A few days ago, I purchased a 2-week Groupon deal for a local Pure Barre studio. It’s the perfect amount of time before school starts, so I jumped on it!
I have always stuck with weight lifting, running, spinning and occasional yoga classes to stay in shape. With that being said, I still love to try new workouts and switch it up from my regular routine. Pure Barre is described on the website as a “total body workout that lifts your seat, tones your thighs and burns fat in record-breaking time.” It’s definitely ballet-esque, but I enjoyed the more graceful movements.
The equipment I used:
- 2 two-pound dumbbells (you can go up in weight)
- small ball (for isometric squeezes, hello inner thighs)
- yoga mat
- stretch band
- and the ballet barre of course!
You can move up in weight as you go, but the two-pounders are for beginners like me. I always think that I can go up in weight and try to push it, but boy was I glad I stuck with the beginner weight. I haven’t felt a burn like that in quite some time. Seriously!
How is it different? You do many repetitions and “hold” the burn in a specific muscle for an extended period of time. For example, when I lift weights my contraction is probably about 6 seconds total (at the most), and the contraction lasts for about 6 minutes in Pure Barre. You keep pulsing and squeezing until you shake and really fire up that muscle. That’s why it works so well!
The class is structured so that it includes a warm up, arm toning, thigh toning, seat (butt) toning, core work, stretching and yoga. You leave feeling sore and stretched out, which is exactly what I look for in a workout.
Most of the movements are simple ways of positioning your body to effectively target accessory muscles of the arms, thighs and seat (a.k.a. the places women want to work the most).
I do a lot of weight lifting and I will say that any workout regimen can be supplemented by Pure Barre. I definitely don’t hit those tiny muscle groups that help lift and tighten during my regular weight lifting sessions, but I would never give up the strength workouts and just do Pure Barre. Regular lifts (squat, deadlift, curl, etc) are still extremely important and develop the large muscle groups.
I have a weaker core because I don’t like to do abdominal exercises. I also don’t stretch nearly enough, so this class gives me two aspects of fitness that I’m missing.
They play upbeat music in the studio and it’s a positive and fun atmosphere, which are other reasons I keep wanting to go back!
If you go, be prepared for lots of booty squeezing, pulsing and abdominal tucking! It’s definitely a hybrid between Pilates and yoga and I would recommend it.
Pure Barre has many locations, so try a free first class in your area!