Yesterday I sat at my desk anticipating that afternoon’s workout. I know how strange that sounds, normally I am psyching myself to go and reminding myself of the benefits but today I was actually excited when the time came to workout.
That excitement was a little premature and about 7 minutes into the class I was shaking, burning in places I never knew could burn and silently cursing my decision – yet at the end of the class I was ready to book a second. Go figure.
Let me start from the beginning.
I was finally going to check out a barre class. We grabbed our active wear – no tutus in sight, and headed along to Barre Figure. We did the signatures class, which is low impact interval training that focuses on ‘isometric exercises to reshape and sculpt your body’. In other words, small movements that focus on individual body parts such as your glutes, inner thighs and certain abdominal regions.
Many people have the assumption that this is going to be an easy class, they conjure an image of people practicing their plies and ballerina turns and it is all a beautiful, sweat free session. Let me start by telling you how wrong these assumptions are, I know this first hand because even though I was educated enough to know they weren’t easy, it was harder than I expected.
We were warned in so many words that we would have our asses kicked. The instructors smiled and told us that if we needed to have a break every so often we could do so.
Within 2 minutes of the first workout I had tapped out and was having a small stretch to rid my inner thighs of the burn. I’m not unfit, I go to they gym where I do squats and I survived a cross fit class last week – but this was beating me and I loved the challenge.
So, you have been thinking about a class and all I have done is made you realise how intense it is! Why would you bother going you might think?
An average class is 50 minutes, although because you are constantly moving it is the fastest 50 minutes of your life (even faster than that Netflix episode). They are so high energy and fast-paced that you do so many moves in the 50 minutes that you will forget exactly what moves you did (case in point I can’t remember the warm-up at all).
Classes consist of a warm up, and then you focus on particular muscles and finish with abs and a stretch. Our class focused on inner thighs and glutes, with stretches in between that made the pain worth it.
We started in the middle of the floor with our mats for the warm up and then we moved over to the bar for inner thighs. During this we had a little pink ball that we put in between our legs and squeezed throughout the movements…trust me this is effective and it will make your legs burn so much you could roast marshmallows on your thighs.
After a few push ups on the bar we moved into glutes, starting by holding onto the bar and sitting back.
For those of you who attend these classes with no dancing background are only missing out on one small nugget of knowledge. In dancing teachers like to make you do the move, they tell you that it’s nearly done and then they make you hold and pulse. Just when you thought you were done, it gets worst/better for the toned muscles you are after. So as we held onto the bar and sat back we were pulsing and bouncing and feeling our booty get peachy before our eyes.
It all sounds enticing, and let’s be honest dancers have incredible bodies and we want one. They are toned in all the right places with long, lean limbs that we are lusting after.
Despite my complaints about the pain, is it really a good workout if you don’t struggle a little and push yourself? I don’t think so, which is why I will be back and will incorporate some of the moves I learnt into my workout routine.