The ladies of Studio Barre set the record straight on this workout.
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You guys—I have some great news to report. In-studio experiences are finally a thing once again. You know what this means? We can now get back to sweating it out with our besties and our favorite fitness instructors at our go-to fitness spots—just in time for summer.
If you’re like me, you’re probably pulling out your phones right now and packing your schedule full of workouts. If you’re familiar with some of my previous posts, then you are aware that I am a bonafide fitness fanatic. Before the pandemic hit, I was hitting a spin class seven days a week and sprinkling in some yoga sessions as well. However, when my fitness studio went on lockdown, I had a really hard time finding a stationary bike that suited my needs and to be honest, I do not have Peloton money. Instead, I embarked upon an at-home fitness journey and started doing barre a few times a week. I know, I know—if you read my last blog post I wrote about my barre experience, you’re probably shocked that I kept at it.
But you know what? Even after just a few classes, I started noticing changes in my body. My legs were stronger and more toned—which was definitely a plus for this spin addict. So now that we’re back to in-studio experiences, I’ve kept up with my spin-every-damn-day habit and have been a regular at my local Barre3, as well. Not to mention, I live in Phoenix where summer temps are regularly at a cool 120 degrees, so you literally feel like you’re being set on fire when you go outside. Seriously—why do I even live here?! Needless to say, shorts are what I live in these days so having ballerina-esque legs is a huge win for me.
Have I convinced you to try barre yet? If not, you should know that this addictive exercise is great for all levels, but it will challenge you from beginning to end and help you achieve the body of a dancer—even if your dance moves are as awkward as mine. Before you decide to plié your little heart out, here are some tips to help you crush your next barre class.
Who doesn’t love a good deal? If it’s your first time at a barre studio, check to see if they have an intro offer for newbies. Lots of studios have deals to encourage customers to check out what their studio has to offer for a very reasonable drop-in price. So, before you sign up, make sure you check for local intro offers—your wallet will thank me.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to show up looking like a ballerina. A good rule of thumb for any barre class is to wear what you would sport in a yoga class—ideally pants that fall below the knee. This is not the time to bust out those shorty short shorts because you’re going to be on the floor a lot doing a bunch of different positions—I think you see where I’m going with this.
For barre, you'll want socks that absorb sweat and have good traction. Many fitness stores are now selling socks with grips on the bottom, which are ideal for barre. Your studio might sell them on their website as well.
Having a solid pre-workout and post-workout meal is a must when taking a barre class. I personally can’t eat too much before a workout—especially if it’s an early morning class—so I stick to something simple that gives my body the carbs it needs to get through the class like a banana. And after class I like to drink a protein shake to help my muscles recover—trust me, they are going to need it.
In a barre class, you’ll quickly learn that you’ll start shaking almost immediately after the class begins. Lots of folks get nervous and think they are doing something wrong when their legs start acting like baby deer legs. But those intense trembles are actually the goal, believe it or not. When your body shakes, you are exhausting that muscle and forcing it to tone, so learn to love the shake!
Look, the difficulty of a barre class can be a little deceptive. Even though you feel like your muscles are breaking while you’re in class, you feel light as a bird by the end. Don't let this fool you, you will be SO sore the next day—like the sorest you have ever been. I’m not joking—after my first barre class, I had to walk my dogs in high heels because I couldn’t get my feet to fall flat to the ground. Why did this happen? Because the airiness I felt after class got the best of me. To decrease your chances of getting super sore, you need to either stretch at home, take a bath infused with Epsom salt—or ideally do both. Releasing your muscles will not only ease your body for the next day, but it will also help you gain more flexibility.
Nobody appreciates a rest day more than this gal—but the day after a Barre class is not the time to veg out on the couch. Like I said above, the day after a barre class is the sorest you will ever feel, so it's easy to talk yourself out of working out. This is surprisingly the most important day to go back. If you work out on the second day, you will push through your soreness and feel so much better—I promise!
I started noticing a difference in my body—and my spin performance—after taking a few barre classes per week. The more you take class, the easier (and less sore) you will be after the workout. I mean just think about it—barre exercises are supposed to mimic what professional dancers do in their rehearsals. It’s no wonder why they look so long and lean.
