I was more worried about my lack of flexibility or what I perceived to be the ‘dance’ portion than the actual exercises. When I arrived, the studio knew I was a ‘newbie’ since the sign-in sheet had a ‘Welcome Megan’ note next to my name (and Brooke’s). We got some information about the studio itself, and then the instructor let us know what ‘equipment’ to put at our stations. Luckily (or unluckily) for us, we were told to go in the front of the room by the mirror. There would be no hiding from my coordination challenges now!
There is a ballet barre all around the studio, and these special Barre 3 bendy ball (pretty sure there is a proper term for them other than bendy ball) at each station.
As I mentioned, we were lucky enough to be right in the front by a mirror to be sure we were using proper form. The instructor provided alternate poses throughout the class – adding more challenge if you were up to it.
I loved the class – it was challenging but in a low-impact way. I think I’ve described it as a high-intensity, low-impact workout. The basics as described on the Barre3 website are Hold (engage your muscles), Move Small (small movements without compromising form), Move Big (lengthen muscles). I can attest to the hold and move small parts. I do strength training twice a week, but after my first class (and the leg shaking that was going on from holding), I was sore for several days – a good sore, but I definitely knew I changed up the routine. I am pretty sure sitting in an airplane that next day along with meetings didn’t help.
Here are the ‘supplies’ that we used during the Barre 3 class. All are provided (except my water bottle). There are 3 choices for weights – 1, 2, or 3 lb weights. Initially I took the 3 lbs weights, but dropped to 2 lbs since you are holding them for a long time. Despite being able to lift much heavier weights during my strength training sessions, I was quickly humbled with the amount (or lack of weight) I could handle during class. Yes, I learn the hard way. I was even able to get my coordination in check – hand/leg movements with the weights which at times I admit is my biggest challenge with group exercise classes.
The class consists of warm-ups, leg/arm engagement and then floor/specific core exercises. Your core is actually engaged throughout the entire class; you’ll feel this too especially if you happen to cough at all in those initial post workout days!
I’ve been to all 3 of my initial classes. I am just trying to decide what I want to sign-up for next – unlimited month or a punch-card for classes. I found Barre 3 to be a great way to add variety to strength training and running. The environment is welcoming to all experience levels and body types. And, if you happen to be ‘that person’ who happens to deflate the Barre 3 ball in the middle of class (yes, that was me) you’ll survive….
I am committed to continuing with the Barre 3 classes; my biggest challenge will be ‘when’ to go. Anything I can do to elongate my muscles and tone my body is a win in my book. I am in search of better posture and that ‘dancer’s body’ – a girl can dream, right???
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