Updated: Mar 27, 2022
"See you at the barre tonight?" That phrase can mean two different things depending on the spelling! I am not talking about your local watering hole- I am talking about this glorious thing called a barre workout. Barre workouts have risen in popularity over the last few years, and for good reason. The physical and mental benefits of barre are addicting and have created a cult-like following. I have been a client at Pure Barre River Oaks for 3 years now, and owe a lot to the team there for helping me to lift, tone, and burn!
What is Pure Barre, exactly?
Pure Barre is a collection of 45-50 minute fast, effective total body workouts. At the core of the technique, they use a thoughtful series of low impact, isometric movements that are designed to produce results.You'll use the ballet Barre and other light equipment as you move through class, focusing on different areas of your body. In only 50 minutes you'll get the best of barre - long and lean muscle tone without the bulk.
Here's a graphic (courtesy of purebarre.com) that explains the sequence of class:
So, why am I so addicted to Pure Barre? Here's 5 reasons why I spend so much time at the barre:
I'm not ashamed to admit that my biggest motivation to try Pure Barre was a bit vain- I wanted abs! (Okay, to clarify, we all HAVE abs. I wanted to see them!!) Pure Barre is so core-intensive that in about 2 months I started to see definition on my abdominal muscles. After years of slaving in the gym doing countless sit-ups and crunches, I saw little to no definition. What makes Pure Barre unique is that the core muscles are engaged throughout the entire class, whether it's core-focused work OR just for balance and stability. The mixture of isometric and isotonic muscle work strengthens your core muscles from all angles and challenges them in ways that you may not have used them before.
2. Actually, Not Just Abs. Seat. Thighs. Arms.
I came for the abs and I stayed for the toned legs. Haha.
Pure Barre is a total body workout, and there are four main muscle groups targeted throughout class- core, arms, thighs and seat. Again, what makes Pure Barre special is that this workout targets each muscle group from all angles. You are also working muscles that are often underused and underdeveloped. This results in long, lean muscle that is beautifully defined but not "bulky".
Strategic stretching is built into the class after each muscle group is targeted. Stretching not only increases your range of motion, but also prevents injury. Practicing Pure Barre regularly improves flexibility which can help in other physical activities or contribute to your overall health. I practice yoga once per week, and I found that Pure Barre really improved my yoga practice by strengthening my underused muscles, and aiding in my flexibility.
4. It Never Gets Old
Similar to yoga, as you get stronger, you can build on the practice without getting bored and without plateauing. There's always a way to level up (or down) to give your body what it needs. The choreography changes frequently, and each class and instructor are a little different. You get the same technique and principles in each class, but the movements are different so your body (and your brain!) never gets into a rut. I have been practicing Pure Barre for 3 years now and can say with 100% certainty that it does not get any easier. Even when I want it to. :)
5. The Community
It's not just a workout, it's a lifestyle. Pure Barre really helps to improve the mind-body connection, which is one of the many reasons it's so addicting and has a huge following. Many people have been attending the studio for years, and the barre-tenders and instructors know everyone by name, making it a fun and welcoming environment. It's safe for people in many stages of life- movements can be modified for pregnant women and it's even a great workout for people trying to prevent or recover from an injury (always consult your doctor first).
Watch my Instagram stories for some photos and videos at the Barre today to get an idea of what it's like!