After much hype and promotion surrounding it’s arrival, this morning I experienced my first Barre class (powered by Bootybarre)
Admittedly I wasn’t quick enough to get on the class booking list, so I snuck on the waiting list in the hope of receiving the illusive email from Virgin active to say I was ‘in the class’ … it never came, but never let it be said that I’m not one to try my luck, so I popped on my new Reebok military print tights, threw my hair in a ballet style bun (not really, more of a scruffy pony!:)) and ran out the door – I wasn’t overly hopeful when the queue meandered down the stairs …but I succeeded in nabbing myself the last place and pirouetted through the doors ready to embrace my inner ballerina,
So, if you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past 6 months and missed the memo on the latest fitness craze sweeping the nation .. what is Barre?
Here’s the official blurb..
‘bootybarre is a fun, energetic, workout that fuses techniques from Dance, Pilates, and Yoga that will tone, define and chisel the whole body. bootybarre is the perfect combination of strength and flexibility with an added cardiovascular element utilizing the barre.’
So there you go – a little overview before we dive straight in to the class. First things first, I had to grab some light dumbbells and a squishy ball (sorry I don’t know it’s official name) kick off my adidas boost and stand up straight and tall in my bare feet ready to get into ‘first position’ – as someone who never went to ballet as a child (I was more into athletics and netball … oh an a short spell of pottery classes (cheers mum!)) This was more challenging than first imagined, and certainly a whole lot less graceful than I’d visioned in my head,
The class lunged and squatted whilst on tippy toes, plied and swooshed those arms around like there was no tomorrow – all the while smiling at each other encouragingly – this is harder than it looks!
After a warm up it was time to get on that barre and it was at this stage I imagined I looked something like Darcy Bussell …whilst in actual fact looking more like an unco-ordinated wollaby. Nonetheless I persevered, drew in my core and focussed like mad on my balance and pointing that pesky toe … Slowly but surely I as getting the hang of this!
We did more squats and lunges, on tip toes of course, which really did get some muscles working I hadn’t engaged for a while, then it was on to glute lifts whilst balancing on the barre before grabbing the squishy ball thingy to wedge it between your hamstring and calf and pulse like your life depended on it. Do it all over again on the opposite side then it was onto your matt for some core work, those pointing toes getting a good outing again.
45 minutes went by in a flash and I felt I’d made some new comrades in the process (the others in the class that had clearly never donned a tutu before :))
It didn’t have me sweating and panting like my usual HIIT style class of choice but I rather liked it! I felt I’d worked some muscles I didn’t usually give much attention to due to the tip toe stance I adopted for most of the workout, and never underestimate the power of balance – my heart rate might not have been through the roof but my core was engaged throughout and I was focussed on lengthening and stretching my limbs.
I bloody love trying new fitness classes and so for me this gets a thumbs up. Will I become a regular attendee? Well, I’ll certainly give it another go or two but I think I’ll keep it mixed in with my beloved Body Combat/ Attack, Pump and Spin as I like variety in my workouts!
If like me you like to have your finger on the pulse with new classes and are up for trying anything once (fitness classes here I mean, obvs!) then I think you’ll like it. Let us know how you get on if you do?
Here are my Fitbit stats below racked up in a 45 minute class
I’ll let you know if I ache tomorrow ….