Ready to try barre? Book a barre class on Mindbody.
For the first time ever, the globe will be watching surfing take center stage at the 2020 (postponed to July 2021) Olympics. People from all over the world will be appreciating the sport, many for the first time.
This symbolizes the surfing community breaking through centuries of negative stereotypes. Though conditions play a big part in the sport, the biggest hurdle the athletes will have to overcome to see success is mental. The winner will be the one who chooses their waves wisely with their understanding of the conditions and ability to intimidate and therefore overcome components. Meanwhile, they will be challenging themselves to emerge from crashing barrels, fly into the air, and land on the shifting surface gracefully. No big deal.
You’ve probably heard the invention of a wave pool, which creates the perfect man-made wave. In 2007, Kelly Slater founded his wave company with a passion to build the perfectly rideable wave at his surf ranch. It was debated whether the Olympics should be held in the ocean or on a manufactured wave, with many differing opinions on what would be right. The decision was made, and the event will take place in the sea, at Tsurigasaki Beach in Japan, about 40 miles east of Tokyo, where the rest of the 2021 games will be hosted.
As you watch, take a moment to reflect on the century of effort for this to happen. This initiative can be traced all the way back to the 1912 summer games that took place in Stockholm. Duke Kahanamoku, known as the father of modern surfing, won three gold medals in swimming, and while accepting his medal, he expressed that it was his dream to see surfing be added. To add fuel to the fire, International Surfing Association, recognized as the surfing world's governing authority by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), began lobbying for the inclusion of surfing in the Olympics in 1955.
Surfing is a multidimensional sport unlike any other. Nothing compares to paddling out to the serene silence that awaits beyond the breaking waves. Once you get out there, you immediately escape the many annoyances ingrained in everyday life—the constant notifications on your phone and laptop, your back-to-back schedule, answering to other people. You’re no longer on the time that your watch reads, you’re on mother nature’s time. You’re also no longer in control of your surroundings. Now, all you can do is surrender and wait for the next set to come, while trying to position yourself for when it does.
The high from catching the perfect wave is so addicting that surfers would fail on one hundred in a row just to catch that one. After you catch that perfect one, you replay it in your mind for the rest of the day.
A successful session is reliant on so many factors of mother nature—a force way bigger than us. For ideal conditions to exist, a good-sized swell must approach from the right direction, the wind must be flowing offshore, and you have to time your session right with the ebb and flow of the tide.
The sport is always teaching you life lessons. It is humbling, even if you’ve been practicing it for many years. One reason why it takes so long to master is that the conditions are going to be different every time you get out there. You might have caught a million yesterday, but today makes you feel like a kook because you can’t land one decent wave.
The community of people that you become a part of when you surf is special. A shared obsession with the ocean that brings you to dive into the water at dawn to get a session in bonds you quick. When you’re out there, you’ll find yourself interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds. People enjoy sharing the stoke of the sport. When you see someone out there teaching somebody new, you’ll encounter them cheering at the top of their lungs when they catch a good wave, and as you look around, you’ll see smiles all across the lineup. The other day, I caught a long wave in to be met with a cheering crowd of locals who frequent the spot that I do. When I got to shore, a local showed me their secret stash of hot packs to access in case I, or someone else, gets stung by a stingray when they aren’t around.
Being out in the ocean and abiding by her rules gives surfers a deep love and connection to nature. It’s common to see sea animals out there, like dolphins, stingrays, and fish. When you have an encounter, it’s a reminder that we are invading their territory. It sucks when you see trash floating in the water, or on the sand in its route to the water. It’s a sad reminder of the negative impact that humans can have on natural environments. It inspires you to pick up trash and advocate for sustainability so that we, as a collective, can take care of the beauty that we are lucky to have access to.
Tune in to see surfing break into the biggest international sporting event in the world beginning on Saturday, July 24th.
Do you live by the ocean? Paddle out with an instructor.
Don't live by the water, but still want to train for your next surf trip? Consider these classes.
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