After we joined our local YMCA, I was looking at the free exercise class schedule and noticed a Cardio Barre class. I had been reading about Barre classes and was intrigued. But, being afraid of trying new things (I know, I know, I need to get over this), I was hesitant to try it. Then, I noticed my neighbor is the instructor. Ok, I thought, no excuses now.
This Cardio Barre class is a combination of ballet moves, dance, yoga and pilates. It incorporates all of these along with weight training and muscle stretching for an all over workout.
First class, I show up with my yoga mat (benefits of knowing the instructor!) and no clue what we're in for. Since the Y doesn't have a barre yet, the room is filled with chairs and she tells us to get out some light weights (stressing light as it will be heavy on repetitions). The class starts with a choreographed warm-up. "Uh oh" was my first thought. I haven't done choreographed dance in..well, lets just say it's been a few years. Feeling like my ungraceful self, I do my best. One song for the warm-up; ok, I can handle this....
As a distance runner, my legs are in good shape. They are strong. Or so I thought.... My runners legs are strong in some muscles. What I found in Barre class were all the muscles that I conveniently forgot that I had. I was a little freaked out in the first class when my legs started shaking. Until I realized that EVERYONE'S legs were shaking. And frankly, several months later, they STILL shake. But, I notice that my heels are higher off the floor, my grande plies are lower, my legs are stronger than ever.
We have ballet/leg strength moves, weights, and usually finish with core intensive moves. We moan. We groan. We backtalk our instructor. BUT, we show up week after week. We do just "FOUR MORE". <--THAT, I love when she tells us "four more" because it means we're almost done with that particular set.
In case you're interested, here is an example of some of what we do...try it!
|Borrowed from 5 Tree Fitness|
Cardio Barre is a fast paced, constantly changing, difficult and fun class. I'm really loving the classroom atmosphere where I have made some new friends that I look forward to seeing every week. Where running can often be a solitary sport, this is definitely not. I love the new strength that I am finding in my legs. And while I will never be a professional (or anywhere close to one) dancer, I am enjoying learning something that I always wanted to do.
Have you ever tried a Barre class? Do you like group fitness classes? What's your favorite way to exercise?