Happy Hour at a Barre
Instead of meeting your girlfriends at the bar for happy hour after work, why don’t you meet them at a barre and get a killer workout! A happy hour where you burn calories instead of consume them? Is such a thing really possible? YES. I know the barre craze has been around for a couple of years now, but the more I talk to friends, I find out that many of you still haven’t tried it, so let me tell you why it’s so awesome.
First of all, before I had ever tried a barre class, my mom and I peeked in the window to watch one. Well, being the workout snobs that we are, when we saw all the participants with dinky little 1-2 pound weights, we almost blew off the class we had signed up for the next day. Luckily, we decided to still give it a try, and boy were we glad we did. Totally not what we were expecting from the small insight we gained peeking in the day before.
So, yes, you do use tiny weights, but trust me, your arms and legs will be shaking throughout almost the entire class. The thing with barre class is that they isolate little tiny muscles and work them until failure. So the moves (and dumbbells) are tiny, but the results are huge. The key is, since the movements you’re instructed to perform are targeted but tiny (literally just a couple inches most times), you are able to tone your muscles without adding a ton of mass. The end results are those long, lean muscles we all desire. Another huge plus is that these are low impact classes so you aren’t torturing your joints—just your muscles, which is the one kind of torture we actually seek out. You won’t be dripping in sweat at the end of a barre class like you are after a spin class, but trust me, you are getting an awesome exercise and will see amazing results.
Now that barre classes have become so popular there are several different varieties out there. Just to give you an idea, I’ve gone to ones with the following names: cardio barre, barre fusion, barre move, barre tone, ballet booty barre, pure barre, and the list goes on. Some studios only offer one type, but may have different levels such as beginner and advanced, and other studios will offer a range of different types so you can choose if you want it to have an element of cardio to it, focus on core, etc. Also, depending on the class, you may spend the entire time at a physical bar mounted to the wall or you may spend little to no time actually using a bar. Most classes use light dumbbells and a lot will also incorporate a small rubber ball, bands, or rings as props for more intense muscle targeting.
I don’t think I can pick just one type of barre class as my favorite, probably because they all offer a unique twist that makes it that much more effective. I truly love mixing up my intense cardio workouts and heavy strength training sessions with barre classes; they deliver unparalleled results. So if you haven’t tried the barre fad yet, do it! You won’t regret it (well you might be hating me during, but after you will appreciate it). Call up your girlfriends and tell them to meet you at a barre after work today!