FITnotes | The Beauty of the Barre: New Fitness Obsession

barre-classOver the past year or so, there have been a few new exercise studios popping up all over Richmond focusing barre, an exercise practice which provides the perfect balance of safe and challenging work through a blend of yoga, Pilates, and ballet.

I’ve tried just about every studio in Richmond, and they’re all great — Richmond Barre, Corner Barre (formerly Local Barre), and Richmond Balance. However, I have finally found my barre “home” — the Barre Boutique in Carytown (2820 C W. Cary Street, where Carytown Cupcakes used to be!)

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This studio is small and cozy, with pink, grey, and white decorations abound. The floors are carpeted, which helps with stability and holding those difficult poses.

Single classes are $15, and packages start at $70. I’m thinking about signing up for a custom bridal package – got to start sweating for the wedding!

Are you curious about the benefits of barre? Here is a blurb from lululemon:

benefits of barre

Regular practice (three to five times a week) can increase muscle density, decrease body fat, improve flexibility and posture and rev up your metabolism. The hour-long class is a blend of strength training with our own body weight or light hand weights, interval cardio and lots of stretching.  The ballet-inspired workout focuses on incredibly efficient, tiny movements. Take our average sit-­up. There is about a one-inch range of motion that makes up the most challenging and beneficial part of that exercise – we’ll call it the sweet spot.  In a barre class, we’ll spend several minutes holding and working with tiny pulses in that sweet spot until our muscles not only burn but also shake with fatigue. Each muscle group is stretched immediately after it’s worked which promotes longer, leaner muscles and better recovery so we’re less sore the next day.

Don’t be fooled by its ballet roots, even though it looks graceful, it’s anything but effortless. Are you ready to return to the barre – even if your childhood experience was as embarrassing and uncoordinated as mine?

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