Monday, 17 October 2016

Back at the Barre

Dynamics Dance and Fitness - Barre

I sat down to write this post originally in February. I had started Barre about 4 weeks beforehand and was loving it. The quivering muscles which hurt for days afterwards left me unperturbed and I couldn't wait for my Wednesday night sessions. I even started paying for 1-2-1 personal training sessions and absolutely loved seeing the changes that, coupled with the gym and daily walks were having on my body. I felt fit, my legs especially were toned and I felt really energised having found an exercise class I really loved that didn't make me feel sick afterwards.

Then I got poorly and for several weeks/months the only thing that mattered was getting through the day without being sick and just doing the essentials. When I finally figured out it was a gluten intolerance I was determined to get back behind the Barre. Shamefully, I've only been once in 6 months!

So tonight is the night. The new Dynamics studio is less than a minutes walk from my door and I am determined to get my muscles (already a little sore from the gym) stretched and limbered up. 

So, what's the appeal of Barre?

To quote directly from Dynamics website:

"This unique workout combines the elements of Pilates, yoga, resistance training and ballet into a highly effective regime performed on the mat and at a ballet barre. The technique utilises the body's own resistance in conjunction with weights, bands and small balls. The effect is a long, lean dancers body without being a dancer!

 The low-impact, total body workout lifts the butt, tones the thighs, flattens the abs and sculpts the arms, whilst protecting the joints.

Small isometric contractions are performed and integrated with an interval training approach that burns fat and improves cardiovascular fitness. Posture, flexibility, stamina and core strength are all improved."

Need I say more? For me, it's an ideal workout. I'm working my problem areas: arms, legs and tum: toning and sculpting them. It's burning fat but it's not getting my heart rate up, the way a lot of exercise classes do (I'm looking at you Zumba) so I'm not coming away feeling faint, dizzy or sick. It's ideal. 

By the way, although it uses a Ballet barre no previous dance experience is necessary at all. Whilst some of the exercises are similar to those in a Ballet class there is no rhythm, tutus or pointe shoes required (thank goodness)

Does it hurt?

YES! The exercises are performed in little 'pulses' repeatedly. Positions are held for counts, then extended or made harder, held some more. Yes, it hurts. Every single time I finish and curse living in a top floor flat! I'd love to tell you that it gets easier, but Laura, who runs the classes has been doing it for years and informed me it still hurts! 

Is it worth it? Absolutely! The effects show within a couple of sessions: within a few weeks I could see the difference especially in my legs and I felt fitter in general. 

Want to give it a go? Dynamics Dance and Fitness offer Barre classes on a Monday - Thursday evening and a Saturday morning. They are also introducing a Baby and Barre class for post-natal mums (and I guess dads?) for £10 a session. Blocks of 6 can also be bought and they are currently offering a BOGOF introductory offer via their Facebook page (valid until 31st October). Maybe I'll see you there?

More about Dynamics Dance and Fitness

Dynamics have just moved into new premises on St James Street (opposite the spotty pig). They offer a range of classes including Barre, Insanity, Kettlebell, Piyo, Pilates and more, in a friendly, no pressure environment. Trust me, if they can make me love exercise they can do the same for you. Find out more on their website.

Check out my Pinterest board for at home Barre workouts

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