Ballet-inspired classes are all the rage and you may be wondering if barre workouts are worthy of the buzz. As always - Sonya and I are willing to find out for you!
“You don’t have to be athletic, and you don’t have to be a dancer," says instructor Kris Larrison, "everybody loves these classes!”
The promise is that no matter your background or your fitness level – you can get leaner and stronger, which sounds great to us.
The class we take over the lunch hour on a Friday starts with a warmup that includes a lot of traditional yoga moves, but before long we realize this class offers a lot more variety than your traditional hour on the yoga mat. “We’ve taken ballet, Pilates, sculpt and yoga and combined it into one really hot workout!" And when Larrison says “hot” … she means it. The room is kept between 85 and 95 degrees. "Oh you guys are hardly even sweating!” she exclaims.
That’s a lie. And even if the room wasn’t hot – our muscles would be burning. It’s all about small, controlled movements and countless repetitions.
When it comes to the barre, Larrison says we should just think of it as a prop. “It helps give you better alignment in all of your exercises and allows you to go a little deeper and hold it so you get more out of each movement." And the barre isn’t the only prop. We also use playground balls, Pilates rings and weighted balls during the class. Each elicits groaning and grimacing, and requires us to work in a way we’re not used to. Kris says – that’s why it works. “It’s funny," she demonstrates by pulling on her pants, "I put my jeans on and they’re not quite as tight in the thighs, which women like! So it does kind of ‘lean out’ the muscles. We’re getting so deep in the muscle that it leans it out."
The movements and repetitions also mean we're building strength, increasing flexibility and gaining balance. Larrison says Hot Barre is the perfect addition to your fitness routine - no tutus or ballet shoes required - and no jarring the joints.
“I started yoga because I had so many injuries from step and running and high impact aerobics. It’s low impact exercise and barre is the same thing. It’s great muscle conditioning, toning and strengthening without the impact so anyone can do it!”
You've got to try Kris' Hot Yoga and Hot Barre. We love it!