I’ve been all about trying new things this year. Testing my limits in new spaces. With new activities. One thing I tried is barre class.
A friend of mine asked if I was interested in accompanying her to a barre class. I was interested, but I didn’t really know anything about barre class. I don’t really do group exercise classes other than yoga. I prefer to work one-on-one with a trainer or on my own.
For those of you who have about as much knowledge about barre as I had, it’s an exercise class that combines elements of ballet, Pilates and yoga. Here’s a pretty in-depth description of the history, benefits and possible pitfalls of barre from Greatist.
I went to a studio here in Indy that appears to be part of a larger chain–The Barre Code. It was a super nice studio. Not off-putting for a germaphobe like me. That’s a great start.
I admittedly walked into the studio with a bit of a laissez-faire attitude. I didn’t think it would be all that hard for someone who is a regular in the gym and enjoys 20-mile bike rides on a week night. We used super simple equipment. Obviously, the ballet barre. We also had light hand weights and a circular resistance band. None of this made me lose the idea that this wasn’t going to be much of a workout.
I walked out with a different appreciation for the barre. The class definitely made me sweat. There were many, many small movements that I’m certainly not used to making, so they were difficult. I also had some difficulty with the poses because of the knee, but I was able to adapt fairly well.
I’ll probably go back because it was fun to work out with friends. I don’t think that this will replace any of my current activities, and it certainly won’t replace any strength training that I do. I was kind of tired after the class, but not the same kind of tired that I am when I finish up a strength training session. I can barely make it to my car to sit down after strength training. This was not that way at all, even though I did manage to make my legs shake during the class.
I haven’t yet, but I plan to take a Pilates reformer class. My PT used to have me do exercises on a reformer, and I always thought it was kind of awesome. I want to take a formal class and see if I still think it’s awesome. I think I need to work on my flexibility a bit more before I do that. I seem to have time to only do so much. If I focus on the strength training or gaining miles on the bike, the stretching and rolling suffer because I don’t have time for everything. I really need more hours in the day.