Look Like a Beauty, Train like a Ballerina
You've attended a yoga class to gawk at a hot instructor more often than you'd care to admit and you've nearly fallen off a bike (but not thanks to those devilish little grips) trying to bounce along to the club music in the dark. The latest trendy fitness class has more artistic roots: barre class. Drawing inspiration from ballerina workouts, barre is a low intensity (but don't mistake that for low effort) workout that targets muscles through very small, controlled movements. Like ballet, it only looks easy. Offered twice a week in Ratner's dance studio, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30 - 5:20, barre is a new class on offer for free from the University. The class is open to all levels and no ballet or barre experience whatsoever is needed.
While there is a short arm routine involving light (whatever that means to you, but probably lighter than you think) weights, the emphasis is on the glutes and quads. So that means squats. Lots and lots of squats in all variations. Deep chair squats, wide leg plié squats, pulsing in a squat on your tiptoes - all of those and more. The emphasis is on keeping movements small and controlled to really target underused muscles (inner thighs, obliques, glutes). Sounds easy. In reality you work up a good sweat as your inner thighs start to quiver.
The music is upbeat without being club bangers. On recent rotation: Sia's "Cheap Thrills", Janelle Monae's "Electric Lady", Paramore's "Ain't It Fun" and DJ Snake's "Get Low". The instructor is easy-going and friendly, demonstrating the moves in the middle of the room and counting out the beat for exercises. Unlike traditional barre classes, the use of free weights means that lightweight gym shoes are recommended as well as comfortable clothing.
Bored of your go-to workout or just eager to try something new? Check out the new barre class at Ratner. And for the really ambitious like this writer, dash to Crown afterwards to bask (and sweat some more) in Cruz's zumba glow! Just don't forget a water bottle, you'll regret it otherwise.
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What is your favorite fitness trend? Let us know in the comments below!