This past Saturday I went to a free class offered by Zenstudio that was a 75-minute Intro to Barre Basics class. I have taken barre classes in the past at Zen, and regularly went in the months leading up to my wedding in 2014. All this to say, I have done it before and I have seen the results and I know it is effective! I just prefer the faster pace of cardio classes and haven’t been going to barre as much. I thought getting back to the basics with this class would be a great “reset” button to get me back into it!
Okay, so what is Barre? It’s a class in which you practice alongside a ballet barre (hence, the name) and engage in small and controlled isometric movements for a full body workout. Don’t worry, no ballet experience is required. The barre is just there to provide balance support. The goal is for these tiny movements to lengthen and strengthen your muscles, facilitating a lean physique. I’m here to tell you it works! Before our wedding, I definitely credited barre class to bringing everything “in and up” as I liked to say. Why did I stop going? Lazy. That’s why. Insert eye roll here.
What was great about this intro class is that we went through all of the potential sequences you might see in a regular class, only doing a few reps of each. That way, anyone who had never been in a regular barre class wouldn’t be surprised by anything they may be asked to do in class in the future. The typical layout for a regular barre class goes something like this: Arms, thighs, seat work, planks, core, and bridge. Told ya it’s a whole body workout!
For arms we use small hand weights, 1 or 2 lbs. Ya girl used 1 pounders. Would hate to push it too hard in the intro class haha. Thigh work sometimes involves squat-like movements beside the barre and we also used a small ball to place in between our thighs and squeeze. Seat work involves various sequences to get the booty sitting high and tight. A lot of small squeeze and lift movements. Planks aren’t just planks in barre class. The instructors encourage you to also engage in some movement while holding the planks such as dipping your hips side to side to really get into those oblique abs. Core work is what I need and what I hate. From holding a C-curve position with toes off the ground to bicycle crunches, I quiver the whole time. And finally bridge work is when you lay on your back and push your hips straight up toward the ceiling with various options. From there it was an easy transition into cool down stretches because we were already on the floor.
Outcomes from class: I am sore all over! Not to an unbearable degree but I can definitely tell that I worked out some muscles that I haven’t used in a while. My abs and my quads (thighs) are the most sore. It’s crazy to me how we can become so conditioned to one type of exercise and totally suck at something else. Like, I would think my legs are pretty strong from standing on the bike and riding so much and even running some, but nope. A little barre class humbled these legs for sure. Also! A surprising outcome from class was my cal burn. In 76 minutes I burned 343 total calories, 246 active! When I teach a spin class I typically burn between 350-400 so I was thrilled to see this cal burn without having jumped around or done any “cardio” type of exercise.
It was a great class and beneficial in that I know my whole body got a good workout! I am definitely going to try to insert into my weekly lineup at least once a week but hopefully more. The instructor told us for best results, to try to go to class 2-3 times per week. A cool thing about Zen is they offer noon express classes. A Barre noon express class may be the perfect option for me because it’s low impact and I could easily go on my lunch break and then get back to work without looking a hot, sweaty mess. Should we make this a thing? I’m thinking yes.
Nothing like a sunny Saturday to make ya wanna bust out some neon gear. My leggings are old from Old Navy but I found some coral options for ya Here and Here both on sale! This tank is on sale at Athleta right now too! This #ootd pic was actually taken in the Athleta dressing room. Productive Saturday always involves a good workout and a little retail therapy right?! It was a Saturday well spent, indeed. As always, thanks for reading and I hope you feel inspired to try out a Barre class! First week of classes at Zenstudio is always free!