I've always wanted to be good at dance. From my casual weekend 'step classes' which largely involved doing the grapevine for an hour then getting rewarded with Jelly Tots to my street dancing phase way back when I fancied myself a bit of a Julia Stiles. Hey, who didn't?
I'm not a dancer and I never will be. I have thighs, an arse but more to the point, I have the balance of a newborn foal and my feet are way too big to be elegant. None of that misfortune, however, seems to hold me from back from wanting the muscle-bound strength of a ballerina.
So when I heard about this ballet meets fitness class, I thought I'd have another stab at it - Save The Last Dance style. Apart from causing uncontrollable butt-shakes, here's what else you need to know about Barrecore.
You don't have to be a ballerina
Despite its ballet fitness foundations, going to a Barrecore class is not strictly for ballerinas, so you won't need to pass the pirouette test to take part. This is more about taking the principles of ballet strength training and incorporating them into a work out for all levels, sans pointy shoes and tutus.
There are other class options available. Check them out here!
It will make your muscles BURN like never before
I did the signature barreMIXED class which involves using your own bodyweight as resistance to overload the muscle with low impact isometric movements. Holding onto the bar or picking up a manageable set of dumbbells during the warmup is as complex as it gets. That's the beauty of being a #BarreBabe.
If you hate cardio you'll love it
It's not a heart-racing, drenched in sweat kind of work out, more a 'I-did-not-know-my-loins-could-smoke-like-this' kinda class. My inner thighs were actually hot at one point, so hot in fact I thought a little pee might have come out. Thankfully, my pelvic floor isn't quite there yet.
You can burn up to 550 calories
You point, you flex, you lift, you tuck and you pulse. Ohhh the pulsing. Your muscles shake under the pressure and you wanna give up but everyone is focused, holding out, puffing at the mouth. Unfortunately, I wasn't one of those girls. On seeing my legs palpitate the lovely founder Niki Rein made an example of my trembling quads: "Shaking is good, that's what we want". I know she was coming from a good place but no one else in that room was shaking. No one.
An hour long class can burn an average of 450 calories with a further 100 post-class, which ok isn't quite the 1000 we were hoping for but every pulse helps. Just make sure you're fitting in some explosive, HIIT cardio sessions too.
You'll discover muscles you never knew you had
Barrecore isn't about high impact, it's about squeezing those abs and glutes until you can't squeeze no more. It involves a lot of 'it's all gonna be over in 10, 9, 8...' all to the beat of BUT I CAN'T DO IT. But who doesn't love a challenge?
The sequences of small but intense movements means you can get to muscles you would never find the time to work out in any ordinary gym scenario. Unless it was those last 15 minutes on the mat, which we all know mainly involves laying there in a trance or pretending to stretch.
You will have to be ok with thrusting your hips FYI
At the end of the workout you'll do some floor work. The classic bicycle crunch, followed by some raised bridge thrusts. This involves tucking your tail bone under and crunching your abs towards your spine with the tiniest of movement. Fine. But then the pulses get quicker and the thrusting movement gets bigger. Just don't make eye contact and you'll be fine.
Your posture will thank you for it
Barrecore makes you all the more aware of the muscles you've neglected somewhere along the line, therefore improving body alignment and posture no matter what your fitness level. Yes, you'll hate every lasting minute of the class when you're in there. You'll question why you're putting yourself though this, you'll clock watch, you'll cuss the teacher when she tells you to smile through the pain but when you leave that fitness studio your arse will feel like it no longer belongs to you. In such a good way!
Go to a Barrecore class regularly and here's some of the benefits your bod will be reaping:
- Firm elongated muscles
- Reduced body fat
- Strong abs
- A toned physique
- Lifted seat
- Strength and endurance
- Improved body alignment
- Increase in energy and sense of wellbeing
I wouldn't class myself as either a couch potato or a gym bunny. I push a cross trainer three times a week when I can be bothered and I even ran a marathon 6 months ago but I also live to eat.
Some of the obvious dancers in the class could spring into poses without so much as a spasm. And then there was me, raising my butt a little to make the plank easier on my not so taut abs. Clearly I don't have what it takes to be a ballerina just yet, but I think my butt could definitely get used to the buzz of barrecore.
So what if the Swan Lake dream only existed in my head. I went, I pulsed and now I won't be walking for a week. Now, there's a sign of a good workout!
Thinking of trying out Barrecore? Tweet us @sofeminineUK
You might also like: