Few weeks ago, I searched on Google some new gym because I wanted to start something different from yoga in order to build more muscle for my practice. Indeed, my core is good but when it comes to build strong muscles to keep safe joints, I’m really bad. In my research, I finally saw this gym: Aleenta Barre who was offering some classes about barre. I then saw that it was favourite Victoria Angels’ models kind of sport. I needed nothing more to start doing it! (Seriously, when you see in the description that you can do the workout of a model, who is not dreaming for a sec that you might have their bodys too at the end xD). I’ll review here my experience as I tried it for 2 weeks with the Intro Pass.
Different kind of barres
I’ll put here the descriptions from Aleenta Barre website (where I practiced it in Adelaide, Australia) about the different styles so you can picture what it is (because I can’t really tell the difference myself between all of them and it’s always interesting to see what they say about their own practice).
Barre Blend: Warm up with strong yoga flows followed by traditional Barre moves to tone and strengthen. Yoga transitions and stretches, this class combines the best of yoga and Barre. Savasana finish restores energy after a strong workout.
Barre Burn: Straight from the US, this is traditional Barre Style, using small, isometric exercises to make your muscles burn!
A tough toning workout to get the ballerina body you’ve always wanted. Savasana at the end of class is a much needed reward.
Barre F.I.T: A high intensity class designed to lift your heart rate, transform your body and increase your metabolism. Sure to get you super fit, this circuit style Fitness Interval Training (a.k.a F.I.T or H.I.I.T) class has stations of short, high intensity exercises with minimal rests. Utilising barre exercises and cardio with weight training.
Mat Pilates: The new mat pilates class utilises pilates reformer straps for arm and leg work and is an all over body workout on the mat. Its low impact but effective at working all the muscle groups.
Yoga Barre: Combining yoga flows to lengthen your body, barre to tone glutes and legs, stretching to improve flexibility, core work and guided mediation. If Barre Burn is the Yang, then Yoga Barre is the Yin. If you like yoga, this class is perfect for you. (I’ll just correct this one, if you like pure yoga, you will find that’s kind of an insult to it).
If you still can’t see how it really looks like, here’s a video.
What’s the equipment that you need?
Fitness balls: that you squeeze with your arms or thighs for example in order to keep your muscles active
Barre straps: adding resistance to your workout. It’s a really nice helper to keep your muscles toned
Dumbbells: for the hard work! That wouldn’t be fun if there weren’t some right?
Elastiband: to create resistance and make your workout x5 harder, trust me!
Strange socks: apparently you need them for some exercises but I never had the chance to do them and now I have a weird pair of socks in my closet that isn’t even keeping my feet warm xD
How do I feel about doing it?
I got to say that I’ve truly never see so much sad people in the same room doing an exercise that they didn’t like at all for the purpose to stay fit. Nobody had a smile, everyone seemed pretty bored (despite the super good music who would normally make me go crazy on the dancefloor). It reminded me how important it was to find something that keeps your heart uplifted and feel joyful while doing it. Playfulness is soooo important in doing sport, seriously.
I don’t have an Angel’s body at the end of the 2 weeks but I loved how it helped me strengthen my muscles. After doing that work, my yoga seems really easier, especially as I had a lot of pain in the knee joint. The muscles of my arms that were actually pretty non-existent to me look now more ready to try and kick some headstands! I don’t plan on taking these classes again as I’m not a huge fan of the atmosphere during the classes. But in order to keep these muscles active, I bought myself an Elastiband (makes me think about Elastigirl in the Incredibles!) to keep practicing some nice moves every day!
And you? Have you ever practiced? Would you like to try?
Read my article about when I also tried Aerial Yoga