fitness

Fitness Feature: Barre Beautiful

July 24, 2013

I’ve been wanting to try a Barre class for a while now but I was unsure where to start. Thanks to twitter, Living Lou gave me a fantastic recommendation to try out Barre Beautiful in Toronto. Lucky for me Amy joined me and boy was I thankful she was there. Amy is quickly becoming my fitness buddy and just an all around awesome friend. She is seriously inspiring and comes up with easy and delicious recipes for everyone. If you haven’t had a chance to check out her blog you definitely should!

Back to Barre. We signed up to do the Barre Sculpt and Tone class with Dave Cartmill. Normally I go into these things not knowing what to expect but in this case I had been warned that barre is hard. Thank you to everyone who warned me! You definitely did not lie. But it was hard in the best way. Even though my muscles were burning for just about the entire class, I had no doubt that the hard work I was putting in would yield results. No pain, no gain right?

Barre was developed in the 1970s by Lotte Berk and the basic idea was to combine dance –more specifically ballet– with traditional fitness moves. Most classes are performed using a ballet bar that is attached to the wall (source). In recent years it’s become quite popular and I know here in Toronto several studios have been popping up. 

The workout mainly targeted my legs and glutes but definitely incorporated some abs and upper-body exercises. A lot of the exercises were throwbacks to my old ballet days i.e. plies, first position etc…Some moves used small weighted balls (no more than 5 lbs) that when combined with high reps really fine tunes your muscles. Within 2 minutes of starting the class my legs were shaking! 

Here are some of the moves we performed:

All-in-all I LOVED the Barre class. Budget permitting it is definitely something I would like to incorporate more of in my workout schedule. Thank you to Barre Beautiful for having us and for letting Amy and I shamelessly take photos around your studio! I will definitely be back (without the camera next time ;)).

Have you ever done a Barre class? What was your experience like?

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  • Reply
    chelseashealthykitchen.com
    July 24, 2013 at 11:58 am

    I’ve never done a Barre class before, but I’ve been wanting to! I’ll have to see if somewhere in Burlington offers classes (or I guess I could always go into Toronto to try it – it’s not that far!).

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      July 24, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      Let me know if you’re ever in Toronto and want to try out a Barre class with me 🙂 Then we can go to the new Fresh at yonge and eglinton LOL!

  • Reply
    Tara
    July 24, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Hey! I went to BarreWorks in Toronto a month or so ago and loved it. It was so fun to do something different and our instructor was legit awesome! Glad you had fun and got to shamelessly take pics! LOL!!!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      July 24, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      It was so much fun! Nice to change things up every now and then. I’m so awkward about taking photos but know that I have to…#bloggerproblems lol

  • Reply
    cityandthecubicle.com
    July 24, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    haven’t done a barre class. i want to! i know it will kick my sore butt all over town though.

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      July 24, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      Will definitely kick your butt but sometimes we all need a good butt kickin! If you try out a class let me know what you think 🙂

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    July 24, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I have ALWAYS wanted to do a barre class, but I don’t think there are any in my area. I used to be a dancer, and I remember what a great workout traditional barre exercises were. There is something about more muscle related/stretching/strength related fitness that I’m really drawn to. Glad yall had fun!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      July 24, 2013 at 8:35 pm

      Try out a barre class! The hour flew by and while my muscles felt worked they also felt stretched. Definitely helpful if you have some dance background too since you need to be somewhat coordinated. I did ballet for like 2 years when I was 7-8 and not surprisingly this did not help at all haha!

  • Reply
    thelittlehoneybee
    July 24, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Amazing review, my fitness partner-in-crime! And thank you for the kinds words 🙂 I had sooo much fun (as per usual) and can’t wait for more adventures and shameless mirror selfies. Legs are feeling it! xo

  • Reply
    yousignedupforwhat.com
    July 24, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    I’ve done 3 barre classes and LOVE IT. I just did my 3rd yesterday and I’m sore today! I think I’m hooked, need to buy another package of visits to the studio.

  • Reply
    GiGi EatsCelebrities
    July 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    OOo that class looks intense, I like it! I have taken some Barre classes but… They all vary and my last one I took I kind of hated so that’s probably why I have yet to go back! I even bought a Groupon of ten classes and I went ONCE!!! How sad!!!! 🙁

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      July 24, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      Can I have the other 9?!?!?! LOL I’m definitely going to try and get back there but then again I’ve done it once and with an awesome instructor so another class could be terrible, though I’m hoping it’s not!

  • Reply
    Molly
    July 24, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    I’ve never taken a Barre class but it has been something on my “Must-Do” list. I grew up competing in dance, so Ballet also focuses on using a bar for strengths and core strength, but none the less I am still a bit intimidated, especially if someone as fit as you found her legs shaking after 2 minutes. I know that there is a yoga studio in Oakville so I might see if they have a beginner class. Great post!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      July 24, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      If you have any dance background barre will be way easier for you! It’s definitely tough fitness-wise but it’s even harder if you have no coordination like me! I’d definitely give it a shot and see if it’s for you. It was hard but the hour flew by!

  • Reply
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    July 24, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    LOVE Barre! I quickly learned that you MUST embrace the shake. 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      July 26, 2013 at 1:33 am

      I was so close to giving in but somehow managed to stick it out! Hardest workout I’ve done in a while!

  • Reply
    Brittany Nettles
    July 25, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I have never tried a Barre class, but it sounds like something that would certainly be up my alley! Cost-effective workouts are always a plus. Have a great week, love!! <3

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      July 26, 2013 at 1:34 am

      I wish it were a bit more cost effective but I can imagine a lot of these moves could be done at home. Hope you have a great week Brittany 🙂

  • Reply
    Kathryn Landel
    July 26, 2013 at 5:16 am

    It looks like you girls had a blast! I’m so glad you got to try a barre class (and actually enjoyed it). I know I can relate to the constant burn and pain you experienced during class, let us know if you ever go back!

  • Reply
    jillconyers
    July 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I’ve heard great things about Barre classes. I would love to try it!

  • Reply
    fruitynnutty.com
    July 26, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Barre classes aren’t offered where I live, but I would definitely like to try one some day. Thanks for the lovely and detailed review.

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      July 28, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Anytime 🙂 I’m sure you could find some videos online that you could do in the meantime!

  • Reply
    Matilda Iglesias
    July 27, 2013 at 3:02 am

    I’ve never heard of barre, but in saying that it looks like something I would like. I enjoy pilates and it looks like it’s very similar to that.

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      July 28, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      It is very similar to pilates. If you enjoy pilates i’m certain you will enjoy this!

  • Reply
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