By Micaela English, Senior Web Editor, Town & Country Magazine
True confession, I’m a bit of a “workout commitment-phobe”. I usually find a workout I love (in the past it’s been group tennis lessons, spinning, cardio-based yoga), practice it to death, spend TONS of money in gear/packages, then miss a few classes, and come to the conclusion that I haven’t seen enough results in my physique, and it’s on to something new. This has happened regularly in the 7 years that I’ve lived in New York City, with the occasional 6 month sprinkling of simply not working out. But the truth is, I need to workout, it helps my psyche, it gets my endorphins running, and it’s a great physical and emotional release for me.
A very good friend of mine completely changed her body with Exhale’s Core Fusion (a barre-themed class that uses balls, light weights, resistance bands, and a ballet barre) and encouraged me to try it. I was reluctant to try the class at first, mostly because of fear of the unknown, but in the past year I’ve averaged 3-4 classes per week, and it has completely changed my mind, soul, but most importantly, my BODY.
Here’s why I think every woman should consider adding a barre workout into her workout routine.
1. It Works
This is the first workout I’ve ever done in my entire life that I can honestly say has changed my body, AND quickly. I noticed a difference within 2 weeks of taking barre classes. I’d consider my body to be athletically built (I was a competitive tennis player in High School), petite, yet curvy (and honestly, I can pack on the pounds, I gain weight just looking at pizza). Barre has given length to my body, my arms are toned and defined (but not scary bodybuilder muscular), muscles have developed in my legs and thighs that I simply didn’t know existed. And my core, well there’s a reason it’s called Core Fusion.
2. The Numbers
Now I don’t want to number drop, but in the past year of regularly taking barre classes I have dropped two pant sizes and lost a considerable amount of weight. But that doesn’t even truly matter to me, it’s just that everything FITS better.
3. Not To Mention, Your Posterior
Gets lifted. Toned. It just looks better. Believe me. In a bathing suit. In a tight dress. In Lilly Pulitzer lingerie.
4. They are EVERYWHERE
There’s literally no excuse not to go to class. When I’m in the New York City, I solely go to Exhale’s Core Fusion class as I’ve grown to love the teachers (who are energetic, encouraging, and challenging), the studios (which are spotless, and have award-winning spas in them), plus it’s convenient to the office and my apartment (there are 7 locations in NYC). However, when I’m visiting my family in Connecticut, I frequent Fairfield’s The Bar Method (which is kick ass, always fully PACKED, and beautifully run by the loveliest ladies). And when I’m lucky enough to travel to Nantucket in the summer, Go Figure, is challenging, fun, and a close walk to the beach.
5. The Outfits
Alright, this is kind of a vain reason, but the more I workout, the more I want to invest in adorable workout clothes. Am I right? My personal favorite is of course Lululemon, but my new and #veryT&C favorite: TRINA TURK. Her prints are just adorable (and preppy!) and the fit is impeccable.
6. No Experience Required
It definitely took me a few months to really get my bearings in barre, yet I never felt intimated or like I was the worst person in class. It’s a truly individual workout, and your main focus in class is YOU, not what the person next to you is doing. If you need to take a break, you do it, and then you get right back into position. You get stronger with EACH class.
7. Your Posture
Really improves. I’ve always been told that I hunch. My mom always says “Micaela, you’re such a confident girl, walk like it, shoulders back”. But I have never been so aware of my posture since I started taking barre classes. I walk ( let’s be honest, I strut) like a prima ballerina!
Not allowed here. Just cozy socks. Yes, not wearing shoes AND working out in cozy socks excites me this much.
Your breath is very important in class, and many New Yorkers (ahem, basically every New Yorker) often forgets the power and importance of inhalations and exhalations. Barre is just another reminder to me, that when I’m in a moment of stress, paying attention to my breath really helps calm my nerves.
10. It’s YOU time
It’s YOUR one hour a day to concentrate on treating your body right, sweating out the all the negatives, and putting your best foot forward into the world. What’s not amazing about that!
See you at the barre!